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The beer-geekiest bar in the world?


If you’re headed to San Diego for the bar scene, postpone the pours of palate wrecking imperial IPAs and test your taste buds inside San Diego’s beer-geekiest new bar: the White Labs tasting room, currently in its soft-opening. Here, White Labs, a yeast supplier and fermentation consultant, showcases its vast product line-up on 32 taps and three beer engines, and it sounds like one of the most unique drinking experiences out there.

According to founder and president Chris White, the company brews all the beer on-site: “We want to brew the beer so we can create the experiments, mostly the same beer with different yeast strains, but also other fermentation experiments,” he notes. Sidle up to the bar and you’re likely to find four IPAs fermented with four different yeast strains on tap (like the recent British ale, Australian ale, Irish ale and East Coast ale yeast varieties).

White Labs brewers also experiment with area breweries, like the most recent collaboration with Ballast Point: the brewery’s pale ale was fermented 40 different times with 40 different yeast strains, six of which are on tap right now. Saison experiments have also proven popular, and if you’ve visited recently, you probably know what a saison fermented with Belgian golden ale yeast takes like.

I’ve seen brewery tasting rooms dedicate two or three taps to showcase singular ingredients (whether yeast, malt or hops), but something this expansive just boggles the mind—The White Labs tasting room now sits at No. 1 on my list of beer places to visit.

[Image: San Diego Reader]

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Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at

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  • Neva Parker says:

    Thanks for the shout out! We’re very excited to have this project off the ground. Look for some sour beers coming in mid- to late-summer!

  • FranFitzharris says:

    It is a great place to visit. We did a sampler of EVERYTHING on tap. Gave each one a try….

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