San Diego

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world.

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ercousin
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Postby ercousin » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:57 pm

boney wrote:Heading down to SD on Sunday for 6 days for a conference. Going to try to skip out a couple of those days to do some beer tourism, but most of my adventures will likely be in the evening. No car, but I'm in Little Italy, close to quite a few interesting places.

For breweries and brewpubs, going to try to hit up Stone Liberty Village, Pizza Port Ocean Beach and Ballast Point Little Italy, that last one being 4 blocks from my hotel.

For beer bars, Toronado and Hamilton's for sure.

For bottle shops, will definitely get to Bottlecraft and Best Damn Beer Shop.

Should be a fun trip. I'll report back.


Not sure if you have time but White Labs tasting room and Modern Times Brewery are on my SD list.
Kekumba
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Postby Kekumba » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:26 pm

I forgot to mention White Labs. Absolutely a good stop, especially if you homebrew. You get 4-5 of the exact same beers, but with different yeast. Think there were 6-8 styles to choose from when I was there. The beers aren't very good, but the different yeasts really blew my mind. The people there are great, too. They gave me a bunch of tips on finding harder to get bottles that I couldn't find info on anywhere on the internet.
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boney
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Postby boney » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:11 pm

ercousin wrote:
Not sure if you have time but White Labs tasting room and Modern Times Brewery are on my SD list.


White Labs looks really interesting. Would love to do a flight of the saisons. Little out of the way, but might be worth the trip.

Didn't even know about Modern times, but looks really cool and is near by, so I will try to hit that up too.

Thanks guys
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boney
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Postby boney » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:11 pm

ercousin wrote:
Not sure if you have time but White Labs tasting room and Modern Times Brewery are on my SD list.


White Labs looks really interesting. Would love to do a flight of the saisons. Little out of the way, but might be worth the trip.

Didn't even know about Modern times, but looks really cool and is near by, so I will try to hit that up too.

Thanks guys
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boney
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Postby boney » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:34 pm

Got back from San Diego about a week ago. Had a pretty good time. Didn't get around to as many beer places as I had planned, as the weather was just too nice and I spent a lot of time on the beaches. However, here are a few highlights.

Breweries/Brewpubs

-Ballast Point: The new tasting room in Little Italy. Awesome staff. 3 4oz samples for 5 bucks. Liberal pours easily make it 6 oz. Sculpin fresh is nice, but their new APA, Barrel Eye, is amazing and gives Maine MO a run for it's money. Lots of R&D beers there too. Had a killer smoked hefe and a few other notables.

-Stone Liberty Station: Another new venue within the last year or so. Crazy big, but cool old military warehouse re-modelled. Only a chalk board out front letting you know you are there. 40 taps inside, 30 outside, both Stone and otherwise. Lots of goodies on tap, including aged anniversary beers, BA'd beers etc. Good sized bottle shop with swag and exclusive bottles.

Pizza Port Ocean Beach: Best beer of the trip. Everything they do is pretty much killer. Plus, you can't argue with brewers yeast pretzles and dman fine zaa. A few things in cans that are great to smuggle onto the beach.

Bars:

-Totonado: Got there, ordered the Cable Car and was told they had just opened the last bottles for a charity event the hour before. Took it in good spirits and chatted up the bartender. A few minutes later he came back and said "we've got one bottle left in the back that was opened but not drank. Here's a sample". 4 oz. For free. Damn, I'm a lucky guy. Can't say enough about the bottle and tap selection and the super awesome staff there. Ticked a few good ones that night.

Hopping Pig: On 5th Ave about 5 min from the San Diego conference center. 32 good craft taps. Drank a lot of Rough Draft, Society etc. on my conference lunches. Plus, the best $2.75 happy hour fish taco's and carinitas I could ask for. Not a super geeky place, but clutch if going there for a conference of in the Gaslamp.

Bottle Shops:

Best Damn Beer Shop: Helpful knowledgable staff. Big selection. Stuff goes fast there though. In general, I get the feeling that the really good, rare stuff is kept for regulars, but there's so much there that who really cares. Hit new releases from Praire Artisan, Lost Abbey and Almanac, so it was all good.

Bottle Craft, both the Little Italy (1 block from Ballast) and the original shop (2 blocks from Toronado). Both have great selections, great staff and you can pop a beer and drink it in store. Tons of beer geeks hanging out to chat with and they do a different flight each day. They do indeed save stuff for their best local customers, though.

Newport Farms Liquor: Right on Ocean Beach, 2 blocks from Pizza Port. Kind of a cheap, touristy dive liquior store but I stopped in on a whim walking to Pizza Port and was surprized to find a ton of boxed edition Firestone Walker beers sitting on the shelves that had long since disappeared at the bigger, better known stores. Worth a stop.

