Lost Abbey, Port Brewing Targeted By Another Anonymous Complaint

May 3, 2010

Clare Goggin

In an episode very similar to one that took place in Philadelphia just a couple months ago, San Diego’s Department of Environmental Health paid a visit to the local brewery housing both Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Company and several other breweries in Southern California last Tuesday. The reason? Some unknown patron lodged a complaint about tasting rooms in local breweries.

And, once again, we ask ourselves, “who would like beer so much that they’d visit every brewery in the San Diego area and then complain the the city about the tasting rooms?” In early March, officials raided a few popular and well-respected beer bars in Philadelphia based upon yet another patron complaint.

Several delicious bottles of beer were confiscated that day. It later turned out that the bars had been in the right and that it was the Pennsylvania beer register that needed some updating but not before plenty of delicious brew went bad in some storage unit somewhere.

In this case, the brewers at Lost Abbey, Port and the other targeted breweries will have to fill out piles and piles of paperwork, not to mention some hefty checks, to gain health permits for their tasting rooms. This, added to all the other hoops through which small breweries have to jump, just means it’ll be that much more difficult for small brewers to get by in San Diego.

Currently, San Diego hosts the most breweries per capita of any city, anywhere. We certainly hope that last week’s events do not threaten the Southern California city’s reputation as one of the top beer towns in the country. And, even though we’re on the East Coast, we do hope to visit the West Coast’s beer mecca some day soon.

In the meantime, we’re happy just getting our hands on a bottle of their stuff every once in a while. Recently, we sampled a tasty bottle of Lost Abbey’s summer-inspired Red Barn Ale. The farmhouse ale was nice and light and a great complement to a recent summer evening at home.

We certainly hope to encounter more Lost Abbey and Port beers very soon. And when we finally visit, we hope to partake in some brews at the brewery’s tasting room.

UPDATE: Great news: It looks as the the health department has decided not to regulate San Diego brewery tasting rooms after all. For more, see this BeerNews.org story.

But we still do have to wonder about that complaining patron and whether or not he or she will strike again!

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