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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.

AleSmith IPAAleSmith IPA recently picked up a Silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category. It might seem weird that a beer called IPA and marketed as such would be entered in any category other than an IPA, but that’s one of the interesting things about beer judging, brewers get to choose which category to enter their beers in (although the American-Style Strong Pale Ale and American-Style India Pale Ale categories are very similar).

Until recently AleSmith IPA was bottle conditioned resulting in some sediment in the bottom of the bottle which could cause for a cloudy beer if not poured carefully. But AleSmith got a new bottling line this summer which allows them to force carbonate some of their bottled beers and results in a nice clean looking beer.

AleSmith IPA has a big hoppy smell and a taste to go along with it. There’s a lot of pine and citrus bitterness fairly well balanced by some slightly sweet caramel like malt and maybe just a bit of toastiness from the malt as well. In San Diego, the land of big hoppy IPAs this might be considered a balanced IPA, but that’s not too say that it isn’t hoppy.

At 7.25% ABV it’s a bit warm from the alcohol, constantly reminding you that it’s not a low ABV beer, but it’s still pretty easy drinking. It finishes dry with a bitter pine like hop finish.

This isn’t the hoppiest of West Coast IPAs, but it’s no slouch. No complaints here especially because it’s widely available and reasonably priced.

AleSmith doesn’t date their bottles so make sure to buy from a shop that has good turn over (I picked this bottle up for $5 at Bottlecraft and it was pretty fresh). The bottles still mention being bottle conditioned even if they’re from the new bottling line and were force carbonated, so don’t let that fool you into thinking you’re getting an old bottle. Just hold the bottle up to the light and look for sediment in the bottom, if it’s clear you can be fairly certain you’re getting a bottle from the new bottling line.

Bottlecraft