19 Best Breweries In San Diego For 2023

San Diego County is known as the ‘Craft Beer Capital of America’ as it is home to the largest number of breweries than any other country.

In this county, you can find 155 breweries that are fully licensed and offer impeccable flavors and new experiences.

If you are a beer lover and 21 plus, be sure to make your way to some of these breweries and taste their beers for yourself. 

  • Get familiar with San Diego’s craft beer scene with this small-group brewery hopping tour. Your guide will take you and your small group of up to 10 fellow beer-tasters to three different local breweries. At each stop, you’ll get the chance to learn about the beer on offer and enjoy a tasting flight. This one normally sells out!

19 Best Breweries In San Diego

1.Puesto Cervecería

best breweries in san diego

Puesto Cervecería can be found in Mission Valley, San Diego. This site is the biggest in the Puesto chain and has its first craft brewery, making it a big attraction.

Here, Puesto Cervecería specializes in Mexican-style lagers and beverages, some of which can be found at other Puesto sites in California.

To come here and enjoy drinks such as Puesto Mexican Amber or Negra Lager, reserve a table online to try your luck by walking through the door – though there’s no promise that there will be spaces left with how popular it is.

2.Border X Brewing

best breweries in san diego

This brewery is another spot where you can find a beautiful blend of Latino flavor with its Mexican-inspired blends of craft beer.

You can find Border X Brewing in the Barrio Logan neighborhood and try flavors such as hibiscus and agave Blood Saison and Horchata Golden Stout.

Inside, you can not only enjoy the drinks, but also the taproom, which is decorated in street art.

If hunger strikes, you can indulge in street tacos and sit back in the beer garden, watching to taking part in games of Jenga and cornhole, all the while jamming to Latin music.

3.Stone Brewing 

Opened in 1996, Stone Brewing is San Diego’s biggest craft brewery. Not only that, but it is considered to be one of the biggest independent breweries in the US and is local royalty.

In the incredibly impressive taproom, you can expect to find timeless drinks with just as timeless names.

At either of the two bars, you can try out the Arrogant Bastard Ale or any other beverage from the 36 rotating beers from the house as well as guests.

Food is also served here, and guests have a menu to choose from, which typically includes ahi nachos or Brussels sprouts with candied bacon.

Outside, seating areas are dotted around the one-acre space, giving you the chance to find the perfect spot in the sun for your next experience. 

4.Burgeon Beer Company

best breweries in san diego

Burgeon Beer Company is not only a fantastic brewery, but also a company well known for philanthropy.

With one of three tasting rooms located behind a facade of a boxy and corporate park in Carlsbad and the other two in Escondido and Little Italy, this brewery is very popular.

Here, you can try out the Treevana IPA, Lone Forest and a multitude of other hazy brews. Inside, the industrial-chic decor is created partially with recycled materials.

Some of these materials include wood from the Cedar Fire and a shipping container that is now used as a bar.

If you want to support nature, be sure to try out their wild IPAs such as Reclaim the Wild, which aided the National Forest Foundation.

Be a part of the journey to making the world a more environmentally friendly place and help the Burgeon Beer Company by trying their wonderful and weird flavors.

5.Thorn Brewing

best breweries in san diego

Thorn Brewing’s first site opened in 2012 and has taken the world by storm ever since.

That comes as no surprise, as they have done their fair share of experimenting with flavors, including creating a cannabis-flavored IPA.

At Thorn Brewing, you can also try the breweries key beers such as Hopster Pot New England-style hazy IPA and Barrio Lager Baja-style lager, all the while getting to know some of the most interesting people and pets you could imagine.

If you get there on time, you might snag a seat on the patio or inside for dining, a perfect way to enjoy a strange beer.

For anyone who loves Thorn Brewing’s brews more than they care to admit, there is a subscription service which allows you to get kegs or cases of beers delivered to your door, though this depends on locations.

What else could you possibly want out of a brewery?

6.Pure Project

best breweries in san diego

At Pure Project, you can sit back and try out a number of tropical-inspired beers that are sourced locally and ethically.

With several locations, these tropical tastes have won the hearts of many to visit, with some favorite flavors being Milagro stout and Tropical Mist blonde with Valencia oranges.

There are seasonal flavors, too, such as Maplesaurus Rex – a stout made with maple syrup and vanilla.  

7.Kairoa Brewing Company

best breweries in san diego

Kairoa Brewing Company can be found in University Heights and is unlike any other brewery.

The brewery itself is decorated with odes to New Zealand, such as Maori art and stunning scenery.

Here, you can try out a number of drinks, ranging from English-style ales to New Zealand specialties.

To try unique flavors such as Sneaky Buggah, Cheeky Buggah and Tweaky Buggah, make sure to reserve a spot for groups larger than 12 people.

This popular spot works on a first come first serve base when it comes to seating groups of less than 12 so pick a good time to be there if you want to stand a chance of testing their tantalizing brews.

8.Resident Brewing

best breweries in san diego

This brewery can be found downtown and also boasts of a series of singular beverages.

With flavors such as Vacation Coconut IPA and food like tacos, shrimp and ‘Big Ass Nachos’, Resident Brewing takes another top spot for breweries in San Diego. 

9.Modern Times Beer

best breweries in san diego

There’s no such thing as a bad beer at Modern Times Beer. This brewery has become famous in the beer world since it first opened its doors in 2013, and for good reason.

It has become known as the brewery where every beer is good, even if they have strange names like Wizard Nebula or Dungeon Map West Coast.

At Modern Times Beer, they specialize in session beers and coffee flavors as a tribute to their in-house coffee roasting.

So, if you love beer and coffee, and you can’t seem to choose which one you want to go with, try both. Their coffees are just as good as their beers, and that says a lot.

10.Amplified Ale Works 

best breweries in san diego

Last but by no means least on the list is Amplified Ale Works.

This is the spot you go to if you want to have a great view of Petco Park and Pacific Beach and have some incredible beer.

Music is a big part of this place as there’s always something playing and the whole vibe is about music memorabilia. Stratacaster!,

Black is Beautiful and Rare Form bourbon barrel aged Belgian quad are popular choices when visiting this brewery with rooftop access.

When it’s time to eat, the beers will go down perfectly with kebabs, a house favorite.

11. Novo Brazil Brewing

best breweries in san diego

The Novo Brazil Brewing Company, an internationally acclaimed brewery with a Southern California basis and a Brazilian soul, is one of the best San Diego breweries. 

The Chula Vista-based brewery thrives on its distinctive beer lifestyle, which is accurately reflected in the brand’s vibrant accents, exquisite fragrances, and creative taste combinations.

In the 2016 World Beer Cup, Corvo Negro Russian Imperial Stout won a U.S. bronze medal, placing Novo Brazil Brewing third out of 53 breweries. Their Otay IPA and Chula Pils Pilsner also won U.S. awards recognition for Best IPA and Best Lager at the 2016 World Beer Awards.

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12. Societe Brewing Company

best breweries in san diego

In 2012, Doug Constantiner, alumni of the University of Arizona, and brewmaster Travis Smith founded Societe Brewing Company after becoming coworkers at The Bruery in Orange County.

Societe has won numerous honors during the course of its seven-year existence, including gold medals at the 2018 World Beer Cup and the 2018 Great American Beer Festival.

Locals have come to love the brewery’s Pupil IPA, and its Coachman session IPA has twice taken home gold at the Great American Beer Fest.

13. North Park Beer Co

best breweries in san diego

This brewery opened its doors and currently has a brewery, café, and tasting room after converting a department store space into a nearly 8,000-square-foot brewery. The establishment’s interiors showcase North Park’s arts and crafts design aesthetic.

In order to stand apart from other San Diego breweries, North Park Brewing Company creates some of the finest stouts on the market.

You can experience this brewery’s creativity by requesting the Fiesta Antes De Morir, a delectable Mexican chocolate cake stout, in addition to its well-known West Coast IPA.

14. Mujeres Brew House

best breweries in san diego

This brew house is the result of a collaboration with Border X Brewing. The partners teamed up to open San Diego’s first Latina-owned and operated tap brewery, whose goal is to offer a friendly space for women to learn about, comprehend, and appreciate craft beer.

A behind-the-bar work experience program and a brewing program are among the future goals for the organization, which is led by Carmen Favela of Border X and Estela Davila of Mujeres Brew Club. 

About a dozen different styles, including Buenas Vibras Blonde Ale, Brumosa Especial Hazy IPA, and Contraste Balanceado Golden Sour combined with Dark Saison, are available on the rotating tap list.

I think it is safe to say that the options are endless at Mujeres!

15. White Labs

best breweries in san diego

White Labs has hosted both casual beer drinkers and die-hard beer enthusiasts in its tasting room with equal success because it has been providing liquid yeast to the fermentation industry for more than 25 years.

This is the place to develop your palette if you’ve ever wondered why Belgian ales taste so different from American ales.

Every Friday and Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m., they provide free tours, and afterward, you may visit their tasting room to see for yourself how much yeast affects the flavor profile of the beer.

An interesting concept, unlike other breweries!

16. Belching Beaver Brewery Tasting Room

best breweries in san diego

Belching Beaver Brewery, one of the new breweries in San Diego, which opened its doors in 2012, was inspired by a desire to brew excellent beer while having a “Dam Good Time.”

The priority of the prestigious craft beer business is to have a brand that delivers high-quality craft beer that is amusing and whimsical to encourage good times.

Each Belching Beaver beer release has a distinct style and personality of its own. They aim to create beers that appeal to all tastes and people.

Belching Beaver Brewery offers a wide variety of beers, including easy-drinking blondes, triple IPAs, milk stouts, imperial stouts, sours, and barrel-aged brews.

17. The Church By The Lost Abbey

best breweries in san diego

When Tomme Arthur resigned from Pizza Port in order to launch Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey, Lost Abbey was born. 

The twist that happened is the Lost Abbey’s decision to make beers with Belgian influences rather than Port Brewing’s traditional West Coast beer style.

Try the Duck Duck Gooze if you want to sample one of the city’s most inventive brews but if you are not a fan of sour beers, try the Lost and Found Dubbel. 

18. Eppig Brewing Waterfront Biergarten

best breweries in san diego

This top San Diego brewery, Eppig Brewing is located in San Diego County. 

150 years after the family’s first brewery opened in Brooklyn, New York, the team revived the Eppig brewing history.

Brothers Joseph and Leonhard Eppig founded a brewing company that flourished during the early 1900s and subtly withstood Prohibition’s hardships.

The business, which specializes in artisanal ales and lagers in a family- and pet-friendly setting, expanded to a gorgeous Biergarten along America’s Cup Harbor in Point Loma in 2018.

19. Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen

best breweries in san diego

Ballast Point is a group of enthusiasts that emerged from a tiny group of homebrewers who just wanted to make amazing beer in 1996. 

Ballast Point is renowned for adding its own spin and exploring whether there is a better way, whether it is giving a porter a hoppy twist or making its amber ale with four different varieties of barley.

FAQs On Best Breweries In San Diego

What Beer Is San Diego Known For?

San Diego is known for their IPA beers.

IPA stands for India Pale Ale and is undoubtedly the best beer in San Diego. 

The Stone IPA, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, and Karl Strauss Tower 10 IPA are some of the most well-known San Diego IPAs. Strong hop flavors and fragrances give these beers a distinctive bitterness that is sometimes referred to as “citrusy” or “tropical.”

Contrary to common belief, San Diego has not always been a destination for craft beer.  San Diego, like the rest of the nation, fought to reclaim its prior beer culture.

After homebrewing became legal in 1978 and California, one of the more progressive states permitted brewpubs to begin in 1982, things changed. Then, in 1989, Karl Strauss’ Old Columbia Brewery & Grill opened in San Diego, officially launching the city’s craft beer renaissance.

What Is The Most Popular Brewing In San Diego?

Stone Brewing is there at the top of the list of San Diego best breweries. Since starting to produce beer in San Diego in 1996, the business has grown to become one of the biggest craft breweries in the nation.

Both locals and tourists love Stone’s signature IPA, and there are always intriguing new brews to drink on tap at their two brewery facilities. The Stone Brewing Company is unquestionably the place to go if you’re searching for a tasty beer while in San Diego.

Conclusion On The Best Breweries In San Diego

There you have it, the best breweries in San Diego. There’s something for everyone on this list, even coffee lovers!

Make sure to check out some of these places on your next visit, or else you’ll have to take a trip to San Diego again just to try them out.

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