by Maren Dougherty - 200 Reviews - 32 List
San Diego: a county known for its beaches, baby pandas and, more recently, the finest craft beer in the nation. We've heard of beer aficionados flying in from around the country for week-long beercations consisting of tours, tastings, and late nights at Hamilton's Tavern and Toronado. Here is our DIY guide for visiting the best breweries in town. (Photo courtesy of Ballast Point)
Updated: June 02, 2010
On weekends, Port offers informal 20-minute guided tours of the brewhouse and barrel room. The tasting room offers individual tastings and beer flights of more than 20 fresh Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey beers. Public hours are Fridays 4-8pm, Saturdays 12-5pm, and Sunday 12-4pm.
The local company started as Home Brew Mart in 1992 and expanded operations to include two breweries in San Diego. Visit the Scripps Ranch location for a tour and tastings of Yellowtail Pale Ale, Black Marlin Porter, Wahoo Wheat Beer and other specialties. Public hours are Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm and Sunday 1-5pm.
Offering what is probably the most popular brewery tour in San Diego, Stone offers free 45-minute public tours every day of the week. After the tour, order Stone Pale Ale or an IPA, take a seat on the patio, and enjoy the lush gardens of the brewery's property.
The small brewery offers eight beers year-round and more on a seasonal basis. At $1 each, try 4 oz. tasters of the refreshing Alpine Ale, a double IPA called Pure Hoppiness and an orange blossom honey ale called Mandarin Nectar. The brewery is open to the public Tues-Sat from 12-6pm each day.
The beer/restaurant company started with two energetic young college grads who set up shop in an apartment in Mission Beach. Decades later, Karl Strauss's Red Trolley Ale, Woodie Gold, Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen and other brews are available in bars and grocery stores across Southern California. The Sorrento Valley location has an outdoor garden that's ideal for brunch and a beer.