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White Labs Brewery- San Diego

Photo of IPAs in taster glasses at White Labs
Photo of four Saisons at White Labs

Leeuwenhoek Saison with 4 different yeast strains

I have wanted to visit White Labs since I heard Chris White speak at the National Homebrewers Conference in 2011.  Here is what they say about the tasting room on their website:

“The White Labs Tasting Room features beer created on site, showcasing experiments, education and fun with up to 32 beers on tap and 3 on cask.  It is the ultimate place to learn about yeast flavor in beer or just relax and try something new.  The beer lineup changes regularly and features brews created with different yeasts and different brewing fermentation techniques.”

Before talking about the beer, I want to say how impressed I was with the service.  I was warmly welcomed by the tasting room associate at the bar with a smile and hello.  She explained how the tasting session works and was very knowledgeable about the intricacies of beer tasting.  Excellent customer service is a goal at White Labs, and I experienced it first hand.

Photo of three IPAs at White Labs brewery

IPAs at White Labs

I started with a flight of their current IPA fermented with different yeast strains in order to compare aroma and flavor variations.  One of the strains is the one I consistently use when I homebrew an IPA.  All three of the IPAs were nice, and I was surprised to learn that I actually preferred the other yeast strains over the one I regularly use.  Now I can’t wait to try them to change-up my own IPAs.

After the flight of IPAs I switched to their Leeuwenhoek Saison, which is a house favorite.  It was really nice to be able to compare the different characteristics that each yeast strain provided.  I was especially impressed with the Saison that was fermented with Brettanomyces Brusellensis Trois/Brettanomyces Claussenii blend, WLP644/645.

The star of the day’s tastings, however, was the Frankenbrau, a Stout fermented with 96 different yeast strains.  This beer turned up the volume on all of my senses, and after finishing it, I’m not sure if I was worthy of rating it.  Right now, I think this is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.  So, I have decided to go back to White Labs ASAP to drink more of this special elixir, and bring back a small growler.  I hope there is some left, and this time I also want to have some from the cask.

Photo of experimental stout

Frankenbrau Stout

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