Last Sunday, my girlfriend, my brother-in-law, my sister, and I piled into a white limo that was made to look like a Bentley in the cheapest way possible, and struck out for six hours of beer-tasting at four breweries in San Diego. While people mostly think of it as "a magical place where Top Gun was filmed", San Diego is also one of the nation's true beds of hotness for innovative, balls-out craft brewing. Our needy livers took us to four stalwarts: Green Flash, Ballast Point, Ale Smith, and the new Stone compound in Liberty Station.
Over the course of the day, we sampled more beers than just the ones listed below, but I tried to keep 6% ABV as our absolute low end and ensure things were well above 8% whenever possible. The idea was to challenge these girls' palates and powers of description with beers that are only slightly less powerful than chloroform, and they responded with everything from nuanced flavor assessments to somehow-related discussions of Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Worth noting: my girlfriend prefers wine but is coming around on beer, with some very not-gentle prodding from me. My sister barely drinks. These are their notes.