The powerhouse brewers behind San Diego’s newest brewery are churning out gold.
A crack team of brewers has assembled in San Diego, and they call themselves Modern Times. The brewery’s the brainchild of Jacob McKean (left), a longtime homebrewer and Stone Brewing’s former social media guru, who’s joined by a top-notch crew including Matt Walsh, former head brewer at Lost Coast; Derek Freese, the recent head brewer at Monkey Paw; and ex-Ballast Point brewer Alex Tweet. Consultant Michael Tonsmeire, a well-known homebrewer and author of The Mad Fermentationist blog, took a sabbatical to launch the brewery’s wild yeast beers. Modern Times’ “fermentorium” now churns out four core brews, four seasonals and a never-ending line of here-and-gone batches focusing on wild Brettanomyces yeast. The brewery (like all of its beers) is named after a 19th- century utopian community in Long Island. In classic utopian fashion, the recipes are available online, so everyone can enjoy the Modern Times movement.
Blazing World: “I call it an amber-IPA hybrid. It was inspired by Tröegs Nugget Nectar, although it’s really different. I wanted to make something that was an homage to their great work, but with our own spin: We use Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic and Simcoe, which are very dank, fruity hops.”
Fortunate Islands: “Our 4.8%-ABV hoppy wheat beer was kind of inspired by Three Floyds Gumballhead, which I fell in love with in Chicago. I wanted this to focus on Citra hops to get that tropical mango and pineapple aroma, and there’s also a fairly nutty, wheaty malt body.”
Black House: “We’re one of the only breweries in the world that roasts our own coffee beans in-house, which allows us to roast them exactly how we want. We wanted to make an oatmeal coffee stout that kind of tastes like a chocolate- covered espresso bean and bursts with a coffee aroma.”
Lomaland: “This is a 5.5%-ABV saison with malt, wheat, flaked corn and a blend of Saison Dupont and Westmalle yeast. It’s traditional in style, but I really wanted to make a more sessionable saison that was also complex and yeast-driven. It’s very earthy, haylike and delicious.”