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Old 09-24-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default San Diego Beer-scene

I will be in SD for business 10/27 - 10/31 and should have most evenings open to adventure out. Where should I be looking to visit? Anyone here, from there? I will have a coworker with me, but wouldn't mind meeting some for a pint...

A simple pubcrawler and google search netted me Pizza Port, Coronado (3 pint limit what?!), and a few beer bars such as "The Tap Room", as well as a bunch that don't have a pub/food (Alesmith, Ballast Point, etc), and a few chains such as Rock Bottom, etc...

I am beginning to consider the 30 mile or so trek to Stone to be the best option, but what are some others I ensure I hit? Is Pizza Port worth it? Coronado seems to be on an island? I won't be hitting any chains...

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:51 AM   #2
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A related thread. It's about a year old, but should help you out.

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Old 09-25-2008, 02:43 AM   #3
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Oh man. Where to start?!

Where in SD are you going to be staying?

1. Hamilton's Tavern. hamiltonstavern.com - They have good food, their tap list is updated online every day, and it has the best atmosphere of all the beer bars (save for Stone which is a very classy joint, but big and not like a local bar at all.)

2. Toronado is a quick jump from there. toronadosd.com - 50 taps, decent bottle list. I don't like the environment as much, but a good beer joint.

3. O'Briens is a bit further away. obrienspub.net - pretty much word renowned. Very hoppy list, special events all the time, and great stuff. Great beer cheese burger, and tomorrow night they have duvel mac and cheese with pancetta (I know you won't be here yet, but still...)

4. Stone. You've found the link I'm sure. They're big. And neat. It is really worth seeing.

5. Pizza Port. There are two in SD. Solana Beach is smaller and closer to downtown. Carlsbad is farther away, bigger, and has a bottle shop attached. Good pizza, awesome beer. Very casual and fun.

6. Downtown Johnny Browns - this place is in downtown. I don't go downtown, but people say it is good. Their tap list is online and updated quite a bit, but I don't have their URL memorized.

7. Liar's Club - Look for their myspace page. Their website is old and has their old address. they're in the middle of damn nowhere, but close to Alpine Brewing Company. If you feel like driving to the middle of nowhere, they're both great. Stay away from Alpine's flavored beers. Everything else is like liquid gold.


As for breweries...

Ballast Point is great. You should be able to get most of their beer around town. It is a bummer you won't be here on the 25th. Their anniversary party is that day and there are pretty much all the breweries in town pouring that day.

Alesmith is my favorite in town, but it is just a tasting room and growler fill type place. Best beer in SD, hands down.

If you can find Green Flash West Coast IPA, by all means do.

I wouldn't bother with San Diego Brewing Company. bleh.

I think that's a good start.

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:00 AM   #4
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+1 for Alesmith.........and Greenflash. Got to tour GF a couple weekends ago and it was great a little bit of a drive from downtown SD but well worth it to have all those hoppy beers fresh from the brewery.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:40 AM   #5
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+1 for Alesmith.........and Greenflash. Got to tour GF a couple weekends ago and it was great a little bit of a drive from downtown SD but well worth it to have all those hoppy beers fresh from the brewery.
I know their assistant brewer, so I see enough of that guy to not want to go see him more. Very impressive beer from Green Flash.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the options fellas! Stone is definitely on the list... as well as Hamilton's or O'Briens... and probably Pizza Port (bc I will be in Carlsbad one night).

I've had the Greenflash before... excellent.

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Old 09-25-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the options fellas! Stone is definitely on the list... as well as Hamilton's or O'Briens... and probably Pizza Port (bc I will be in Carlsbad one night).

I've had the Greenflash before... excellent.
As far as bars go, if you like good atmosphere, Hamilton's is better. O'Briens feels like a strip mall to me.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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Ah too bad you're not going to be in town on the 25th.. ballast point is doing their anniversary party, which looks like it's going to have a good collection of local beers (not just ballast point).

A central place to watch, but by no means complete, list of SD Beer festivities (casks and such) is maintained on the SD Brewer's Guild site:
San Diego Brewers Guild - Welcome!

Personally, I wouldn't bother with Tap Room. I live within stumbling distance, but still drive to hamiltons ( I still am trying to cope with Liar's Club moving to Alpine ). Stone is fine, but swank... they have some $12 macaroni and cheese that's pretty good

Breweries, Friday afternoon Lightning Brewery does free tasters and is small enough that you probably haven't had any of their stuff, and is a bit different style choices than most of the SD breweries. I highly recommend the Old Tempest if they've got it

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Old 10-02-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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The trek to Stone is worth it for dinner alone.

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Old 10-23-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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My colleague and I will be in San Diego from Sunday 3PM - Friday AM... Mission Valley area for Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. Carlsbad Tuesday and Wednesday...

Looking forward to hitting some of these places up. Anyone going to be around... ?

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