> Karl Strauss Brewery @ Blacks Beach #SubmergedSurfer

August 02 2017

# TheBeach

Blacks Beach Surfer

When I think about the phrase “clothing option” I think about Black’s Beach. It’s one of the largest nude beaches in the US and is located within squinting distance of San Diego. The location and um, dress code, makes this spot hot on the popularity scale for nudists and naturalists throughout Southern California. However, that’s not the case for the entire beach. 

You see, the ‘bare’ section is only about a mile long beginning 100 yards south of the Torrey Pines Gliderport trail head. It runs to the beached steel buoy which is just south of Flatrock Point. Did you get all of that? Shaka not shy about this sort of thing but wants you to get the directions right. Oh, did I mention there’s also some bitchin’ surfing here? 

Surf dudes and their chicks all know Black’s Beach (the southern part) has some of the most powerful surf breaks in the region. It gets funky because of the effect of an underwater canyon that sits just offshore in the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. This is definitely “advanced surfers only” territory and it helps if you are as surefooted as a mountain goat. 

The Torrey Pines cliffs are you access to the bitchin’ wave action. It’s also a tad on the rustic side (translation: no services) and girls, keep an eye out for the creepy older guys who like to hang out here. The upside is that once you get through the hike you will be rewarded with some really amazing water to ride, glide and slide all over.

# TheChow

Karl Strauss Brewery Interior

Karl Strauss Brewery Company is a micro brewery based in San Diego. But there is nothing ‘micro’ about their products, the taste, and the overall heft of their stout beers or the food on their menu. You have to try the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout because it not only sounds mysterious, it is named after an artificial reef created by a string of sunken ships (more on that later).

In addition to the dark, deep and general spookiness of the brew, the brewery has a whole lot going on. Call it daycare for adults over 21 and you get a bit of a clue of the fun that can break out in such a place. There are regular events like the Changing of the Barrels to just good ole sittin’ and drinkin’ while listenin’ to live music or starin’ at the water lily pond.

Shaka big fan of the B-I-G Beer Burger. It not only pairs perfectly with the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, it comes complete with beer-brined bacon. Say that three times fast. It’s also beer basted. What else would you expect from a micro brewery that is anything but small? Just for fun, order the Drunken Cioppino paired with a Wrecked Cow. We can’t make this stuff up.

# TheSpot

Wreck Alley

The Wreck Alley contains a total of eight sunken vessels – six of them were intentionally ditched including the HMCS Yukon. The site is located a few miles off the beach in Mission Bay and has become an artificial reef and favorite diving spot. The Yukon was the last to be scuttled on site and currently ranks as the most popular wreck by expedition tour groups of the area. 

As for what’s growing there, in addition to rust, the wreckage has created new homes for a sea of bright red Corynactis californica anemones and large Metridium anemones which are snow white so they give the artificial landscape an interesting contrast in color. Of course there are all kinds of other marine life that has taken to clinging on the abandoned ships and structures. 

The wrecks themselves were collected by the San Diego Oceans Foundation for the sole purpose of sending them to a cold, dark and wet grave. Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Although it does describe the new homes of the ships that once floated, glided, slid and were ridden on the surface of the water. Shaka says he gets wrecked every so often but it’s never anything like this!

# TheWeather

# TheScore

The Good

  • How can you go wrong with a ‘clothing optional’ beach like Black’s Beach?
  • If you are looking for something small because Karl Strauss is a micro brewery, you are mistaken.
  • Wrecks of old ships and structures are cool to dive because of all the pretty marine life they host.

The Bad

  • A ‘clothing optional’ beach does not mean ‘creepy old guys’ are optional. They’re actually part of the package.
  • Some of the wreckage is best left to advanced divers to explore and then you can listen to them brag about it.


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