Lost Abbey is one of the most innovative breweries out there, especially when it comes to barrel aging. The brewery is jam-packed with Heaven Hill barrels that house delicacies like The Angel’s Share, which is aged in both brandy barrels and bourbon barrels. The Angel’s Share is just one of several beers taking up barrel space, as beers like Serpent’s Stout, Deliverance, 10 Commandments, and Gift of the Magi can be found in barrels at the brewery.
However, there are products of Lost Abbey’s barrels that aren’t big bold and dark ales. The sour beers that Lost Abbey barrel ages are world class. Red Poppy Ale is one of the best sour beers to ever hit our lips, and we were ecstatic when the face of Lost Abbey, Tomme Arthur, informed us that Chicago will be getting this beer for the first time in a few weeks. Tomme was also kind enough to let us sample a sour ale that was headed for a local festival, but didn’t make the cut. This particular sour ale was delicious, but Tomme decided not to send it because it looked like a pink milkshake.
Port Brewing is essentially the same brewery as Lost Abbey. The brewery labels all their American style brews under the Port Brewing tag, and their Belgian and barrel aged brews under the name Lost Abbey. Chicago beer enthusiasts have enjoyed Port Brewing’s double IPA, Hop-15, since the brewery first debuted in the Windy City over two years ago. Soon to replace Hop-15 is another double IPA by the name of Mongo, which simply put, is a better beer. This is saying a lot, given Hop-15′s reputation as one of the premier double IPA’s found on our shelves. Hop heads will no doubt fall in love with the tasty, tropical, and extremely hoppy Mongo.
Enough about the beer though– we could go on and on about how scrumptious the beers of Lost Abbey and Pizza Port are. The innovation at the brewery stretches beyond the impressive barrels, fermenters, and other brewing equipment that churn out world class beer. Connected to the brewery is a tasting room where you can sample the fine ales of Lost Abbey and Pizza Port. You won’t find furniture here though, as California law prevents tasting rooms from having any kind of furniture. Instead we were seated around the bar in makeshift seats, crafted from empty kegs with giant bags of sugar on top. These were surprisingly comfortable, and a helpful employee was quick to make us a brand new seat at the end of the tasting room, as Lost Abbey was a bit crowded that day. Tables near the bar were really Heaven Hill barrels, with the improvised seats around them. If you are ever in the San Diego area, be sure to stop at this one of a kind brewery for a pint.