Kuracali Saké & Beer Brewery
No Longer In Business

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68
  • AMBIANCE 3/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 8/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE 8/10
  • OVERALL 14/20
mcberko  (1768) Vancouver, British Columbia | February 16, 2017
Located in a small facilities in an industrial park, this is a charming little place. When I visited, they had almost 8 sakes for sampling and another 4 beers. The brewer was super friendly, passionate and informative about the products, and was extremely generous with the samples. The sake was interesting, though I honestly can’t say enough to know how it stacks up; the beers were middle of the road. All in all, I really enjoyed my stop here, as the sakemaker / brewmaster really made my trip.
74
  • AMBIANCE 4/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 11/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE 9/10
  • OVERALL 13/20
BeerandBlues2  (1120) Escondido, California | August 1, 2015
This small brewery and Sake maker is located in an industrial center in San Marcos, near enough to all the other breweries. One of the brewers was the only one working and he was a great conversationalist and ready to talk his beers and Sake. There were no Sakes available on my visit but they will be soon enough. The beers are good and I am ready to try their Sake.
68
  • AMBIANCE 3/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 7/15
  • FOOD N/A
  • VALUE 7/10
  • OVERALL 15/20
t0rin0  (1529) Do Not Resuscitate, California | March 3, 2015
Visited February 28, 2015.

Warning: they still don’t have any sake yet, so if that’s the reason you’re going then wait a few months. This is a one man operation (though he is hiring a bartender soon) and he’s making 3 bbl batches on wine making equipment. The place is not far from Hwy 78 as the crow flies but it is a mile or two down Mission / Santa Fe out in a very commercial warehouse type of area.

Everything about this place (and it’s owner) is interesting. He’s coming from a computer background and has everything electronically controlled, which is pretty cool. He showed us a little laptop that he had used to (almost) completely automate his homebrew system at home. Naturally there are controls for the AC units cooling the fermenters (yeah, fermenting in plastic in a fridge, ugh). Apparently the state of CA classifies sake as wine where as the Feds classify it as beer. Because of that alcohol licensing became an issue and he had to get both liceses as well as split the address into two. The tasting bar and the brew kettle behind it are the brewery side (175 Bosstick Blvd #104 A) and on the other side where the sake fermenters are is the wine side (unit 104# B). Also, there is a separate door into the fermenter fridge from either side, lol. I think my favorite part of the brewery is the ghetto rigged temperature control set up. I’d heard about stuff like this before but never realized just how ridiculous (and genius in a way) it really is. As you probably know most chillers have a certain temperature range built in (so you cant freeze your beer/food/etc) and the problem is that a regular AC unit doesn’t go low enough for lagering or cold crashing so they’ve built a way to trick the AC unit into going colder. That much I knew, but just how they did it I wasn’t sure. Well, it turns out they’re taping (literally) a heating element to the thermocouple (temp probe) for the AC so that the AC thinks it’s actually much warmer in the fridge and stays on. Smart but for the $300 that thing costs couldn’t you just cut the wires and bypass the relay and use a much cheaper temperature controller? Anyway, all semi-interesting stuff.

Almost forgot to mention that he’s growing his sake culture in a trash can, sort of. It’s a food grade 10-15 gallon trash can essentially with some snaps that hold the lid on tight. We had an educational conversation about sake production and how it consumes the yeast (effectively) so you have to start with a new culture and grow it up each time. Half the production time is stepping up the yeast culture to something big enough to use on a full sized batch. There was also a bit about how most sake is fortified (where they distill some of the batch and add it back in, like port). Anyway, I should probably write something useful about the beer, service, and price.

He had two beers written on the chalk board but one was crossed out. The Brown Ale had run out, though after talking with the guy for a while he poured us all a pint for free. Nice guy. The one that was available for purchase was the amber ale which is actually done with Belgian yeast and in my opinion the better of the two beers. So not much exciting going on beer wise right now. What I did enjoy about that pint was that it was $4 which is what I think all house beer pints at all breweries should cost. Don’t think I have the characters left to rant about industrial breweries pretending to be bars, otherwise I would. Half gallon growlers are $8. The owner was super nice and helpful. I enjoyed my time here though admittedly there wasn’t much to sample. I will return at some point for the sake.

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