Great beer city overall.
rejtable
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Postby rejtable » Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:17 pm

On my way for a few days in late May, thanks for the updates everyone!!
Kekumba
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Postby Kekumba » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:19 pm

If you head out to Alpine (which is an absolute must if you have the transportation), make a stop in at Antonelli's Deli on the way. The reuben is magical, and every other sandwich I saw looked fantastic. If you go at lunch either call it in or be prepared to wait a bit.
rejtable
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Postby rejtable » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:24 am

Kekumba wrote:If you head out to Alpine (which is an absolute must if you have the transportation), make a stop in at Antonelli's Deli on the way. The reuben is magical, and every other sandwich I saw looked fantastic. If you go at lunch either call it in or be prepared to wait a bit.
Will try. I have transportation, at least on my way into San Diego, but I'm driving solo, so the beer stops have to be reasonably brief.
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Postby rejtable » Sun May 25, 2014 7:34 am

Just got back from 3 nights in SD. Man, what a city. Hard to believe any of us live in the crazy climates we live in after visiting a place like that. Following Boney's format:

Breweries:
Stone Escondido = my lord. What an amazing spot. I could in those gardens! Had a great lunch, was driving so I couldn't dig too deeply into their deep taptlist of not only their own beer but also the maybe 20 guest taps. Crazy that something so beautiful just attached to an industrial building. Absolutely no signage I could tell from the outside so I drove by a few times before finding it.
Port/Lost Abbey = another industrial park spot. Awesome tap list with maybe 15-20 beers from each of the Port and Lost Abbey Brands. Had a great time with one of the servers trying to explain the relationship between Port/Lost/Pizza Point. Frazier and Cheers came up.
Mission: Steps from PETCO. Big tasting room with maybe 20 of their beers on tap, great music blaring and $1 for 4oz tasters can't be beat.
Ballast Point = not much to add to what Boney said. Great spot.

Bottles: Same spots, so not much to add, the selection was better at Best Damn Beer, but I liked the vibe of Bottle Craft better. And Bottle Craft was the only spot I found with Pliny bottles, so there is that.

Bars/pubs:
Tiger!Tiger! = great laid back spot with a nice little garden out back. Roughly 20 well chose draft going including at least one cask.
Toronado = again, not much to add from Boney's description. Definitely a must for any SD trip.
Blind Lady = a slightly fancier version of Tiger, more wide open, maybe less intimate. Roughly 20 or so taps.
Given that all three are roughly in the same area, it can sure make one heck of a night hitting them all up.
Neighborhood = steps from PETCO, really cool spot, feels more NYC than SD. Maybe 30 taps. Tap list on the wall was pretty out of date, but server quickly offered paper version which was fine.
Stone outside PETCO = great spot at the entrance to PETCO, pretty much their typical lineup with the big seasonals going on.
PETCO = jeebus, and Toronto is wound up about not having Steamwhistle!! Even with those green cans, the two are about as different as could be. Maybe it's just my eyes drawn to the tasty stuff more than Miller Light, but if you told me there were more craft taps in the park than Miller Light I'd believe you. the only places I saw the garbage stuff was at the typical hot dog/pizza spot. Otherwise, craft kiosks everywhere. Stone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Mission, Karl Strauss all had various kiosks around. A coffee place was pouring Speedway Stout!!! There was a counter selling roughly 30 different craft bombers, and a cask. Crazy to have a cask beer and a speedway stout in the same night at a ballpark. The Stone patio up on the 3rd floor is very cool with a great view of the Coronado bridge.

Stayed in the Gaslamp area, tons going on day and night.

Heading back for a family trip in the fall, can't wait!!
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Postby rejtable » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:00 am

Spent a bit more than a week in the SD area, mostly in the North County, stayed in Solana Beach.

New to me:

Pizza Port Solana Beach: awesome surfer bar with their typically solid in-house lineup as well as maybe 10 guest taps.

Beer Works Solana Beach: Tucked into a fancy strip mall. Neat spot, maybe seating for 30 people, roughly 20 well chosen taps, and a bunch of coolers for bottles to either drink there or take home. Yes, please! Staff was very friendly.

Sublime Tavern, Del Mar: further east from the beach and a few kms up the road past the horse track in an office tower. A bit higher end. Nice spot though, watched Polo in the distance. Good food, maybe 30 well selected taps. Service was great.

Royal Liquor (Leucadia?): very good selection.

Encinitas Alehouse: great small pub with tons of great taps, food was good, service was great. Awesome spot.

Slater's 50/50 San Diego: Attached to a Home Depot near Stone's Liberty Village location. Same as the other Slater's, huge tap list gigantic burgers and lots of TVs. Was packed when we were there, good spot.

Stone Liberty Village: my lord those people know how to build fantastic places to drink beer. I actually didn't eat or drink here, just roamed around and grabbed some stuff in the store. The Encinitas location is of course spectacular, but this one isn't _that_ far off. Wish I could have gone back.

