San Diego, craft beers are celebrated for their intense and West Coast style flavor profiles, ranging from fruity ales to nitro stouts to habanero-infused IPAs. In the spirit of the experimental SoCal beer scene, the Growing Bitter team is always looking to try quirky new ways to enjoy local craft beers.
For dessert lover, the best way to enjoy two of your favorite pints is to combine craft beer with ice cream. Stick to classic vanilla or chocolate and a sweet chocolate stout or porter (like Choconut, Duckfoot’s Chocolate Hazelut Porter) to appease your inner root-beer-float lover, or get your caffeine on with Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch and a coffee-flavored ale (try Modern Times’ Black House Oatmeal Stout, flavored with coffee, cocoa, and coconut). Simply scoop ice cream into a frosty mug, pour beer on top, and sink your spoon into a tasty treat that your childhood self would envy.
Pictured: Duckfoot’s Choconut Lust and Trader Joe’s Chocolate Dairy-Free Coconut-Milk Ice Cream.
Particularly good for warm San Diego days, shandys are a refreshing mixture of half parts lager and lemonade. If you’re feeling a little more creative, swap out lemonade for a flavored syrup like Grenadine and some frozen strawberries. Blend ingredients, including a local San Diego lager or pilsner, like the Green Flash East Village Pilsner, for twenty seconds and pour into a chilled glass for the perfect summertime drink. For a classy touch, cut a strawberry almost in half and slide onto the rim of your glass.
Baking homemade bread can be intimidating. Luckily, in the same way a few pints will raise your confidence at the karaoke bar, craft beer helps bread rise. With just four ingredients (3 cups of self-rising flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 4 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 can of beer), this simple recipe takes on the flavor of the beer used. Mix flour and sugar, stir in your favorite craft beer (consider Belching Beaver’s milk stout, Beaver’s Milk, or something hoppy like the Mike Hess’ Solis IPA), put into a greased bread pan, pour half of butter over the top, and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Once baked, pour remaining butter over the top of your beer bread for an extra buttery taste.
Pictured: Beer Bread Made With Mike Hess’ Solis IPA.
Looking for other fun ways to spice up your beer drinking habits? North park offers a number of microbreweries with delicious beers and cool atmospheres. Additionally, check out some of our favorite Dive bars that carry an amazing selection of Craft Beer.
The Growing Bitter Team