The Crafty Pint's senior writer, Will Ziebell, is in the States for the Craft Brewers Conference but is taking the opportunity to do some exploring further afield too. You can read the other entries in the Letters From America series here.
As he was preparing to his flight home, he sent one final reflection on his experiences.
Where am I?
Los Angelos, California.
Why am I here?
My flight from LAX is leaving over the next few hours but I've spent most of the last few days in San Diego.
What have I been up to?
Chasing down West Coast IPAs, largely. San Diego is a large and sprawling place that's filled with breweries, but I still managed to make it to a lot of the pioneering names – Coronado, Ballast Point and Stone – alongside some newer breweries like Burgeon Beer Company.
What has surprised and impressed me the most?
Coronado Brewing were definitely a surprise. Despite knowing they were a pioneering San Diego brewery with coastal vibes that helped pioneer West Coast IPAs, I somehow missed the memo that their brewpub feels like a British pub.
I'm probably writing this about a decade too late, but Stone's Escondido home is an absolutely stunning place. You can only enter and leave through a room filled with merch, hot sauces and scented candles (breweries looking for an extra revenue stream take note), and the main bar comes complete with a fish pond. But the pièce de résistance is the expansive beer garden and dining area out the back, which is filled with flowering plants and is where I spotted my first ever hummingbird.
The beers I've enjoyed most in recent days are…
The Lost Abbey's Peach Afternoon is a beer that'll stick with me for a while. The sour beer is made with both fresh peaches and peach tea and had a flawless balance between refreshing drinkability and complexity.
I also enjoyed my first Pliny The Elder and drank it exactly as it was intended: from a paper cup in a motel room while eating a burrito.
Will is returning to Australia armed with interviews, ideas, photos and more to be turned into articles over the coming weeks. We'll allow him to enjoy the last weekend of Pint of Origin as it segues into GABS and Good Beer Week first.