Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Telegraph Brewery

418 N Salsipuedes St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 963-5018

We were driving back from a trip to the bay area recently, and realized our timing was going to put us in LA around 5.  WTF were we thinking??  Then I realized we were within striking distance of two reputable craft breweries on the central coast: Figueroa Mtn. (review coming), and Telegraph.  So, in an instance we transformed a shitty crawl across shitty LA freeway space into a late-night breeze...

Chris has already voiced a strong positive opinion about Telegraph's sour beers (e.g., Gypsy Ale) but I hadn't really tried their beers, admittedly, so my expectations were understandably low (nobody really talks about Telegraph beers either).

The entrance.  I know, astonishing right??
The inside feels like a trendy surfer-artist loft.  That is to say it was welcoming, relaxed, had cool photos of ocean junk on the walls, and good music played in the background (I remember RJD2 coming on at one point).  On tap... ten beers including one sour (lucky me).

Ten beers on tap... nice.
The first flight we had:
Oak-barrel stave sampling tray

  1. Reserve Wheat -- Berliner-weisse (sour wheat) -- 4.5%
  2. Los Padres -- saison -- 7.2%
  3. Prime Meridian -- specialty IPA -- 7.1%
  4. 1927 -- extra pale ale with oranges -- 4.9%
  5. Obscura Project #5 -- ale infused with Earl Grey tea (yes, really) -- 5.8%
Standouts for me were 1--4, and they were so good I broke my own rule and tried the remaining five beers on the board.  These were all completely unique and delicious.  Earl Grey tea is an interesting additive to beer, but in no way did I want a full pint.

The second flight, by way of a kick-ass first one twisting my arm:

Damn you, peer pressure!

  1. California Ale -- Belgian pale -- 6.2%
  2. Cipher Key -- rye session pale ale -- 4.5%
  3. White Ale -- Belgian wit -- 4.5%
  4. Ravena Stout -- oatmeal stout -- 6.2%
  5. Abbey Ale -- Belgian trappist -- 7.1%
This flight was not as impressive, but still very good.  Standouts for me were 1 and 2 -- just absolutely delicious and refreshing.  I think they played it too safe with the White and Abbey.

I came to Telegraph with low expectations, and left with a deep respect for them.  They have an incredible brewing range and everything tastes, well, really good.  There are no rough edges, so to speak.  I can imagine these guys like great food too, because the beer styles just scream for finding interesting food pairings.

So cheers to impulsive brewery stops, and bypassing LA traffic with great beer.

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