- Chuck Marra
It was a warm day, and a drive down the Coast Highway again was just what I needed. I headed down to Encinitas. Just feet before the Welcome to Encinitas sign that spans Coast Highway is a great brewery called Modern Times Beer.
Modern Times Beer was recommended to me by a nephew whose taste I admire. It's not flashy and you could miss it, even with the name printed in large letters o the building.
It strikes me that parking along Coast Highway might not be easy, so plan for that. That said, I found a great spot right out in front and across the street from Modern Times by The Paloma,
a cool-looking old movie theater advertising Jaws, In The Heights, Summer of Soul, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I took the picture of Sofia and the movie theater from my seat at the window.
Life at Modern Times Beer is good, and I fell in love with it instantly. It's a brewpub, with warm people, and a cool and easy atmosphere. Its mid-century retro is not like a 50's diner, but a lot like the living rooms that I grew up around as a kid.
The bartender, who seemed to me like a knowledgeable young man; picked the beer flight for me. He asked a few questions about what kind of beer I liked,
and then handed me an adventure in beer. They were not things I might have tried if I picked them out for myself. He did a good job, all the beers were really excellent and very different.
I took a seat by the large open window, right next to the sidewalk, with a flight of four great beers and an order of Monster Fries, and enjoyed watching people again.
Circular Development was the first beer; it opens up citrus and has a slight pine-ish finish. It made me smile. It got even more interesting and satisfying from there. DH Under Pale Ale, which was both fruity and bready. Then I tried a clear and very crisp IPA called Time Conductor which went very well with my Monster Fries. A delicious chocolatey porter they call Benevolent Demon, was a perfect thing to drink for dessert.
The Monster Fries like all the food there, sausage included, is plant-based. I only had the
Monster Fries and they were exactly what I wanted. Spicy, cheesy, full of flavor and a substantial partner to the beer.
The music they played was also retro. Most of it was music I grew up with. While I was drinking and noshing, and watching people stroll by hand in hand or locked in intense conversations, Seals and Croft were singing 'We Shall Never Pass the Way Again", all very perfect and poignant in this summer of 2021.
I had a good time at Modern Times. If I was a local, I'd be a regular.