San Diego Brewed is sponsored by Bottlecraft.

Bottlecraft is a retail shop and tasting room in Little Italy showcasing local, domestic and international craft beers. They offer hundreds of beers for your enjoyment in their onsite tasting room or to-go, as well as daily beer flights, events, glassware, merchandise, and gifts. Open Noon-10pm seven days a week. 2161 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101.

Port Brewing Co. MongoWelcome to San Diego Brewed, a new weekly feature here at San Diego Beer Blog. Each week I’ll highlight a different beer brewed at a local San Diego County brewery. Big thanks to Bottlecraft for sponsoring this series.

It’s been less than two years since Port Brewing Company first introduced Mongo, their Double IPA brewed as a tribute to a brewery kitten that as they say on their website, “used each of his 9 lives in a short – but brazen – 10 months on this planet.” In that short time the beer has proven itself worthy DIPA in a beer market overflowing with plenty of hoppy beers to choose from. Mongo was draft only for about the first year it was brewed, but Port Brewing started bottling it in 22oz bottles earlier this year.

Mongo is a big beer, 8.5% ABV and brewed with plenty of hops, Columbus, Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe to be exact. It’s the use of those hops that impress me so much. Mongo isn’t the most bitter DIPA around (although there’s plenty of hop bitterness, don’t you worry), it has a great balance between hop bitterness and hop flavor. There’s plenty of juicy citrus with maybe just a bit of pine like hop flavor coming through in the taste. The malts most definitely take a back seat to the hops here and I certainly wouldn’t call it a balanced beer (but I don’t consider that a bad thing in a beer like this).

Port Brewing Co.’s Mongo should be pretty easy to find around town in 22oz bottles (around $6 per bottle) and on draft. The bottles have a yellow ‘bottled-on’ date on the neck, as with any hop-forward beer double check to make sure it’s not too old before buying, the more recently bottled the better. One word of warning, there was a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle I had (this is normal in bottle conditioned beers) so pour carefully if you’d like to avoid it ending up in your glass.

Fun fact: Mongo was the kitten’s nickname. His actual name was Columbus and his parents were Amarillo and Cascade.