Lately we've been spending a lot of time in the midwest hanging out with some amazing craft beer fans. We decided to surprise "The Kids," Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter, by taking them to the gold coast for a week in sunny, San Diego!
After a week of events in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Downtown & other incredible areas of San Diego, we got the chance to get out and explore the beautiful weather and fun sights. Since "The Kids" are animal lovers, we started out at the famous San Diego Zoo.
The San Diego Zoo features over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species. This particular zoo pioneered the concept of open-air, cage-less exhibits that re-create natural habitats. It opened in 1916 in Balboa Park with over 100 acres of gorgeous landscape for these wonderful creatures. Black Butte Porter's favorite animal is the Panda and this zoo is one of the only zoo's in the world that houses the giant panda. They worked out an agreement with China to have two adults and young Xiao Liwu, born on July 2012. After chanting the words, "lions & tigers & bears, oh my," (from the Wizard of Oz), too many times to count, it was time to check out the next sight.
At the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula overlooking the San Diego Bay, we found the Cabrillo National Monument which included a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter remember hearing a bit about this in their history books but decided to take a closer look to learn more. The statue marks the first time a European expedition set foot on the west coast of the United States back in September of 1542. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was a Portuguese explorer who navigated the west coast on behalf of Spain. Pretty close to his statue is the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which is the highest point in the area and has been a San Diego icon since 1855. It's doors were closed in 1891 and a new working lighthouse was built at a lower elevation because fog and low clouds obscured the light at 422 ft above sea level and the boats could not see it. The old lighthouse is now a museum to the public and the views from both the statue and the lighthouse are incredible!!
Since we were getting a bit hungry, we headed to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. This area commemorates the early days of the town of San Diego and includes historic buildings from the period of 1820-1870. During the pueblo period around the 1830's following Mexican Independence, Old Town was the commercial and governmental hub of the region even though it never had more than a few hundred people. The problem limiting growth of the area was its location in regards to the water. It was miles to the ocean which impeded the import and export of goods. Soon a San Diego new comber named Alonzo Horton promoted a development at a site near present day downtown San Diego, and many moved there because it was close to the water. This caused the decline of Old Town.
Now, many of the preserved buildings are still there for all to see and the area is a hub for shops, museums and restaurants. We were looking for some authentic and tasty Mexican food so we came to the right place. It was a palate pleasing afternoon for Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter.
"The Kids" had a great time on their visit to Southern California and have decided to stay and bring some of their friends down too. You can find the whole beer gang at local watering holes, grocery stores, restaurants and bottle shops in San Diego by using our beer finder tool at: www.deschutesbrewery.com/find. Adios!