Discovering the Best Brewery in San Diego: A Personal Journey

Join me on a flavor-filled adventure as we explore the craft beer scene in San Diego, California. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, San Diego is home to some of the best breweries and craft beer in the country. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or simply looking to taste some local brews, this personal journey will take you through the top breweries, share my favorite beers, and offer practical tips for a memorable brewery tour in San Diego.

  • San Diego is known for its vibrant craft beer scene and is home to numerous top breweries.
  • AleSmith Brewing Company, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, and Thorn Brewing Co. are just a few must-visit breweries in San Diego.
  • Some of my favorite beers in San Diego include offerings from Stone Brewing, Modern Times, and Ballast Point.
  • For beer enthusiasts, consider taking a brewery tour in San Diego or exploring local beer spots.
  • Bottlecraft, a craft beer store with multiple locations in San Diego, is a great place to discover and purchase a wide selection of craft beers.

Exploring San Diego’s Craft Beer Scene

San Diego is renowned for its thriving craft beer scene, boasting a diverse array of breweries that cater to every beer lover’s palate. Whether you’re a fan of hoppy IPAs, smooth stouts, or crisp lagers, there’s something for everyone in this beer lover’s paradise.

One of the top breweries in San Diego is AleSmith Brewing Company. Known for their exceptional craftsmanship and unique beer offerings, AleSmith is a must-visit for any beer enthusiast. Their Speedway Stout, a rich and complex imperial stout, has garnered international acclaim and is highly sought after by beer connoisseurs.

Another gem in San Diego’s craft beer scene is Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. With their commitment to brewing bold and innovative beers, Stone has become a household name in the craft beer world. Their flagship beer, Stone IPA, is a classic West Coast IPA known for its bold hop flavors and balanced bitterness.

“San Diego’s craft beer scene is a vibrant and dynamic community, constantly pushing the boundaries of what beer can be.” – John Doe, Beer Enthusiast

Pizza Port Brewing Company is another standout microbrewery that shouldn’t be missed. With multiple locations in San Diego, Pizza Port is known for their delicious pizza and award-winning beers. Their Swami’s IPA is a local favorite, showcasing the perfect balance between hops and malt.

Top Breweries in San Diego

In addition to these well-known breweries, San Diego is home to a thriving community of microbreweries that are worth exploring. Some notable mentions include Thorn Brewing Co., Belching Beaver, Amplified Ale Works, Green Flash Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey, Viewpoint Brewing Company, Mike Hess Brewing, and Kairoa Brewing Company.

Brewery Location Signature Beer
Thorn Brewing Co. North Park Barrio Lager
Belching Beaver Vista Peanut Butter Milk Stout
Amplified Ale Works Mission Beach Electrocution IPA
Green Flash Brewing Co. Mira Mesa West Coast IPA
The Lost Abbey San Marcos Devotion
Viewpoint Brewing Company Del Mar Mosaic IPA
Mike Hess Brewing North Park Habitus IPA
Kairoa Brewing Company University Heights Pacific Gem Pilsner

So, whether you’re a local or a visiting beer enthusiast, explore San Diego’s craft beer scene and discover the incredible variety of flavors and styles that the city has to offer. Cheers to great beer!

Must-Visit Breweries in San Diego

When exploring San Diego’s craft beer scene, make sure to visit these exceptional breweries for a taste of their unique brews. From classic ales to hoppy IPAs, these breweries offer a wide variety of flavors that will satisfy any beer enthusiast.

AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Brewing Company is a renowned brewery in San Diego known for its award-winning craft beers. With a focus on quality and innovation, their lineup includes a range of styles, from their flagship Speedway Stout to the refreshing AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale. The brewery also offers guided tours and tastings, giving visitors an opportunity to learn about their brewing process and sample their exceptional beers.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is not only a brewery but also a unique dining experience. Known for their bold and flavorful beers, Stone Brewing offers a wide selection of IPAs, stouts, and seasonal brews. The brewery’s flagship beer, Stone IPA, has gained a cult following among craft beer enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy their favorite brews in the picturesque beer garden or indulge in a delicious meal paired with the perfect craft beer.

Thorn Brewing Co.

Thorn Brewing Co. prides itself on creating innovative and approachable beers that highlight the flavors of San Diego. With a focus on community and sustainability, this family-owned brewery has gained a loyal following. From their hop-forward IPAs to their refreshing lagers, Thorn Brewing offers a diverse range of brews that cater to every taste.

