|White Labs Tasting Room
9495 Candida Street | San Diego, CA 92126
White Labs Inc. Pure Yeast and Fermentation, one of the country’s biggest yeast production companies, has been providing brewers and homebrewers with yeast since the 1980s.
The company headquarters are located in San Diego, California, with additional offices in Davis, CA, Boulder, CO, Chicago IL, Copenhagen, DEN, and soon in Asheville, NC.
The White Labs Tasting Room, which opened in 2012, is located at the headquarters in San Diego near the intersection of Miramar Road and Kearny Villa Road, and close to the Miramar exit on Interstate 15.
The tasting room has lime green painted walls with metallic accents throughout. The light fixtures are made from glass beakers, and large windows offer a view into the laboratory. Visitors can sit at the bar, or grab a seat at one of the tables.
The tasting room features up to 32 beers on tap and 3 on cask, showcasing experiments and educating beer drinkers about different yeasts and different brewing and fermentation techniques.
While the tap list does not offer 32 different beer styles, it does offer multiple variation of a handful of beer styles. The variation being, of course, the yeast. Beer drinkers are sure to be blown away by the way a different yeast strain can drastically change the flavor and aroma of a beer.
During our visit the limited (apparently the Comic-Con attendees love their beer) tap list included…
- Rye Saison – 5.3% ABV with:
- WLP023 Burton Ale
- WLP410 Belgian Wit II
- WLP565 Belgian Saison I
- WLP590 French Saison
- Saison – 5.5% ABV with:
- WLP566 fermented at 68ºF
- WLP566 fermented at 78ºF
- Amber – 5.7% ABV with:
- WLP006 Bedford British
- WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt
- Wheat – 4.8% ABV with:
- WLP300 Hefeweizen
- WLP320 American Hefeweizen
- Oak Juniper Rye Saison – with WLP644 on cask
I enjoyed a flight of the Rye Saison variations. While I always understood how much yeast affects the flavor of a beer, tasting four identical beers side by side fermented with different yeast strains truly showcased the yeast’s role. I was amazed by how different each beer tasted.
I highly recommend that any homebrewer, commercial brewer, or beer lover visit White Labs. Not only is it an incredibly fun experience, but super educational as well! You can view the current tap list here.
The tasting room is open Monday to Saturday noon to 8 PM and Sunday noon to 6 PM. Tours are available at 5 PM Monday to Thursday, at 1 and 3 PM on Friday and Saturday, and at 3 PM on Sunday. You can take a video tour of the tasting room here.