Relax -- this place isn't what you think, assuming, like most people, you thought it was where totally messed up scientists tried to make people eat Caucasians. Instead, White Labs keeps brewers awash in the eukaryotic, sugar-gobbling bacteria necessary to impart suds with alcohol. They've now started brewing their own swill (IPAs, stouts, collabs with local breweries, etc), keeping everything constant but the yeast, resulting in several versions of the same beer so visitors can get a better understanding of flavor profile and effect in their freshly minted tasting room featuring a 32-tap, three-cask system and chandeliers made from Erlenmeyer flasks.
And to help you understand what all of this means, we picked up a flight of IPAs, each altered with different yeasts, and took notes
San Diego Super Yeast: A favorite of home-brewers, this hometown hero balances IPA hops and malt for a more mild, well-balanced brew, and has the added benefit of working extremely fast, despite that going against every single principle this city was founded upon.
Dry English Ale Yeast: Fittingly the driest and presumably best at queueing up, this little guy produces the “brightest”, clearest suds, meaning it's popular with brewers who -- like Joe Biden -- don't possess filters. East Coast Ale Yeast: By far the hoppiest concoction in the group, this pup accentuates the Columbus/ Centennial/ Cascade hops used, bringing out a strong aroma of pine and sage
Edinburgh Ale Yeast: The Scottish stuff almost completely mutes any hops, leaving the IPA at its sweetest and fruitiest, but, again, not in the way you think. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Are you a beer nerd who spends your time pondering the impact yeast has on the flavor profile of your favorite draught? If so (or if not), visit the 32-tap tasting room at Miramar’s White Labs Pure Yeast and Fermentation -- an organization helmed by biochemists who work to advance brewing through science, education, and craft -- where you’ll sip flights of beers brewed using the same recipe with different yeast bases, affecting flavor, aroma, cloudiness, and alcohol production. At the very least, you’ll leave with enough knowledge to one-up that beer-snob friend of yours the next time you drink together.