Instant Beer Review | West Coast Edition: Coronado Brewing Company Taster Set

Coronado Brewing Company sits on Coronado Island, an affluent resort town of 24,000 people about 5 miles from downtown San Diego. Scott Weiland lives there…Orville Redenbacher did until he died in his condo Jacuzzi. It is known as one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Needless to say, I was out of my wealth caste.

On its finely manicured main drag, Orange Avenue, the brewpub looks rather inviting. Lots of red brick, dark wood, green awnings and overflowing planters. If it wasn’t for the 2 douchey looking brahs out front it would have been brew-dyllic.

Well that’s just a goddamned wonderful picture you paint. Are you going to talk about beer soon?

Why certainly, my impatient imaginary friend.

Ok swell.

Looking over the menu I immediately spotted the beer taster set. Since they only have 4 core beers and a seasonal, it was an easy choice. 5-5oz beers for $10? Sold. Throw in some shrimp tacos with a side of chips n’ guac and you’ve got a party, mister. And I would like to say, DAMN, those shrimp tacos were mighty fine.

Like any OCD beer geek I went from lightest beer to strongest. Starting with the Coronado Golden. A “European style” pilsner. 5.4% ABV. $5 pints.

A European style pilsner?

Yes, and if they meant for it to taste like a skunky European import. Job well done. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Next up was the Orange Ave Wit. 5.5% ABV. $5 pints. This beer uses orange honey, orange zest and coriander. You can smell the zest and taste the honey. A little citrusy, but not much. Kinda boring.

Alright negative Nancy I hope this gets better.

Thankfully it does. Otherwise my fantasy of living the good life on this little island, listening to Weiland* tell rock and roll heroin tales over a pint, would have been shot to hell.

Moving on…Mermaids Red Ale. 5.7% ABV. $5 pints. This hearty red was a nice surprise. Full of malty goodness on the front end with a kick of cascade hops to finish it off. Well balanced. Not necessarily a session beer, but I could spend an afternoon enjoying a few pints whilst listening to Donald Rumsfeld (another resident) explain existentialism to me.

That was a terrible joke.

I know.

Ok. From the Red to the Islander IPA. 7% ABV. 75 IBUs. $5 pints. This rather tasty beer is labelled a “West Coast IPA.” There is some debate on what that means exactly, especially considering the modern IPAs coming from the midwest. But in short, it just means way more hoppy that a “normal” IPA, and maybe a bit more fruity than citrusy. This beer almost fits that bill. It is hoppy, but it didn’t blow me away. I also noticed hints of caramel, bananas and other fruity things. All in all it’s a solid brew.

Sounds like you’re a little defensive about midwestern IPAs.

Damn straight. Every day some crazy midwestern psycho-hopped-headed-brewer is shacked up with his/her test brew kit creating a new way to make my face explode from the bitter overload. So whatever…whatever I say!

Finally, the seasonal brew. The aptly named Idiot IPA. 8.5% ABV. 90 IBUs. $7 pints. This beer is unfiltered and each barrel contains 3lbs of hops. The name comes from the obvious facts that it turns patrons into idiots in short order. So buyer beware. You will lose an IQ point or 10. As for the taste? There is a full malty chewiness with a spicy overtone. The finish is like a warm bourbon burn. I think the hoppy kick is lost in the malt, but it’s still very tasty.

Well there you have it. 3 good beers and 2, well, not so good. Great shrimp tacos and beautiful San Diego weather.

Fantastic. So the vacation is a success so far

Certainly is. I’d also suggest checking out the Blind Lady Alehouse next time you’re in San Diego. Loads of great beer on tap and fantastic pizza.

Next up I’m headed north to drive the famous HWY 1, searching out breweries and brewpubs as I go, finally ending up in San Francisco.



*I’m not really a Scott Weiland fan, but since no one from QOTSA lives on the island I’ll make due.