Toolbox Brewing Company — Sour Up!

There was a hot list of breweries we were waiting to try when we went to GABF. The plan was to knock them down, drink great beer –boom, boom, boom. But when we got to Toolbox Brewing Company, we didn’t see the brewery’s famous cache of Sours, we saw a sign and an empty booth: No More Beer. See you Next Year.

Turns out we weren’t the only crack pot beer geeks waiting to get a shot of the infamous Purple Drink (see shiny pic below.) This tart beacon of a brewery from Southern California was obviously the number one destination for several thousand people.

First thought: Damn. It. Second thought: We’re going to San Diego.

Toolbox Tasting Room

Located in the heart of IPA country, TBC is a Wild mercenary whose popularity grew incrementally in the first year and is now spiking exponentially in its second year. One Headbrewer, an expansion, and distribution deal later, the brewery is proving SoCal is no longer IPA-land, it’s a new Sour frontier.

Infamous Barrel Aged Purple Drink

Here’s our tasting room takeaway:

- They’re committed to balls out sour flavor — they run their own lab where they harvest their own proprietary yeasts. Not only does this create signature flavor, it helps with quality control and consistency — two big obstacles when dealing with rogue yeast.

- If you’re a nutzo Sour fan, get your hands on their Bog Sauce Berliner Weisse — it’s like taking a brillo pad to your tasting buds but in a really good way.

-We can see why Draft Magazine named these guys as one of “25 Breweries on the Rise.” Their new Headbrewer, Ehren Schmidt has already pocketed a World Beer Cup and San Diego International Beer Festival win for his creation Bramble on Rose, a Wild Ale aged with locally grown blackberries. We can confirm: it’s delicious.

Sours, Sours & More Sours!

- Among our crew was a Sour skeptic (yes, they exist) and he fell into infatuation with their Paloma-Rita, a San Diego Style Gose brewed with key limes, meyer lemons, grapefruit, and La Jolla sea salt.

What’s most intriguing is Schmidt & his Toolbox crew are at work cultivating their own local microflora — this would effectively stamp the coastal San Diego terroir into their beer. An exciting idea, not to mention an unprecedented one.

Took this beauty back to Seattle.


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