Best Beer Tasting Room: Eagle Rock Brewery

Sure, those San Diego beer tasting trips are fun, and you have the pick of more than two dozen brewery tasting haunts, many of which these days have abandoned their more humble basement homebrew roots for swanky wine-like tasting rooms. At the 6-month-old Eagle Rock Brewery, the experience is, to put it politely, much more down to earth. Exactly what a beer tasting room should be.

That means when you pull into the fenced-in lot in Glassell Park's warehouse district, you'll wonder whether you have the correct address. There's no sign, no open door to welcome you inside, and at certain hours, an ominous silence seems to emanate from the surrounding streets.

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Inside, the place couldn't be more inviting, with a small tasting bar, a handful of tables, and a direct view of the brewing facility. The view comes cheap here. You'll spend the same amount -- about $5 -- on a micro-brew as you'd plop down for a Budweiser at many dive bars. Instead, in your tasting glass you'll find an English dark mild ale, a low-alcohol, malty beer, or maybe a light Belgian-style witbier with rose petals thrown into the mash (the water used to simmer the grain) just for kicks. Whatever father-and-son owners Steve and Jeremy Raub feel like brewing, just as they've done at home for years. Well, these days, they try not to use the bathtub.

Eagle Rock Brewery, 3056 Roswell St, Glassell Park, 323.257.7866. Tasting room is currently open Friday and Saturday 4 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

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