Helix Brewing Company, La Mesa
Name: Helix Brewing Company
Where: 8101 Commercial Street La Mesa, California
Cost: 4 oz. $1.50 | Pints $4.00-$5.00 | Growlers $ varies
About: Opened in August 2015 by Cameron Ball the brewery is in the light industry area of La Mesa, just north of I-8 and close to where Center Street meets Spring Street before crossing the freeway. Brewhouse and tasting room are inside a refurbished red brick building that has thick wood trusses holding up the roof.
Out back is a beer garden cooled by colorful patio umbrellas, a shade tree, and misters hanging overhead. Street fair light strings zig-zag above the beer garden for nighttime quaffing. Flowering vines line the patio’s perimeter and there’s a Bean Bag Toss game for patrons to play. There are plenty of places to sit, relax, and enjoy fresh-brewed craft beer. And by the way, Helix Brewing is dog and family friendly.
What I Drank: Each of the eight beers Helix Brewing opened with were available when I visited, so I ordered a taster flight consisting of them all. I split up the flight tasting into two sessions of four so the tasters would not get warm.
My first flight of four beers was made up of Helix’s Bavarian Weizen, Pale Ale, Red Ale, and Session IPA. In the second flight I tasted their Rye IPA, Black Rye IPA, Chocolate Rye Porter, and Oatmeal Stout.
Likes: The Galaxy Rye IPA (6.4% ABV) was my favorite of the eight I tasted. It is well-made with rye malt and hopped with Warrior, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, and Galaxy, from which it derives its name.
I also liked the King Rufus Porter Chocolate Rye Porter (6.0% ABV) with its roasty, toasty, and coffee notes.
Sitting outside in the beer garden under the shade tree with a flight of Helix brews was the highlight of my visit. The customer service was also noteworthy. Bar staff treated me quite well.
Verdict: I’m so happy La Mesa got another craft brewery with fresh beers on tap to enjoy. Helix Brewing is a nice local brewery with well-made, reasonably-priced craft beers, excellent customer service, and a beautiful beer garden. Cheers!