A writer, a yoga instructor, a graphic designer and a brewer walk into a bar…There’s no punchline. That’s what happens every day for the owners of Blind Lady Ale House, a five-month old beerhall/pizzeria in Normal Heights. Their backgrounds might be disparate, but the owners have managed to deliver some of the better draught beers and pizza in San Diego.
Lee Chase, a Stone brewer for nine years, worked with graphic designer Jeff Motch, writer Clea Hantman and yoga instructor Jennifer Chase to transform the former home of A La Francaise bakery and cafe. High ceilings and suspect acoustics contribute to a steady buzz, but since the concept is casual and the beer flows like water, the noise quickly fades.
The airy space features blackboard menus, oddly compelling horse paintings and sleek wood flourishes. Order at the counter and grab a number, or cash in your receipt for beer at the back bar. Blind Lady houses 21 taps and a direct-draw stainless steel draft system to maintain clean pours.
Blind Lady offers a limited menu of market-driven salads and pizzas, including five Classics and four originals. The pizza baked in a gas oven, but the crust was still crisp at the edges and plenty pliable. The crust also held up to the ingredients at the core, maybe because the toppings were fairly sparse. A wood or coal oven may have taken the crust to another level, but the pizza’s flavor was still well balanced.
We got to taste six four-ounce Allagash pours for only $12. Allagash White (5% ABV) is their most widely available brew, a light Belgian wheat beer with some spice on the backend. The malty Hugh Malone (8.5%) had a hoppy finish from the Simcoe. Victoria (9%) is a somewhat sweet Belgian that was brewed with Chardonnay grapes. Curieux (10%) is a tripel that was Jim Beam barrel-aged, giving the beer some extra punch. Victor (10.4%) is a Belgian blond that was tart but sweet, brewed with red chancellor grapes. Finally, Confluence (7.5%) may have been my favorite, a highly drinkable sour with some nice malt.
Blind Lady delivered a flight of Allagash and two good pizzas for only $40. Sign me up for several return visits.