|Modern Times – Lomaland Fermentorium
3725 Greenwood St. | San Diego, CA 92110
Modern Times Beer, located in San Diego, California, focuses on “aroma-driven, complex, flavorful, sessionish beers.” Modern Times is named after a utopian community built on Long Island in 1850, and many of their beers are named after real utopian experiments or mythological utopias.
The brewery was founded by Jacob McKean, formerly with Stone Brewing Company. McKean launched a KickStarter campaign in March 2013. On the first day of the campaign, McKean raised over $20,000. In just over a month, he reached his goal raising a total of $65,471.
The first batch of Modern Times Beer was brewed on May 18, 2013 and went on tap on June 24, 2013. The brewery held its grand opening on September 7, 2013.
Head Brewer Matt Walsh was Head Brewer at Lost Coast Brewery for two years before joining the Modern Times team. He also worked as Head Brewer at both Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and Karl Strauss Brewing.
3000 Upas St (corner of 30th & Upas)
San Diego, CA 92104
Modern Time Beer currently has two locations. The North Park Flavordome, which opened in 2014, is at the corner of Upas Street and 30th Street in the heart of San Diego’s craft beer scene.
The tasting room offers seating for about 100 and has an outdoor patio. This location also features a wall-sized portrait of Yoda, made from old floppy disks and a bar front made of stacks of VHS tapes.
The Lomaland Fermentorium, the original location, is on 3725 Greenwood Street in the Point Loma neighborhood. The 2,000 square foot tasting room offers more unique decor including a wall covered in comic book pages from McKean’s personal collection of comic books, a mural of Michael Jackson and his monkey Bubbles made of 11,000 Post-it Notes, and a bar front made of 3,000 used books.
We visited the Lomaland Fermentorium and grabbed a stool at the bar. You could also sit at metal stools by an oil barrel or on a long pew bench along the wall.
In August 2015, Modern Times announced expansion plans for the brewery in a blog post on their website. They are installing four 240-barrel fermenters and two 360-barrel brite tanks, which will double the capacity of the 30-barrel production brewery.
They have also purchased the building next door to the brewery where they will install new canning and bottling lines and a centrifuge.
As the barrel-aging program continues to grow, Modern Times is moving most of their barrels to a new space a few blocks from the brewery, allowing them to eventually release four times as much barrel-aged beer.
Finally, the brewery is adding a QC Laboratory inside the brewery.
Both Modern Times locations offers 16 taps pouring variations on core beers, pilot batches, and mysterious experiments. The beers on tap during our visit included…
- Lomaland – 5.5% ABV Saison; Their flagship saison that is a quenching, sessionable, farmhouse libation. Sporting a mixed grain bill and fermented with a blend of Belgian yeast strains, Lomaland offers the complexity and nuance of the most traditional examples of the style.
- Fortunate Islands – 5% ABV Hoppy Wheat that combines the mildly nutty malt body of a wheat beer with the intensely bright, citrusy hoppiness of a righteous IPA.
- Black House – 5.8% ABV Coffee Stout (also available on nitro) with the full-body, robust chocolatey flavor, and intense coffee aroma of its imperial counterparts, but packed into a 5.8% ABV package.
- Blazing World – 6.8% ABV Hoppy Amber that combines the subtly fruity qualities of a dry amber ale with the enormous hop-profile of an über-dank double IPA.
Seasonal and Special Releases
- Blanc on Blanc on Blanc – 6.1% ABV IPA with Sauv Must
- Mega Black House – 10% ABV Coffee Stout
- Universal Friend – 7.2% ABV Pinot Noir Saison
- Universal Friend – 7.2% ABV Pinot Grigio Saison
- Oneida – 5.8% ABV Summer Seasonal Pale Ale
- Black House with Coconut and Cocoa – 5.8% ABV Coffee Stout
- Dancing Plague – 4.9% ABV Berliner Weisse
- Anniversary IPA – 7.5% ABV Juicy IPA
A tasting flight can be purchased for $10, including pours of the four core beers from Modern Times, which are available year round: Lomaland, Fortunate Islands, Black House, and Blazing World.
Cold press coffee, including a Black House Blend and Secret Beach Summer Blend, can be purchased to enjoy in house or in a growler to go.
Both locations are open Sunday to Thursday noon to 10 PM and Friday and Saturday noon to midnight. Tours are offered at the Point Loma location at 1 PM on Saturday at 3:30 PM on Wednesday.
Merchandise available for purchase includes T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, various glassware, tote bags, koozies, stickers, coffee mugs, freakers (a knit cover for cans, bottles, or growlers), and bags of Modern Times coffee.
If the beer isn’t reason enough to visit Modern Times Beer, definitely stop by to admire the unique decor! And seriously, you should drink the beer.