Here's why the craft-beer scene in San Diego county has no equal (

Awell-poured draft and comfortable barstool is the precise recipe for professionals of a certain age to remember the 5-cent and 10-cent lagers they enjoyed around the time of their first shave. Beer was simple then, even if my own engagements with dearly departed mugs o’ fun began in the 35-cent era. Still, at that steep price, mi amigo Caveman and I had plenty enough dosh from his job at a drive-in movie theater and mine looping at the Road to slurp Pabst and play shuffleboard until last call at 02:00.

None of us perceived beer as boring in the day, but we erred in thinking that just because it was cold and cheap it had reached perfection. Yuengling Lager was brewed less than 50 miles from where I grew up, but it was served in few bars in Philly at the time, and my father pronounced it tasted like yak urine. Today, of course, Yuengling is enjoyed by tipplers across our 50 states united, and in his later years even me da would happily slake with one.

In the staid yesteryear of beer, Yuengling was different to Philly taste buds in an age when different was bad (in more ways than one) and change was unwelcome. Even rebels like Caveman and I thought we were living life on the edge by crushing Moosehead. It’s from Canada! That’s like 300 miles away!

At the time of said recollection, I was catching up with Captain Ron, another first mate and professional who moved to San Diego — America’s biggest navy town — from New York a few years back.

“Ahoy, Cap,” said I. “Did you know the U.S. Open is going to be in your neck of the woods this summer?”

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