It’s not often that a brand new brewery has a lineup of amazing beers to offer folks straight out the gate. As it turns out, former Green Flash brewer Chuck Silva knows what he’s doing. OK, that’s a huge understatement. Over more than a decade, Silva worked to create many of the San Diego Brewery’s groundbreaking beers, such its flagship West Coast IPA and Le Freak Belgian IPA, among other Great American Beer Fest medal winners (there have been many). After a decade building Green Flash into the success that it is today (and another 10 years brewing before that), Silva has returned to his native Central Coast in search of creative freedom and friendly faces. Nestled next to the Pour House in Paso Robles, Silva Brewing Company is both a compact and cozy tasting room with a glistening brew house centerpiece. Although it was hard to pick a favorite from my seven-beer flight, I had to take home a crowler (yes—that’s an aluminum can growler) of the 525 Pine Golden IPA. Premium English pale malts lend a mildly sweet undertone for this mosaic and centennial hop laden IPA. Its uniquely fruity profile and hint of pine aromatics give this beer enough crispness for a hot day, and enough heft for a chilly post Valentine’s Day celebration. At 32 ounces, the crowler was ideal for sharing a fresh pint with my discerning and skeptical beer loving husband (who, I might add, ended up stealing most of my share).
• Silva Brewing Co.’s 525 Pine Golden IPA—Prices upon request; 525 Pine St., suite B, Paso Robles.
Made with real cane sugar and a short list of natural ingredients you can actually understand, this Central Coastal craft soft drink is a gift to your inner child (and your health-conscious adult). Intrigued? Read this week’s Flavor feature and learn how soda can be so much more than a gas station guilty pleasure.
• Sunshine Bottle Works’ Cream Soda—$16 for a dozen 12-ounce bottles, sunshinebottleworks.com.
Hayley Thomas Cain is drinking a cream soda float. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.