Cervecerias La Cruda

[CA flag]

Possibly the first Mexican themed brewpub, Cervercerias LA Cruda is strategically located in San Diego's Gas Lamp district that attracts large crowds weeknights and weekends. The small bar features a five-tap tower along with a full liquor selection. A cozy lounge section offers tall, heavy wooden tables and chairs on a tiled floor. A CD sound system provides the tunes while a soundless TV gives a fix for the video addicted. A nearby dining area with a few dozen tables has a full view of the glass walled room housing the stainless steel fermenters.

The light end of the beer spectrum was represented by the Hefeweizen, a hazy gold color, the light bodied brew has the banana esters and clove aroma of an authentic Bavarian-style wheat beer. The Las Brisas Ale is amber with a malty sweet flavor profile. The Poor Man's Pale Ale is also amber but with a medium body and stronger hop flavor and hoppy finish. The Blowfish Bitter is a dark amber with a flavor balance tilted toward the hops but an underlying dry, malty character. The Makanudo Porter is opaque, with a dry, chocolatey flavor and sharp hoppy finish. Overall, all beers displayed a low level of carbonation.

The food menu offer traditional Mexican-style fare of Burritos, Tacos, Quesadillas, Ceviche, and Salsas. A perfect place to stop for food or drinks both before or after a night out downtown, La Cruda is off to a good start amid the ever improving San Diego brewing scene. Now if the city government could only start to support its small businesses rather than stifle them with overly restrictive ordinances such as the ban on growler "to go" sales, business could really take off.

Cervecerias La Cruda
500 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA .
(619)239-9117

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - January, 1997

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