Green Flash Brewing Co.

Green Flash Brewing Co. is a staple in the San Diego craft beer scene. Known for their West Coast-style IPAs, the brewery produces bold and hoppy brews that have become synonymous with the region’s beer culture. With a spacious tasting room and an outdoor beer garden, Green Flash Brewing offers a welcoming atmosphere for beer lovers to enjoy their exceptional lineup of beers.

The Lost Abbey

The Lost Abbey is a unique brewery that specializes in Belgian-inspired ales. With a focus on traditional brewing methods and meticulous attention to detail, their beers are complex and full of flavor. From their renowned Lost and Found Abbey Ale to their seasonal offerings, The Lost Abbey offers a truly unique tasting experience for beer enthusiasts.

When visiting San Diego, be sure to include these must-visit breweries in your itinerary. Each brewery offers its own distinct atmosphere and a wide range of exceptional brews that showcase the diversity and creativity of the city’s craft beer scene. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or simply looking to explore new flavors, these breweries will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

Brewery Location Notable Beers
AleSmith Brewing Company San Diego Speedway Stout, AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens San Diego Stone IPA, Stone Ruination Double IPA
Thorn Brewing Co. San Diego Barrio Lager, Relay IPA
Green Flash Brewing Co. San Diego West Coast IPA, Soul Style IPA
The Lost Abbey San Marcos Lost and Found Abbey Ale, Serpent’s Stout

Favorite Beers in San Diego

In the diverse San Diego beer landscape, these are my top picks for the best brews that will elevate your beer tasting experience.

1. Stone Brewing: Stone IPA

“Stone IPA is a classic West Coast IPA with a bold hop profile that perfectly balances with a strong malt backbone. It’s a go-to choice for hop lovers.”

2. Modern Times: Orderville IPA

“Orderville IPA is a hazy IPA bursting with tropical and citrus flavors. Its smooth mouthfeel and juicy hop character make it a must-try for any beer enthusiast.”

3. Ballast Point: Sculpin IPA

“Sculpin IPA is a flagship beer that put Ballast Point on the map. Its bright, hoppy flavor and refreshing finish make it a staple in San Diego’s craft beer scene.”

4. Viewpoint Brewing: Coastal Common

“Coastal Common is a unique hybrid style combining the crispness of a lager with the fruity esters of an ale. It’s a refreshing and flavorful beer that showcases the brewery’s commitment to quality.”

5. Pizza Port: Swami’s IPA

“Swami’s IPA is a classic San Diego IPA with a well-balanced hop profile and a clean, crisp finish. It’s an iconic beer that represents the great brewing tradition of Pizza Port.”

6. Coronado Brewing Company: Orange Avenue Wit

“Orange Avenue Wit is a Belgian-style witbier with a refreshing blend of citrus, spice, and wheat flavors. It’s a perfect choice for those looking for a lighter and more approachable beer.”

Beer Tasting Notes

  • Stone Brewing: “Stone IPA is a bold and hop-forward beer with a strong piney aroma and a citrusy punch. It has a balanced bitterness and a dry finish.”
  • Modern Times: “Orderville IPA is a hazy and juicy beer with tropical fruit notes like mango, papaya, and pineapple. It has a smooth mouthfeel and a slightly sweet finish.”
  • Ballast Point: “Sculpin IPA is a classic West Coast IPA with a burst of citrus and tropical fruit flavors. It has a crisp and clean finish that leaves you wanting more.”
  • Viewpoint Brewing: “Coastal Common is a unique hybrid beer that combines the crispness of a lager with the fruity esters of an ale. It has a light malt sweetness and a subtle hop character.”
  • Pizza Port: “Swami’s IPA is a classic San Diego IPA with a strong hop aroma and a big citrus flavor. It has a clean and dry finish that makes it incredibly drinkable.”
  • Coronado Brewing Company: “Orange Avenue Wit is a refreshing and fruity beer with hints of orange peel and coriander. It has a light and creamy texture that pairs well with warm weather.”

Beer Tasting Tips

  1. Take your time: When tasting craft beer, savor each sip and pay attention to the flavors and aromas that unfold.
  2. Use the proper glassware: Different beer styles are best served in specific glassware to enhance the drinking experience.
  3. Experiment with food pairing: Explore how different flavors in food can complement or contrast with the flavors in the beer you’re tasting.
  4. Take notes: Keep a journal of your beer tasting experiences to remember your favorite brews and breweries.
  5. Seek out local recommendations: Talk to locals or visit breweries to discover hidden gems and get insider tips on the best beers in San Diego.

Complete Table of Favorite Beers

Rank Brewery Beer
1 Stone Brewing Stone IPA
2 Modern Times Orderville IPA
3 Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
4 Viewpoint Brewing Coastal Common
5 Pizza Port Swami’s IPA
6 Coronado Brewing Company Orange Avenue Wit

Best Beers in San Diego

Enjoy exploring the diverse and vibrant craft beer scene in San Diego!

The Beer Enthusiast’s Guide

For those seeking to immerse themselves in San Diego’s beer culture, here’s your guide to brewery tours, hidden gems, and the best craft beer stores in town.

First off, let’s talk brewery tours. One of the best ways to experience the vibrant craft beer scene in San Diego is by joining a brewery tour. Not only will you get an insider’s look at the brewing process, but you’ll also have the chance to sample a wide variety of beers. Some popular tour companies to consider are Brew Hop, San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, and SoCal Brew Bus. They offer different packages that cater to both newbies and seasoned beer enthusiasts.

Now, let’s move on to hidden gems. While San Diego boasts many well-known breweries, there are also plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. One such gem is Kairoa Brewing Company, located in University Heights. With its New Zealand-inspired beers and cozy atmosphere, it’s a must-visit for any beer lover. Another hidden gem is Belching Beaver, known for its creative and delicious brews, including the fan-favorite Peanut Butter Milk Stout.

And of course, no beer guide would be complete without mentioning the best craft beer stores in San Diego. One standout is Bottlecraft, a craft beer store with multiple locations in the city. They offer an extensive selection of local and international brews, making it a paradise for beer enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for something new to try or want to stock up on your favorites, Bottlecraft is the place to go.

So, there you have it – your guide to brewery tours, hidden gems, and the best craft beer stores in San Diego. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of craft beer, San Diego has something to offer everyone. Cheers to discovering new brews and making unforgettable beer memories!

brewery near me san diego

Brewery Tours Hidden Gems Craft Beer Stores
Brew Hop Kairoa Brewing Company Bottlecraft
San Diego Beer and Wine Tours Belching Beaver
SoCal Brew Bus


Exploring San Diego’s brewery scene has been an unforgettable adventure, showcasing the city’s rich and vibrant beer culture. Throughout my personal journey, I had the pleasure of visiting some of the best breweries in San Diego, each offering unique flavors and brewing techniques.

AleSmith Brewing Company impressed me with their impeccable craftsmanship and exceptional range of ales. Their dedication to quality and consistency truly sets them apart in the San Diego beer scene.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, with its beautiful outdoor setting and innovative brews, provided a memorable experience. Their commitment to sustainability and community involvement is commendable.

Thorn Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing Co., and The Lost Abbey also left a lasting impression with their superb beer selections and welcoming atmospheres. Each brewery has its own distinct character, contributing to the diverse tapestry of the San Diego beer scene.

As I ventured further into the world of San Diego craft beer, I discovered a plethora of delightful brews. Standout favorites include the bold and hoppy IPAs from Stone Brewing, the rich and velvety stouts from Modern Times, and the refreshing and crisp pilsners from Ballast Point.

For those looking to embark on their own beer exploration in San Diego, I highly recommend visiting Bottlecraft. With its curated selection of local and international craft beers, this store is a haven for beer enthusiasts. And don’t forget to indulge in a brewery tour or two, taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of San Diego’s dynamic beer community.

San Diego’s beer scene is a testament to the passion and creativity of its brewers. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just beginning your journey into the world of craft beer, San Diego offers an abundance of flavors and experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Q: What are some of the top breweries in San Diego?

A: Some of the top breweries in San Diego include AleSmith Brewing Company, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Thorn Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing Co., and The Lost Abbey.

Q: Which breweries offer the best craft beer in San Diego?

A: Some breweries known for their exceptional craft beer in San Diego are Stone Brewing, Modern Times, Ballast Point, Viewpoint Brewing, Pizza Port, and Coronado Brewing Company.

Q: What are some recommendations for beer enthusiasts visiting San Diego?

A: Beer enthusiasts visiting San Diego can enjoy brewery tours, explore local beer spots, and check out Bottlecraft, a craft beer store with multiple locations in the city.

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