Downtown San Diego Beerpubs

Downtown San Diego Beerpubs
Interested in beer? Take a day or a weekend in San Diego, the current epicenter of the West Coast craft beer movement, to eat, drink, and be merry. It’s like wine tasting, but with beer! You will make friends while you sip and chew – beer tasting is a social experience!

Brewpubs, as they are called, were legalized in California in 1982. Several years later, the California Craft Brewers Association was founded in the same year that Karl Strauss opened his eponymous brewing company in San Diego – the city’s first. Today, the company considers itself a ‘mid-sized brewing company’, and operates several different branches throughout San Diego. The downtown location offers fourteen brews on tap, plus a hearty selection of “beer bites” and shareable plates as well as entrees. Desserts such as bread pudding and fruit crisps make interesting use of beer as a savory ingredient.

Founded in 1996, Stone Brewing also owns a number of stores throughout the San Diego area as well as expanding northwards to Pasadena and eastwards... to Germany! Visit the Liberty Station restaurant and store in the Point Loma area to experience the “Slow Food” philosophy: the restaurant use organically harvested and locally sourced items in order to prepare their soups, salads, and entrees. The main attraction, however, will always be the 40 beers on tap, from Stone and from other small craft breweries throughout the region.

Down in the “Little Italy” area, Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits opened in 2013, but the company has been making beer since 1996. Innovative mixes of flavors await here: try the Grapefruit or Habanero India Pale Ale! In addition to brewing, the company has also turned to distilled beverages, featuring three different kinds of rum and whiskey, two different kinds of gin, five vodkas, and a liqueur with licorice and cinnamon notes. Shared plates, salads, and sandwiches round out the menus.

Because you will be drinking adult beverages, you will need either a designated driver or an alternative way of getting around. Scavengers Beer Tours offers both public and bespoke tours in a six-wheel drive, open air “Pinzgauer” (you must see this vehicle to believe it!) The company has several pickup points in both San Diego and Carlsbad, but will also come and get you from downtown San Diego hotels (a small fee may apply.) Of course, those who prefer visiting on their own can also call Uber or Lyft for private transportation. Be sure to drink responsibly!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these companies. I purchased food and drink with my own funds.

Karl Strauss Brewing Company, 1157 Columbia, 619-234-2739

Stone Brewing Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Road, 619-269-2100

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, 2215 India Street, 619-255-7213

Scavenger Beer Tours, 760-208-3739,

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Content copyright © 2023 by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . All rights reserved.
This content was written by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. for details.