How to Enjoy San Diego's Craft Beer Scene

Start with the Stone Brewing Festival, book a room and explore nearby breweries



Stone Brewing Company’s two-day craft beer celebration, Aug. 16-17, features 60 craft brews from around the country on the opening day.

visitescondido.com

With more than 40 breweries serving up hundreds of local beers, San Diego boasts one of the country’s top craft beer scenes.

If you’re looking to sample a few of the best brews the city has to offer, don’t miss the upcoming Stone 17th Anniversary Celebration & Beer Festival, held at Stone Brewing Co.’s San Marcos location Aug. 16-17. Before you head out on your craft beer quest, here’s what you need to know.

Sample San Diego’s Best at Stone Brewing Co.
Stone Brewing Company’s two-day craft beer celebration kicks off on Friday night with a Brewers’ Reception from 6-9 p.m. Live music, all-you-can-eat gourmet fare and a cigar lounge set the scene for a night filled with free-flowing beer tastings. More than 60 craft brews will be offered, half of which won’t be returning for Saturday’s festivities. Some of Friday’s exclusive beers include an oaked version of Stone’s popular Arrogant Bastard Ale and the spicy new Barrel-Aged Habanero Noche de los Muertos, an imperial oatmeal stout by Aztec Brewery.

During Saturday’s Stone 17th Anniversary Celebration & Beer Festival, you’ll get 15 three-ounce samples of beers from more than 40 guest breweries from around the country, including New England-based Dogfish Head and Hawaii’s Maui Brewing Co. San Diego’s craft beer scene is also well represented by the likes of Monkey Paw, Coronado Brewing Co. and Mission Brewery. Between tastings, you can also enjoy home-brewed sodas and beer cheese.

Where to Stay
Stone Brewing’s Escondido hotel isn’t slated to open until late 2014, but there are plenty of limited-service hotels (like a Hampton Inn and Ramada Limited) within miles of the San Marcos brewery. But if you’re looking for a brew-themed stay, head 20 minutes south to Rancho Bernardo Inn. The “Look What’s Brewing” package includes beer tastings for two at Ballast Point Brewing Co., Latitude 33, Iron Fist and Port Brewing, plus breakfast at the onsite Veranda Fireside Lounge.

If you would rather head into downtown San Diego after the festival, you can check out the craft beer package at the Hard Rock Hotel. Four local craft beers will be waiting in your room upon arrival with two souvenir mugs, and if you’re planning to explore more of San Diego’s breweries, you’ll appreciate the discount coupon for a brewery tour with Brewing Tours of San Diego.

Explore Nearby Breweries
Speaking of Brewing Tours of San Diego, their guided tours offer a great way to experience San Diego’s top breweries without worrying about a designated driver.

Their Sunday excursion takes you on a six-hour behind-the-scenes tour of Stone Brewing Co., San Marcos Brewery & Grill and The Lost Abbey. In addition to touring all three breweries, you will also receive a souvenir glass and lunch at San Marcos Brewery.

Or you can let your designated driver take the wheel as you spend a day hopping between your picks of the dozens of breweries throughout San Diego.You would need a lot more than a single weekend to explore them all, but there a few noteworthy breweries that should top your travel list.

Opened in 2012, Societe Brewing Co. in Kearny Mesa quickly gained a loyal following for its Belgian beers and India pale ales. Over in Mira Mesa, Green Flash produces an impressive variety of handcrafted ales, while AleSmith in Miramar is known for its classic British and Belgian brews. Tasting rooms at all three breweries are open on Sundays, offering a smooth finish to your craft beer weekend.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Modernism Week Makes CAMP with New Event Headquarters

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Modernism Week, the annual confab of modernistas, a central headquarters, CAMP, has been created to schmooze, sashay, and satiate your thirst.

Michael Childers Will Tell the Stories Behind his Hollywood Star Photos

Michael Childers built a career photographing portraits of Hollywood stars, but it was the stories behind the photos that audiences will have privy to when the Rancho Mirage resident speaks Jan. 25 at the Annenberg Theater.

Tommy Shaw, Styx Rekindle Connection to Palm Springs Area

Coming to Palm Springs rekindles a lot of good memories for Styx leader Tommy Shaw, who after a long absence from the desert has started a new chapter.

Sage Francis Looks for 'Memorable' Show At The Date Shed

Now a 40-something white guy from the rural area of Rhode Island, Sage Francis still channels his lyrical writing roots into his music, and plans to share it with Date Shed fans on Jan. 24.

Salton Sea Plays Host to Pelican Days Birding Festival

The Salton Sea & Desert Interpretive Association’s Third Annual Birding Festival, Jan. 23-25, offers an array of field trips, seminars, expert speakers, workshops and bird-watching experiences.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2015 Grand Experience
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags