“Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world.” ~ Jack Nicholson


According to The Beer Connoisseur Online, San Diego is home to some of the most revered (and award-winning) brewers in the nation and is renowned for its brewing innovation. It’s particularly known for its unique and bolder India Pale Ales (IPAs). Karl Strauss Brewing Company is the trailblazing grandpa of the bunch, opening its doors in downtown San Diego in early 1989. Over the next several years came Callahans, Pizza Port, Hops! Bistro & Brewery, Pacific Beach Brewhouse, Cerveceria La Cruda and Baja Brewing Company. Today, there are more than 70 operating brew houses in town with more in the works. What a (blessed) change from just a decade and a half ago when Coors Light was San Diego’s brew of choice. Brewery tours and tastings, paired with food from a brick & mortar or mobile food truck kitchen, are a unique way to experience San Diego’s culture. I put together this guide to help visitors, locals, and myself – it’s my goal to visit every one of these breweries (with my craft beer loving boyfriend). So here you have it…the Wandering Ex-Housewife’s Ultimate San Diego Craft Brewery Guide….prost!

CENTRAL SAN DIEGO CRAFT BREWERIES


ACOUSTIC ALES BREWING EXPERIMENT

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment1795 HANCOCK STREET, STE P1
SAN DIEGO, CA 92110
619.299.ALES

Located in the historic Mission Brewery Plaza, this 15-barrel micro-brewery has a tasting room with occasional food specials.


AMPLIFIED ALE WORKS

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Amplified Ale Works4150 MISSION BLVD #208
SAN DIEGO, CA  92109
858.270.5222

Three-barrel micro-brewery, restaurant & beer garden by the beach (inside California Kebab & Beer Garden).


AUTOMATIC BREWING COMPANY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Automatic Brewing Company3416 ADAMS AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92116
619.255.2491

Tucked behind Blind Lady Alehouse, you can get their brews & tasty food at BLA or Tiger! Tiger! (El Cajon Blvd). 


BALLAST POINT TASTING ROOM & KITCHEN

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Ballast Point Brewing Company2215 INDIA STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
619.255.7213

Est. 1996, by the owner of Home Brew Mart (Linda Vista). Tasting room open 7 days a week. Awesome full menu!


BELCHING BEAVER BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Belching Beaver Brewery 4223 30TH STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92104
760-599-5832

Brews seven beers ranging from pale ale to stout. Dog-friendly & serving up burgers by Crazee Burger seven days a week.


BENCHMARK BREWING

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Benchmark Brewing6190 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA  92120
619.275.2215

BB offers year-round beers that are low in alcohol, but high in flavor – and an eclectic mix of specialty brews. Tasting room

[with TVs] open Wed-Sun with food trucks & caterers.


CORONADO BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Coronado Brewing Company TASTING ROOM: 1205 KNOXVILLE STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA  92110
619.275.2215

BREW PUB: 170 ORANGE AVENUE
CORONADO, CA 92118
619.437.4452

Est. 1996, with a brew pub (with full restaurant) on the “island” & new (strictly) tasting room in Tecolote Canyon.


FIREHOUSE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Firehouse Brewing Company 10306 SAN DIEGO MISSION ROAD
SAN DIEGO, CA 92108
858.605.1416

Small brewery offering several ales and a hefeweizen. No tasting room…yet. 


GORDON BIERSCH

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Gordon Biersch Brewery5010 MISSION CENTER ROAD
SAN DIEGO, CA 92108
619.688.1120

Fresh brewed German lagers served up in their full-service restaurant.


GROUNDSWELL BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Groundswell Brewery 6304 RIVERDALE STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92120
619.795.BEER

Six beers on tap with six more on the way. Friendly tasting room open 7 days a week with food served up by local food trucks. 


HELMS BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Helms Brewing Company5640 KEARNY MESA ROAD, SUITES C/N
SAN DIEGO, CA 92111
858.384.2772

Est. 2012 and offering handcrafted ales. Tasting room open Wednesday through Sunday.


HILLCREST BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Hillcrest Brewing Company1458 UNIVERSITY AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92103
619.269.4323

World’s first “out & proud” LGBT neighborhood brewery with 9 handcrafted [hysterically named] beers, 16 guest brews & stone-fired pizza.


KARL STRAUSS BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Karl Strauss Brewery1157 COLUMBIA STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA  92101
619.234.2739

1044 WALL STREET
LA JOLLA, CA  92037
858.551.2739

BREWERY: 5985 SANTA FE STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92109

Est. 1989, this is the first of several microbreweries opened by the pioneer of San Diego’s craft beer industry. Full service bar with brewery tours.


MIKE HESS BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Mike Hess Brewing Company7955 SILVERTON AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92126
619.887.6453

San Diego’s first licensed “nano” brewery. Tasting room (with food trucks) open Tue-Sat. Also in North Park


MISSION BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Mission Brewery1441 L STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
619.544.0555

Originally opened in the early 20th century and re-opened in 2007. Tasting room and tours Fri-Sun.


MODERN TIMES BEER

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Modern Times Beer 3725 GREENWOOD STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92110
619.546.9694

Located inside the 2,000 SF Lomaland Fermentorium, MTB offers 16 taps – a mix of tweaks on their core brews, pilots & experiments. Bring in your own food or have it delivered.


MONKEY PAW PUB & BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Monkey Pay Brewery 805 16TH STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
619.358.9901

Busy brew pub in East Village serving typical pub fare.


PACIFIC BEACH ALE HOUSE

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Pacific Beach Alehouse721 GRAND AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92109
858.581.2337

World class microbrewery & kitchen (serving burgers, pizza, seafood & pasta) one-half block from the ocean in PB. Outdoor deck and fire pits.


PIZZA PORT

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Pizza Port 1956 BACON STREET
OCEAN BEACH, CA 92107
619.224.4700

Est. 1992 in Solana Beach, PP is one of the early local craft brew pioneers serving pizza along with its award-winning beers.


POOR HOUSE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Poorhouse Brewing Company4494 30TH STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA  92116

Specializes in hoppy IPA’s and Belgian style Ales with 30+ craft beers on draft and bottled. Open daily 2 pm-midnight.


ROCK BOTTOM BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Rock Bottom Brewery8980 VILLA LA JOLLA DRIVE
LA JOLLA, CA  92037
858.450.9277

Serving handcrafted beers and ales in their full-service restaurants. Two locations, open 7 days a week.


SAN DIEGO BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brwery Guide - San Diego Brewing Company10450 FRIARS ROAD, STE. L
SAN DIEGO, CA 92120
619.284.2739

Est. 1896 and reopened the next century, SDBC has a full-service bar & restaurant serving breakfasts, burgers and pizza.


SOCIETE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Societe Brewing Company San Diego8262 CLAIREMONT MESA BLVD.
SAN DIEGO, CA 92111
858.598.5409

SBC focuses on IPAs, Belgian-style brews & wine-barrel aged sours. Tasting room open 7 days/week with tours on Saturdays.


STONE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Stone Brewery San Diego2816 HISTORIC DECATUR ROAD #116‎
SAN DIEGO, CA 92106
619.269.2100

Stone’s newest stunning bistro & beer garden has 40 unique craft beers on tap and more than 100 in bottles. Full restaurant and lots of fun events, including movie nights.


THE BEER COMPANY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - The Beer Company San Diego602 BROADWAY
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
619.398.0707

Brewery offering a variety of rich brews with full-service restaurant. Brewery tours offered.


THORN STREET BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Thorn Street Brewery3176 THORN STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92104
619.630.2739

Est. 2012, TSB is a 7-barrel neighborhood brewhouse. Tasting room open Wed-Sun with food trucks.


NORTHERN SAN DIEGO CRAFT BREWERIES


ALESMITH BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Alesmith Brewing Company9368 CABOT DRIVE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92126
858.549.9888

Est. 1995, ABC is an artisan micro-brewery offering hand-forged year-round, seasonal & barrel-aged ales. Tasting room with free tours every Sat at 2 p.m.


ARCANA BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Arcana Brewery5621 PALMER WAY, Ste. C
CARLSBAD, CA 92010

Formerly known as Fezziwigs, this newer brewery offers year-round mild to stout brews, and an occasional wheat. Tasting room open Thu-Sun with occasional food trucks.


AZTEC BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Aztec Brewing Company San Diego2330 LA MIRADA DRIVE #300
VISTA, CA 92081
760.598.7720

Est. in Mexico during Prohibition & revived here in 2008, ABC brews California-style beers & ale. Tasting room with food vendors Thu-Sat, music on Sun.


BACKSTREET BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Backstreet Brewery15 MAIN STREET, STE B100
VISTA, CA 92083
760.407.7600

Small batch micro-brewery offering handcrafted ales and lagers with neighborhood sports brewpub (Lamppost Pizza).


BALLAST POINT BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Ballast Point Brewing Company10051 OLD GROVE ROAD
SCRIPPS RANCH, CA 92131
858.695.2739

Est. 1996, by the owner of Home Brew Mart (Linda Vista). Tasting room open 7 days a week with tours.


BELCHING BEAVER BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Belching Beaver Brewery980 PARK CENTER DRIVE, STE A
VISTA, CA 92081
760-599-5832

Brews seven beers ranging from pale ale to stout. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.


BREAKWATER BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Breakwater Brewing Company101 NORTH COAST HIGHWAY
OCEANSIDE, CA 92054
760.433.6064

Offering their own and local guest brews, plus honey mead), pizza and paninis, BBC is just steps from the beach.


CALLAHAN’S PUB & BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Callahans Brewery8111 MIRA MESA BLVD
SAN DIEGO, CA 92126
858.578.7892

Est. 1989, CP&B is a friendly Irish pub & micro brewery serving all the standard pub fare. Happy Hour and sports viewing.


CULTURE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Culture Brewing Company111 S. CEDROS
SOLANA BEACH, CA  92075

Offering a mix of ales, lagers, IPAs and more, CBC’s tasting room is open 7 days a week. No food…yet.


DOS DESPERADOS BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Dos Desperados Brewery1241 LINDA VISTA DRIVE
SAN MARCOS, CA  92078
760.566.6209

SoCal style IPAs and Belgian-style brews are produced at this new micro brewery. No tasting room…yet. 


GREEN FLASH BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Green Flash Brewery6550 MIRA MESA BLVD.
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
858.622.0085

GFBC is an award-winning micro-brewery producing traditional beers with a modern twist. Tasting room, beer garden (with food trucks) & tours.


INDIAN JOE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Indian Joe Brewing2379 LA MIRADA DRIVE
VISTA, CA 92081
760.295.3945

Est. 2010, IJBC brews hand-brewed ales, wheats, stouts & more for on premises consumption. Tasting room+dining events.


INTERGALACTIC BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Intergalactic Brewing Company9835 CARROL CENTRE ROAD #108
SAN DIEGO, CA 92126
858.750.0601

Est. 2013, IBC features ales & stouts. Tasting room open Wednesday through Saturday.


IRON FIST BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Iron Fist Brewing Company 1305 HOT SPRING WAY #101
VISTA, CA 92081
760.216.6500

Est. 2011, IFBC is a family-owned brewery. Lively tasting room open Wed-Sun with food trucks.


KARL STRAUSS BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Karl Strauss Brewery 5801 ARMADA DRIVE
CARLSBAD, CA  92008

KS offers 10 handcrafted beers on tap, plus full-service bar & restaurant. Brewery tours available.

 

9675 SCRANTON ROAD
SAN DIEGO, CA  92121
858.587.2739

Est. 1994, located within a lush Asian garden setting inside the San Diego Tech Center, this nano-brewery has 10 beers on tap and offers a Sunday beer brunch. 10448 RESERVE DRIVE SAN DIEGO, CA  92127 858.376.2739 Est. 2012, the newest KSBC location with onsite microbrewery offering 12 beers on tap and a full-service bar and restaurant serving West Coast pub fare. Brewery tours.


LATITUDE 33 BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Latitude 33 Brewing Company 1430 VANTAGE COURT #104
VISTA, CA 92081
760.598.2337

Microbrewery with an adventurous spirit offering handcrafted ales and lagers. Tasting room open Thu-Sun.


LEGACY BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Legacy Brewing Company363 AIRPORT ROAD
OCEANSIDE, CA 92058
760.705.3221

A great variety of 10 brews, including ales, stouts and an IPA. Tasting room open 7 days a week. No mention of food…yet.


LIGHTNING BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Lightning Brewery13200 KIRKHAM ROAD #105
POWAY, CA 92064
858.513.8070

LB prides itself on undertaking the most difficult brewing process. Tasting room open Fri-Sun. Group brewery tours.


THE LOST ABBEY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Lost Abbey Brewery155 MATA WAY #104
SAN MARCOS, CA 92069
800.918.6816

Est. 2005, TLA brews good & evil beer. Tasting room open 7 days a week with Hump Day Happy Hour and food trucks.


MIKE HESS BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Mike Hess Brewing Company 3812 GRIM AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92104
619.255.7136

The new sibling of Diego’s first licensed “nano” brewery. Check out their calendar for lots of fun & tasty events.


MOTHER EARTH BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Mother Earth Brewing Company 206 MAIN STREET
VISTA, CA 92084
760.726.2273

Catering to home brewers & offering classes, plus blondes, IPAs, ales, lagers and more. Tasting room open Tue-Sun.


NEW ENGLISH BREWING COMPANY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - New English Brewing Company11545 SORRENTO VALLEY ROAD #305
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
619.857.8023

Offering traditional New English-style brews with West Coast character. Tasting room open Thu-Sat.


OCEANSIDE ALE WORKS

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Oceanside Ale Works1800 ORD WAY
OCEANSIDE, CA 92056
760.295.0731

Small manual brewhouse producing fine regional ales. Tasting room open Thu-Sun.


OFFBEAT BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Offbeat Brewery1223 PACIFIC OAKS PLACE #101
ESCONDIDO, CA 92029
760.294.4045

Est. 2011, OBC offers three year-round and one special release brew. Their art-filled tasting room is open Wed-Sun


ON THE TRACKS BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - On the Tracks Brewery5674 EL CAMINO REAL, STE G
CARLSBAD, CA 92008
760.550.9688

Specializing in dark beers – incl. ales, porters & stouts – brewed in the Scottish & English style. Tasting room (no food) with open mic Sat nights in Spring.


PIZZA PORT

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Pizza Port Brewery135 N. HIGHWAY 101
SOLANA BEACH, CA 92075
858.481.7332

571 CARLSBAD VILLAGE DRIVE
CARLSBAD, CA 92008
760.720.7007

Est. 1992, PP is one of the early pioneers in the local craft brew industry. Serves pizza along with its award-winning craft brews.


PROHIBITION BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Prohibition Brewing Company2004 E. VISTA WAY
VISTA, CA 92084
760.295.3525

Offers 25 traditionally brewed stouts, ales and more on tap, plus burgers and sandwiches. Brewery tours available.


RIP CURRENT BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Rip Current Brewery1325 GRAND AVENUE #100
SAN MARCOS, CA 92078
760.481.3141

Est. 2011, RCB is known for its assertive & flavorful brews that go against the norm. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.


ROUGH DRAFT BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Rough Draft Brewing Company8830 REHCO ROAD, STE D
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
858.453.7238

Offering unique handcrafted beers including IPAs, blondes, ales and more. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.


SAINT ARCHER BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Saint Archer Brewery 9550 DISTRIBUTION AVENUE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
858.225.2337

Located in a huge warehouse, this 30-BBL brewhouse has a tasting room that’s open 7 days a week with food trucks serving up morsels Thu-Sun.


SAN MARCOS BREWING

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - San Marcos Brewery1080 W. SAN MARCOS BLVD #180
SAN MARCOS, CA 92078
760.471.0050

Handcrafted ales on tap at their full-service restaurant.


STONE BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Stone Brewery1999 CITRACADO PARKWAY
ESCONDIDO, CA 92029
760.471.4999

Offers a selection of year-round, bastard, collaborative & special release brews. Daily group tours & tastings (even private tours). Bistro with beer garden.


STUMBLEFOOT BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Stumblefoot Brewery1784 LA COSTA MEADOWS DRIVE #103
SAN MARCOS, CA 92078
760.522.9624

Est. 2012, SBC features artisan beers with local flavor. Tasting room open Thu-Sun.


VALLEY CENTER BREWERY

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Valley Center BreweryVALLEY CENTER, CA 92082
VALLEYCENTER
BREWERY@YAHOO.COM

VCB has four lagers and ales in bottle & keg production, and supplies to local restaurants. No tasting room…yet.


WET N’ RECKLESS BREWING

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Wet n Reckless Brewery10054 MESA RIDGE COURT #132
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
858.480.9381

A true nano-brewery run by Dave. The only place to taste Dave’s beers is in his tasting room, open Thu-Sat, with food trucks on Saturdays.


WHITE LABS BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - White Labs Brewery9495 CANDIDA STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92126
858.693.3441

The White Labs Tasting Room features 32 beers on tap and 3 on cask. Come in to learn or just relax. Open Mon-Sat.


EAST COUNTY CRAFT BREWERIES


ALPINE BEER CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Alpine Beer Company2351 ALPINE BLVD.
ALPINE, CA 91901
619.445.2337

Est. 2002, ABC offers year-round, seasonal & special ales, IPAs, stouts and more. Pub open every day, but Monday.


BNS BREWING & DISTILLING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - BNS Brewing 10960 WHEATLANDS AVENUE #101
SANTEE, CA 92071
619.956-0952

BNS offers year-round & seasonal beers…and, when the “bastards” are done aging, barrel-aged brews. In Jan 2014, spirits arrive. Tasting room & outside beer garden open 7 days/week.


JULIAN BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Julian Brewing Company2315 MAIN STREET
JULIAN, CA 92036
760.765.3757

The first commercial brewery in Julian in more than 120 years.


MANZANITA BREWING CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Manzanita Brewing Company1051 PROSPECT AVENUE
SANTEE, CA 92071
619.334.1757

MBC offers year-round & seasonal IPAs, ales+more. Tasting room open Wed-Sun with food trucks.


NICKEL BEER CO.

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Nickel Beer Company1485 HOLLOW GLEN ROAD
JULIAN, CA 92036
760.765.2337

Founded in 2013 by the owners of O’Brien’s Pub in San Diego, look for them to start serving up beer soon!


SOUTH COUNTY CRAFT BREWERIES


MAD LAB CRAFT BREWING

San Diego Craft Brewery Guide - Mad Lab Craft Brewing6120 BUSINESS CENTER COURT, STE F-700
SAN DIEGO, CA 92154
619.254.6478

Husband & wife run nano-brewery offering premium ales.


Last Updated: Nov 2013


2018-09-25T18:27:44+00:00November 22nd, 2013|Categories: At Home in San Diego, Favorites|2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Ken Williamson November 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Great guide. My girlfriend rules!!!

    • janet d. November 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      And so does my boyfriend! Aren’t we lucky?

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