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A Sip of SoCal: Four Breweries To Take a Swig of in San Diego

This blog post was updated on August 20, 2018.

In California, you might think that the state’s drink of choice is wine. However, in San Diego the drink of choice is unquestionably beer.

Malty or hoppy, no matter the brew, San Diego loves a long pour after a day spent in the sun.

The city is quickly joining the ranks of Portland and Denver in terms of a rich microbrew scene.

In fact, San Diego boasts over 30 breweries in its reach. And with over thirty breweries come well over 30 different beers to taste test.

Those boarding flights to San Diego for spring break should be sure to sample some of the city’s favorite microbreweries:

Karl Strauss Brewing Company: If you want to see where the San Diego microbrew movement began, there is only one place to go. The Karl Strauss Brewing Company began when two partners, Chris Cramer and Matt Rattner (with help from Chris’ cousin Karl Strauss), introduced freshly brewed beer to San Diego in the 1980s. The company boasts six signature beers under its belt and a number of brewery locations across Southern California. Brew entusiasts should sample all six signatures: Woodie Gold, Red Trolley Ale, Tower 10 IPA, Endless Summer Light, Amber Lager and Windasea Wheat Hefeweizen.

Stone Brewing Company: Set up in Escondido, Stone Brewing Company is another one of the city’s old-timer microbrewers. Started in 1996 by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch, Stone Brewing Company has gone on to become one of San Diego’s leading beer producers. Their extensive beer list that is certainly not for tame beer drinkers. Here you will find classics like the Stone Pale Ale, Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, and even the Arrogant Bastard Ale. There’s one in every crowd. Free personal tours are offered at the brewery, providing a look at the brewing process, beer tastings, and a peek inside craft beer culture.

AleSmith Brewing Company: Alesmith Brewing Company might lack the resume of some of the big microbrewers in San Diego, but its loyal followers could care less. It’s all about the artisan, handcrafted ales with names like Li’l Devil and Old Numbskull. Alesmith lends visitors a look at a brewery run by a bunch of home brewers. For any home brewer who has ever dreamed of starting a brewery, this is a nice look at a little guy competing with the big guns in San Diego.

Ballast Point Brewing: What began as a backroom brewery in Brew Mart, a supply store for home brewers, quickly morphed into Ballast Point Brewing. Jack White started the store and the brewery as a home brewer himself. The beers take on fishy names like Black Marlin Porter and Big Eye IPA. Tours and tastings are offered of the brewing process, providing insight into the unique story behind Ballast Point Brewing.


CC Flickr photo credit: ruben i

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