Rough Draft Brewery Visit

Ah, Rough Draft Brewing. The second-to last brewery I visited on my recent trip to San Diego. I had never heard of them before, but found them on the San Diego Brewers Guild website. Their location was fairly close to 2 other breweries that had planned to visit (Alesmith and Green Flash), so I figured I’d give them a try.

As I walked into Rough Draft, I immediately noticed that the atmosphere was very relaxed, even for how busy it was that evening. While the other breweries I had visited on this trip had a very defined area with some form of structure dividing the tap rooms from the brewery space, this space was wide open. The only things separating the tap room from the brewhouse were some temporary barriers.

Alright, I had surveyed the place; now it was time to taste some beer. Luckily for me, the moment I stepped up to the bar and checked out their tap list, a bar seat opened up. So, I sat down and waited for some service.

This is where I tell you the only negative thought I have after visiting Rough Draft – the service left something to be desired. It took a while before someone asked me what I wanted, which, by itself, wouldn’t have been too bad. I know places get busy and are oftentimes understaffed. What made it worse, in my mind, was that the server who eventually helped me couldn’t answer any of my questions about the beers. Keep in mind, if I didn’t have to drive myself back to the hotel, I would have just ordered a taster of every beer and made it easy for her. Since that wasn’t the case, I wanted to get a little info about the beers so I could be selective with my choices. I asked her things like: what is the difference in your IPAs, what style is such-and-such beer, etc. She didn’t know, but she clearly didn’t want to admit it. She said she would get me a beer list with descriptions, and I thought: Sweet! Now we’re getting somewhere! That beer list never appeared and she never came back to help me. Eventually, another server came over to ask me if I needed anything. I’m happy to say that she REALLY knew her stuff. And she treated me very well, so my first impression of Rough Draft was saved. Hooray!

Onto the beer! I tried samples of: Belgian Blonde, Belgian Vanilla Stout, Southern Triangle IPA, Freudian Sip, Barrel-aged Freudian Sip, and Barrel-aged Emboozlement. I’m happy to report that the brews were all very tasty, but my favorite was definitely the Barrel-aged Freudian Sip, which is a big American strong ale aged in bourbon barrels. Mmmm…

All in all, I had a good time visiting Rough Draft. I had some good service (in the end), and enjoyed some good craft brews in a cool environment. Yep, San Diego was being pretty good to me, beer-wise. I didn’t know that my next stop to a brewery I never heard of would be one of my favorites, though…

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