#2 Cafe on Main

If you look at the title and think "I've never heard of that beer...," fret not! You're not crazy, or maybe you are. It's not my call. But its not a beer. It's a local bar, and they serve some AWESOME beers!

You see, this entry was supposed to be a review for Ballast Point Brewery Sculpin IPA! But, after being in the bar and meeting some awesome folks, this entry transformed itself into a creature all its own. On Thursday, I saw a post on the Cafe on Main Facebook page, and I got all kinds of excited. here's what it said:

"Dear Beer Fans, We got a new IPA coming in this week.Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewery in San Diego. This is a very limited beer, only 4 barrels in the state, and we got one!! Here is a description from there website:

The Sculpin is a testament to our humble beginnings as Home Brew Mart. It showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango & lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops.

This delicious Ballast Point Ale won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on it’s fins that can give a strong sting.

Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great, sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale.

Year-round in 22oz & draft 
Alc. by Vol. 
7 %
Serving Temperature 40-45 degrees"

I was sold. I warned them on Facebook to expect me around 5 on Friday, and it was on.

I got there and awkwardly ordered my first beer (I don't get out much). I quickly found a well lit seat to begin the review process and got to work:

Beer seriously lacks in the "Physically Striking" department.

I'll start off telling you it had a nice, 2 finger, very sticky head. LOTS of retention! And lots of cute, tiny, little bubbles. Aw, tiny bubbles. I stuck my nose in it and absent mindedly wiped off the head that I didn't wait for. It didn't smell like much of anything. I must have looked like a huge doofus, but I was persistent, I kept with the sniffing.. The smell was very light and very fruity. With a small hint of citrus. It actually reminded me of Magic Hat #9. I wasn't getting any hoppy aroma. Bogus.

Finally, I took a sip. It may have been my self conscious, but I felt like everyone near me in the bar was looking at me thinking "Is he going to ever DRINK the goddamned thing??" As I sat there, taking pictures and repeatedly sticking my nose in the beer and wiping it off. Anyway, as it hit my tongue I thought "I paid $6 a pint, for THIS?" It was a sweet, bubble-gummy taste, big whoop. Before I could finish my thought there was a HOPS EXPLOSION! In the span of about half a second that beer blew my friggin mind. It was like a hops mouthwash. If Altoids made a hops breath mint, this is what it would taste like. I loved it. I loved it so much, I got another...

...And that was when my ego got huge. I went up and said "Can I please have another Sculpin?" and the bartender, I believe his name is Mike, asked "Are you...Hipster...something?" "Hipster Brewfus?" I replied.


Holy crap, I'm already famous. 

I went back to my seat and ended up talking shop with another employee, TJ. He seemed as excited to talk to me about beer and my blog as I was. I could have hugged him. He later talked me into getting the meatloaf for dinner. It was delicious! 

And more importantly, he talked me into trying a sampler. Four, six ounce beers. I was overwhelmed. So I grabbed the list and gave it hell!

You can see my professional notes!

From left to right: Narragansett Bock, Brooklyn Summer Ale,
Ipswitch Oatmeal Stout, and Abita Purple Haze. And also my friend
 Jarus' fingers!

By this point, I was full on fun, beer and meatloaf, so my attempt to review is weak:

Abita Purple Haze: Smells like candy, tastes like juice. Fizzy head. Beer Juice Soda!

Ipswitch Oatmeal Stout: A very good stout ( I think I was making fun of another blog I came across)

Brooklyn Summer & Narragansett Bock: A doodle of Spider-mans mask

So, in closing I recommend both the beer(s) and the bar. Sculpin was a very unique IPA, unlike any I have had prior. I'm glad I made the special trip out for it. And the people and atmosphere at Cafe on Main, will keep me coming back. Small bar, but easily the best beer list I have seen in some time. And I'll be damned if they didn't make me feel welcomed. Which is nice, as I live 3 minutes away!

Ballast Point Brewery Sculpin IPA

Smell: 2.5
Appearance: 3
Taste: 4.5
Feel: 3

Overall: 3.25/5

This beer pairs well with: The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet