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Old 05-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Beer in San Diego

Hi everyone,

I'll be in San Diego in early June for a Market Research event and I was hoping you could give me some recommendations for breweries/tap houses that you would recommend. I haven't been to the west coast since I've become a beer enthusiast (I'm from Michigan), so there are a lot of west coast beers I'd love to try (Pliny is on the top of my list).

I appreciate any recommendations!

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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There are many great breweries and tap houses.. Stone in Escondido (they carry Pliny), Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Pizza Port, the list goes on and on.

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GySgtLynn View Post
There are many great breweries and tap houses.. Stone in Escondido (they carry Pliny), Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Pizza Port, the list goes on and on.
x2! Plus, Ale Smith, Coronado, Rock Bottom, Blind Lady, Green Flash, Lightning, The Lost Abbey, Alpine Beer Company. There are so many!
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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brewmaster... Have you seen San Diego Beer Edition Magazine? I picked it up at the grocery and they have a pretty extensive write up on San Diego County Breweries.

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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SD is a big place. Where will you be staying? How will you get around?

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Old 05-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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Hess Brewing for sure - super small operation (although I think they're soon expanding), I mean running out of a storage space pretty much. But their beers are top notch and definitely worth checking out. http://hessbrewing.com/index2.html

Stone is a must see as well, the back garden area is super nice - complete 180 size wise from Hess. It's cool to see the startup vs the "big" guy.

Lost Abbey was pretty cool too, their tap room is in one big open space with the brewery - use grain bags and kegs for chairs.

Toronado is an awesome beer bar - they had Pliney on tap and a bunch of other great beers. Ask the bartenders - they know their stuff inside and out.
http://www.toronadosd.com/iWeb/Site/Welcome.html

The girlfriend and I hit up quite a few other places when we were there last month, but those definitely stuck out in my mind.

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Old 05-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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Does Greenflash have a nice brewpub?

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Old 05-11-2012, 01:57 AM   #8
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I was just in San Diego for four days (Sat through Tuesday), from New York. I was fortunate in that I had pretty much all four days to drink beer wherever I wanted. Here is what I did in terms of breweries:

Sunday:
Stone (Escondido) - Awesome place, bunch of menu items, finally tried Pliny (the Elder) which they had on tap. Tour was OK - the tour guide was annoying. Building is spectacular, as are the back garden and patios. About 40 minutes from La Jolla.

Monday:
1. Callahan's Pub and Brewery (they brew their own beer, though it wasn't spectacular). Definitely better brewpubs to hit (Rock Bottom, even Gordon Biersch)

2. Karl Strauss (Sorrento Mesa location): They don't offer tours of their brewery on Santa Fe Street, so I went to this location. Cool Japanese gardens feel. Crowded but sat at bar and got food fast. I enjoyed the beer. They just won a gold at World Beer Cup for Red Trolley

3. Ballast Point Brewery: Cool operation, great tour guide. Also shows their distillery operation which is running now (not tasting of the gin, rum, whisky though). I toured with just three others and we were all beer enthusiasts so we just talked the SD and Cali beer scene the whole time. They had a ton on tap and some really creative stuff. I snapped a pic of their tap selection for tasting:


Also, the tour guide raved about Alpine Beer Company. He said that a bunch of Ballast employees would go there and drink before going to work at Ballast. His opinion is that Alpine was doing the best beers in San Diego right now. I decided to hit up Alpine on Tuesday (see below).

Tuesday:

1. Pizza Port (Carlsbad location): I heard great things about all locations, including Solana Beach, but headed up to Carlsbad b/c it is right near Texas Liquor, which i heard is a great bottle shop. Pizza Port didn't disappoint. Lots of good things on tap including guest beers. About 40 beers on tap. Really unique place, at least for anyone from the East Coast. While I was at Pizza Port, the brewers there also raved about Apline Beer. Said best IPAs on the West Coast now.

2. Alpine Beer Co: Long drive from Carlsbad, but worth it. In really high demand now. They limit the number of bottles you can buy to 4 of each kind (but said they might bump that down to 2). Great beers, lot of hoppy offerings, as expected. Small operation. Operates a pub at an adjacent location, so grabbed food there which was good.

I wanted to hit up Green Flash and Hess but didn't get the chance unfortunately. If you want any info about the particular beers on tap at any of these locations, I can provide more details.

Here is an article about the San Diego breweries that won medals at the world beer cup lst weekend

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:48 AM   #9
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be sure to check out the new white labs tasting room as well. definitely something a fellow homebrewer will appreciate!

http://www.whitelabs.com/tasting_room.html

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:48 AM   #10
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I'll second Pizza Port. If you can get in on the new tours they do at White Labs I highly recommend it. They have a new pour room/bar where they have taken several batches of wort then fermented with different strains of yeast. Very eye opening. Have a great time, San Diego is becoming a beer Mecca.

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