There is no finer city in California that displays such community-wide support for craft breweries than in San Diego. The bf and I promised to visit SD at least once every 1-2 months. And every time we have not been disappointed with what this microbrewery capital has to offer. Of course we started off at Stone (FYI: they just released a new collaboration beer between Will Wheaton, Greg Koch, and Drew Curtis called Farking Wheaton W00tstout-it’s the most scrumptious stout I’ve tasted, but more on that later.) We then delved into the artisan beers at Belching Beaver, Hess, Latitude 33, Mother Earth, Iron Fist, Rip Current, Lost Abbey, White Labs, Rough Draft, AleSmith, Aztec, and Indian Joe Brewing. Now keep in mind all of these breweries have such fine products that it was very difficult to pick from the bunch which one was my favorite. But after much deliberation I found that Indian Joe Brewing created a masterpiece of a company that not only crafted such original beer recipes but also offered a familiar environment that its customers could just relax and enjoy a cold one.
My absolute favorite is their Apricot/Peach Hefeweizen-which won a silver medal at the San Diego County Fair International Award. But be warned that this beer does run out FAST! Indian Joe’s is currently in a one barrel production state, which is why they offer such a variety of beers. When we were there last, they had a Blueberry Hefeweizen, Blueberry IPA, Strawberry Hefeweizen, Honey Wheat, Orange Wheat, Red Raspberry Wheat, Milk Stout, American Indian IPA, Irish Red Ale, Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Stout, Pumpkin Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, American Indian Red Ale, White Sage IPA, and a Chocolate Hazelnut Porter. This brewing company definitely has a DEMAND for their beers. I found out from the bartender that they are currently looking into leasing a bigger facility to move towards a 30 barrel production system and that they plan to keep the current site as a tasting room.
The brewery is located off La Mirada Drive in Vista. Keep a lookout for a sign that will direct you towards the brewery. There’s PLENTY of parking available. When I first walked in, I didn’t know what to expect. They have an entrance room that has the brewery’s backdrop for guests that want to take pictures, like this one here…
I then walked down the hallway and BAM, I’m greeted by a spacious room with plenty of tables. Most tasting rooms offer very little seating so I was ecstatic that there was a place to kick back and enjoy my beer after a day of brewery hopping. The marble top tables and seats are very nice and comfortable. Plus I got to sit next to this guy.
They have a pretty standard bar size. There is an attached table at the end of the bar where you grab a marker and placemat, and choose which taster you want. The tasters are $2 and pints are $5. Just give them to the bartender and they will deliver it to your table. Every table has a list of numbered beers so you know which taster is what.
They also have this neat barrel (aka: fireplace) that keeps you warm if the beer isn’t already doing so. There are also signs for their wifi and password if you feel the need to return to the web world. And of course there’s a water station you can help yourself to.
This is a family-run establishment so everyone seems to know each other here. The bf and I were talking to the bartenders (who happen to be husband and wife) and they were the nicest, down to earth people I’ve met. It’s such a relaxing atmosphere and everyone is just so chill here. It felt like I was at a friend’s house just sipping and enjoying my beer. Also the owner, Max, works on floor and is easily approachable. The first time we were at Indian Joe’s, my friends and I just had to compliment him on his beers. The beers were just so smooth and had such unique aromas and flavors. We found out that Max learned and perfected his craft by studying at Belgium. If you go on their website you can read up on his story here. But don’t be shy. Just drop by and say hello and you will realize what exactly I’ve been talking about. This brewery is doing something right here.
On the wall next to the water station there’s a food truck schedule. We happened to be there when it was One Oak BBQ day. Their tri tip sandwich is so damn moist and tender. You’re basically basking in the aromas of smoked meat while drinking nice cold beers.
Entertainment wise, the brewery offers live music on some nights. They also have a Bingo Night, which would explain why my favorite peach/apricot hefeweizen was gone. Also the brewery rescheduled their Chili Competition so keep a lookout for sign-up day.