From a list of five introductory beers brewed onsite, Sunny Jim’s IPA, for example, is named after the hidden coastal cave in La Jolla Cove that is accessible only by kayak. The amber brew is made from American, Australian and New Zealand hops.
On the lighter side is Neptune Nitro, which represents the nearby row of Neptune cottages built in the late 1800s. Slightly maltier is the top-selling American-style Glider Port Pale Ale made with three types of American hops.
Those with a thirst for darker beers, however, should look no further than the Irish-style Cove Side Stout lauded for its faint coffee notes or the Bird Rock Brown Ale, brewed with a touch of brown sugar.
Coming in the next month is a triple Belgium-style ale (still unnamed) that general manager Sean McMahon describes as being “on the sweeter side.”
The recipes were created by head brewmaster Brett Stampf, who formerly worked for Stone and Green Flash brewing companies.
In addition to the signature suds, the taps embody nearly two dozen other craft beers hailing largely from San Diego breweries like Green Flash, Saint Archer, Modern Times, Stone and others, all dispensed within eyeshot of towering brass tanks rising from behind the front bar.
Managing partner Leigh Gibson, who also owns Dirty Birds in Pacific Beach, says he wanted to “take things a step further” by also offering cocktails that combine each of the house beers with various spirits. So he hired local mixology group Blind Tiger to craft the libations.
A rum-based drink called View from the Top, for example, incorporates Glider Port Pale Ale that’s first reduced to syrup. For the Hops and Robbers cocktail, Sunny Jim’s IPA mingles with tequila along with a half-ounce of grapefruit cordial for extra zing.
With a few others comprising the list, Gibson says, “We’ll probably do some seasonal cocktails once we see how these sell.”
The brewery’s bill of fare is no less tantalizing. The menu features beer-friendly dishes such as jerk chicken bahn mi sandwiches, seafood stew and duck confit. A separate category spotlights various macaroni-and-cheese bowls swooped up with different meats and seafood.
With a full renovation given to the space, La Jolla Brewing Company caters to both small and large groups with cozy booths, communal tables, a patio with fire pits and 10-foot-high panels of illuminated beer bottles that confirm you’ve come to the right place to sample San Diego’s latest and greatest brews.