A Road Trip to ChuckAlek Independent Brewers- Ramona
Where: 2330 Main Street, Suite C Ramona, California 92065
Cost: Tasters: $1.50-$2.00 | Taster Flights: (6) $9.00 (10) $15.50 | Pints: $4.00-$8.00 | Growler fills: 32 oz. $7.00-$15.00; 64 oz. $14-$30.00
About: ChuckAlek is a small-batch brewery located in one of San Diego County’s back-country towns, Ramona. Open three years this January, ChuckAlek is Ramona’s first and only craft brewery. Named after the owners’ grandfathers, Chuck and Alek, the brewery is known for “reviving, recreating, and updating historic and vintage beer styles.”
Although the brewery is 35 miles from downtown San Diego, ChuckAlek beers are well worth traveling for. Currently, they are pouring 10 “old school beers for new school palates” with a style for everyone: from a Helles and India Pale Ale to a Stout and Porter. I enjoyed four tasters when I visited, different styles, and they were all clean, high-quality beers.
Incidentally, ChuckAlek’s co-owner, Grant Fraley, received the 2015 Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream Experienceship award which included the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with Samuel Adams. Of course, it was one of the beers I tasted.
What I drank: During my visit I tasted four brews: Garten Variety Pale Ale (5.5% ABV); Time Hop Porter (5.3% ABV; Sam Adams Collaboration); Wendlant Oyster Stout (6.5% ABV); and Pumpkin Oatmeal Stout (7.5% ABV). All four beers were wonderful, but I came for the Pumpkin Oatmeal Stout (brewed with pumpkin from a local Ramona farm). Here is my impression of it:
Black in color, opaque, with a creamy, brown head. Aromas of fresh graham cracker, roasted grains, coffee, and spice. Sweetness and bitterness are balanced with rich flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, coffee and cream intertwined. Full-bodied mouthfeel, pleasant and velvety on the tongue, with a smooth, slick finish. Overall, a beautiful pumpkin-infused Oatmeal Stout, one of the best I’ve tasted.
Likes: Friendly service, delicious well-made craft beers, reasonable prices, adequate parking. Casual, family friendly environment. Clean restroom was a plus.
The Verdict: Solid, well-run small-batch brewery producing very clean traditional beers that are unique to the San Diego craft beer scene.Share This: