SAN DIEGO, Calif.—In a day and age where San Diego County is home to roughly 130 breweries and there are well over 4,000 craft-breweries in the U.S. alone, it’s extremely rare to come across something that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the planet. Yet, that’s just what Miramar-based AleSmith Brewing Company—the reigning second-best brewery in the world (according to RateBeer.com users) and champion brewery of the year (according to judges at the San Diego International Beer Festival)—will provide guests at the latest addition to its tasting room, Anvil & Stave: A Barrel-Aged Beer Experience.
Debuting to the public at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 25, Anvil & Stave is a one-of-a-kind, stand-alone bar within AleSmith’s tasting room, where a variety of the brewery’s barrel-aged beers will be served seven-days-a-week during normal operating hours. This in itself is not unique, as a number of breweries offer oak-matured ales and lagers, but unlike anywhere else in the world, visitors to Anvil & Stave will have the ability to create their own barrel-aged beer blends.
Many are under the impression that barrel-aged beers are simply funneled into a single-barrel, then funneled back out after they have taken on wood character. In actuality, most barrel-aged bottles contain a mixture of beers from multiple barrels blended together at optimal ratios to craft a finished product exhibiting maximum flavor, aroma and texture. Blending is an art-form and Anvil & Stave will provide the uninitiated a fun, delicious opportunity to see what a crucial step it is in forging something special.
“Whether visitors to Anvil & Stave are blending multiple vintages of the same type of beer, the fresh and aged versions of a single ale, or two different kinds of beers altogether, they will be able to gain a deeper appreciation of all that goes into creating exceptional offerings, while gaining an appreciation for all that beer can be,” says AleSmith owner, CEO and brewmaster Peter Zien. “The sky really is the limit with barrel-aged beers. They represent the next level where craft-beer is concerned, and we’re happy to bring our fans in on the action and provide them the chance to get a behind-the-scenes type of experience with this latest edition to our tasting room.”
Anvil & Stave is installed in an intimate, enclosed structure in the northeast corner of AleSmith’s tasting room (which is the largest of any brewery tasting-room on the entire West Coast…and still growing with the upcoming July unveiling of the official Tony Gwynn Museum and future construction of an indoor-outdoor mezzanine). The venue’s façade adds rusticity care of reclaimed wood slats, while the interior features a mix of planks and brick offset by steel countertops, luxurious vintage furniture, ornate accessories, plant-life, hard-bound books and black-and-white photos in antique frames. Beers pour forth from taps protruding from barrel-tops in a classily dim-lit atmosphere that conveys the gravity and significance of these enlightened quaffs.
The beers offered at Anvil & Stave will come from AleSmith’s varied stock of 500-plus oak barrels. Among other things, those vessels have previously housed a variety of wines (white, red, Port), whiskies (bourbon, rye, Scotch) and other spirits (brandy, Cognac, tequila, gin). Some of the high-gravity AleSmith beers sequestered in wood include Speedway Stout, Old Numbskull Barleywine, Wee Heavy Scotch-style Ale, Private Stock Imperial English-style Ale, Grand Cru Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale, various vintages of Decadence Anniversary Ale and an imperial porter brewed specifically for aging. There is no end to the number of quality barrel-aged beers that will be offered via Anvil & Stave’s taps, nor the endless combinations that will spring forth from the imaginations of beer-enthusiasts frequenting this truly unique venue.
AleSmith Brewing Company is located at 9990 AleSmith Court (formerly Empire Street) in San Diego’s Miramar community. The brewery’s tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
ABOUT ALESMITH BREWING COMPANY: Forged in 1995, AleSmith has been recognized by consumers and critics alike as one of the world’s foremost craft brewing companies behind accolades that include medals won at prestigious national and international beer competitions as well as being named Small Brewing Company of the Year at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. AleSmith is on the verge of celebrating its 21st year in business and recently expanded, moving into a 105,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art brewery featuring a new 80-barrel brewing system that will allow the company to increase its production ten-fold. The expansion also included construction of the largest brewery tasting room on the West Coast (25,000 square feet) with an outdoor beer garden that will soon be joined by a second-story indoor-outdoor mezzanine, private rooms and a museum dedicated to San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn. AleSmith’s line of acclaimed beers, which includes Speedway Stout, IPA, Nut Brown Ale, X Extra Pale Ale and Old Numbskull Barley Wine, is distributed in 23 U.S. states and five countries. The company’s social media channels include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@AleSmithBrewing), and its official website URL is—http://www.alesmith.com.