Breakwater Brewering Oceanside: casual sports brewpub up from the pier. I wanted to get to Bagby Brewing a bit further away, but with hungry kids and wife in tow ended up here. Solid spot, although by far the most unfriendly service I've had in SoCal. The house beers were pretty solid though.

Karl Strauss Carlsbad: Just outside Legoland. Beautiful huge restaurant. Beer was just ok, food was good. After a day of hell that was Legoland this place seemed like paradise. DO NOT GO TO LEGOLAND

Texas Liquor Carlsbad: very good bottle selection.

Biergarden Encinitas: Decent 20ish taplist, nice patio right next to the WF in Encinitas.

Whole Foods: They were all pretty much the same, Del Mar, Encinitas, etc. Good selections in all.

Was also back to Stone in Escondido... man can't say enough about that place. Had a lovely anniversary dinner with my wife and lost track of my kids for an hour while they hung around in the gardens.

Tourist wise the beachers were universally fantastic. Legoland completely sucked. Sea World was fun (and had great craft beer... Lost Abbey at Sea World!!). Kayak on the ocean. Zoo was great (with decent beer to be had). The botanical gardens in Encinitas was unexpectedly great, went because my wife wanted to go, but turned out to be a highlight for me.
Last edited by rejtable on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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distr0
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Postby distr0 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:25 am

san diego beer week (https://www.sdbw.org/) is November 7-16th. Anyone happen to be going? I'll be there the 11th-14th for work, hoping to hit up an event or two
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:16 am

Missing it by a few weeks, going down in early December. Let me know if you find anything interesting on the trip!
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:20 pm

Back from a short trip to LA and San Diego. I echo the previous sentiments as to why we all live here when it's 22 and sunny every day there :)

Stayed in Ocean Beach and it's become quite a little beer spot on its own. It's had a Pizza Port for a couple of years, which is awesome. But on the same street at PP are two other top tier spots.

The Raglan Public House is a New Zealand surf theme bar, but they've got a great lineup of taps - when I was there they had about 6 sours from Bruery, Green Flash and others, plus other beers from Alesmith, Alpine, Lost Abbey and more.

Directly across the street from Raglan is the 2nd location of OB Noodle House, sub-named Bar 1502. They had about 40 beers on tap, quite surprisingly having 4 BCBS variants on tap (very expensive). But the rest was a nice mix of locals and imports. Great spot for eating something other than regular pub food.

Just around the corner on Newport is a newly opened tasting room for Culture Brewing Co., with about 10 taps and a couple of nitro taps of their brews. Open air industrial style space, nice for a drink or two.

Seeing that SD is a pretty spread out city, having this kind of density of multiple bars is great. And if you like the OB vibe (like I do) then not having to trek around town for different beers is very welcome!
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El Pinguino
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Postby El Pinguino » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:30 pm

Nice stuff.....I had a few pints at the OB Pizza Port....good to hear the area is adding more top beer spots, as I like staying near OB too.
Kekumba
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Postby Kekumba » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:16 pm

Returned to San Diego this past week. Some new spots for me this time...

Stone Liberty Station - lucky timing as it was their Winter Storm event this week. Not quite as impressive as Escondido, but the outside area is a good spot in the sun (assuming you don't mind some noise as it's right at the end of the airport runway). As much as I wanted to drink every aged beer on the menu, an '02 RIS was good enough for me before moving on.

Modern Times Lomaland - typical San Diego tasting room. All the beers are good, but I mainly stopped in for a taste of City of the Dead, their newest beer with "barrel aged coffee." Quite close to Stone, no reason not to check it out. Fresh cans for takeaway on site though I opted not to buy any (although you can get them anywhere in the area).

Rip Current North Park - brand new location a block from Toronado. All of Rip Current's hoppy offerings were great. One of the staff there is active on another beer forum and vows to bring in some great guest taps. They had Almanac Blueberry on which was fantastic. Again, so close to another major SD spot there's no reason not to check it out.

Council - check them out for the tart saisons alone. The owners were real cool and chatted while labeling bottles by hand right in the middle of the tasting room. I didn't care much for anything but the saisons, but others seem pleased with the IPA's.

Blind Lady Alehouse - got lucky here with it being their anniversary week. 3 SARA taps. Nice bar with 5 awesome food trucks out front.

Royal Liquor - the only bottle shop I went to. Excellent selection. Never felt the need to go elsewhere after picking up bottles here and Alpine.

Skipped Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, and Hamilton's Tavern this time. Don't think I missed much. Societe makes great IPA's, but I've never had staff make me feel as uncomfortable as they did. Solana Beach Pizza Port is still the best.

And lastly, White Labs...just go check it out. I've loved that place both times.

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