Blind devotion

You know what it’s like when you get a new CD and love it so much you can’t stop listening to it even though you know that if you listen too much you’ll just get sick of it? That’s kind of what’s happening for me with Blind Pig IPA right now.

Before I say more about how great Blind Pig India Pale Ale is, let’s go over the beer’s history. It originally was brewed at the now-defunct Blind Pig Brewing Co. in Temecula. The legend goes that in 1994, brewer Vinnie Cilurzo accidentally put 50 percent too much malt in a batch of beer and decided to compensate for that by adding 100 percent more hopes. That mistake turned out to be a glorious one, as the resulting IPA had a killer hop aroma and taste that went on to inspire many other west coast IPAs and continues to do so to this day.

Blind Pig now is made by Russian River in Santa Rosa, and Cilurzo has been the brewmaster since Russian River opened in 1997. It has been available at the Russian River brew pub for years but was only available around San Diego on rare occasions. That is, until recently. Russian River has boosted production of Blind Pig and now you can get it regularly on tap at O’Brien’s, and occasionally at other places, including Newport Pizza in Ocean Beach. Just keep your eyes out for the tap handle that looks like a blind man’s cane.

Even better, Russian River has started bottling Blind Pig, and you can find it at some of the better bottle shops around San Diego, including the Olive Tree in Ocean Beach. You won’t find it at BevMo, though, supposedly because Cilurzo requires that stores keep Blind Pig cold and BevMo doesn’t have the cooler space to commit to that. If you read the label on a Blind Pig bottle, you’ll see that it says about 20 times that you shouldn’t age the beer but instead drink it while it’s fresh. Each bottle even has a “brewed on” date.

Now that you know where to get it, be warned that once you try it, you might not want to drink anything else. I usually am all about variety and won’t get two pints of the same thing on a night out, but more than once I’ve found myself ordering a second or even third round of Blind Pig. Mrs. Beer & Burritos is even worse — she’ll drink it all night if she can. Blind Pig has a fresh, crisp taste that’s heavy on the hops, especially citrus hops. Delicous!

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