San Diego: A City for Craft Beer Lovers

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
(Flickr/sally_monster/Creative Commons)

After a busy day of repository tours, committee meetings, and presentation sessions galore, what better way to unwind than by grabbing a pint or two at one of San Diego’s craft breweries or bars? Frequently touted as one of the best beer cities in the country, San Diego is bursting with opportunities to imbibe in high quality, locally crafted brews. Though it can be hard to pick favorites, several notable craft breweries in the county (of which there are more than 40) include Stone, Green Flash, Alpine, Pizza Port, Ballast Point, Coronado, and Lost Abbey. Clearly conference-goers have some work cut out for them!

There are many great references on the web that can help you navigate the beer scene–an overwhelming feat for a newcomer due to the deluge of options. A great place to start is SD’s BIG Craft Beer Guide, from San Diego Magazine’s 2012 beer issue. This guide gives quick overviews of most of the breweries and brewpubs in the area, from the prominent local big names to “nano breweries” producing small batches. Though brewpubs in the area tend to serve up great food alongside their beers, most breweries deal in liquid only; hungry customers are, however, often served by an array of food trucks that frequent many brewery parking lots during peak hours. Check individual brewery websites for potential schedules.

Lost Abbey Tasting Room

Lost Abbey Tasting Room
(Flickr/Travlr/Creative Commons)

Be sure to also check out the San Diego Brewers Guild Brewery & Pub Map, which lists 45 brewery locations, 33 allied pub members, and 8 tasting rooms throughout the county, all which feature local beer. The guild’s general website has other great resources on beer in SD. Another site worth a look is Beer Advocate’s Beer Guide for San Diego, which lists breweries, bars, and stores complete with customer reviews.

Use PubQuest’s handy map feature to find pub and brewery locations– try it on your smart phone when you’re out and about, or type in 92101 (conference hotel zip code) to plan ahead. Though the site is nation-wide, its founders hail from San Diego, meaning the local map is fully populated. Have a particular beer in mind that you’re jonesing to try? Use Tap Hunter to find the nearest pub where it’s pouring. The site’s app for iPhone and Android is infinitely handy for beer enthusiasts on the go.

A few great places to grab a beer in easy walking distance from the conference hotel include:

Neighborhood — a gastropub featuring local beers and a gourmet twist on bar food (fennel frites, gruyere grilled cheese, and “bacon seduced mini brats”!)

777 G St (between 7th Ave & 8th Ave, about 1 mile from the Conference Hotel)

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 446-0002

Yelp reviews

Downtown Johnny Brown’s — excellent local brews on tap complement a menu of standard bar food (Host Committee recommends Mahi Mahi tacos)

1220 3rd Avenue (about 1.3 miles from the Conference Hotel)

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 232-8414

Yelp reviews

Yard House — a great bar/restaurant for groups with a fantastic selection of beer on tap and a solid food menu with plenty of options for vegetarians

1023 4th Ave (at Broadway) (about 1 mile from the Conference Hotel)

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 233-9273

Yelp reviews

Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery — a brewpub pouring several of their own beers along with a rotating selection of local and international brews, plus a small but tasty selection of pub fare

805 16th St (between F St & E St) (about 1 mile from the Conference Hotel)

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 358-9901

Yelp reviews

Beer Tasters

Beer Tasters — 2-3 oz pours available at most brewery tasting rooms
(Flickr/nan palmero/Creative Commons)

Mission Brewery — The closest official brewery to the conference hotel and just a stone’s throw away from Petco Park. A number of award winning beers brewed on the premises (an old Wonder Bread factory!) and frequently host to a food truck.

1441 L Street (about 1 mile from the Conference Hotel)

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 544-0555

Yelp reviews

Again, the above listings just scratch the surface of San Diego’s beer culture. A basic lesson is to relax, unwind, and enjoy — it’s very hard to go wrong when you head out for craft beer in San Diego! If you’re a beer fan, don’t let the opportunity to experience this liquid dimension of SD culture pass you by.

[Side note: Is the archivist in you unable to help but feel curious about the city’s beer history? Check out the article “San Diego Craft Beer: Creating a Culture of Connoisseurship”!]


About saa2012sd

Welcome to Beyond Borders: San Diego 2012! Consider this blog to be the detailed companion about local San Diego attractions, restaurants, and other fun things! Please refer to the larger meeting site for the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists information at the official SAA page:
This entry was posted in Attractions, Restaurants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to San Diego: A City for Craft Beer Lovers

  1. saa2012sd says:

    How timely! Check out the article written up in the New York Times last Friday on San Diego’s craft beer scene — “Beyond San Diego’s Surf and Sun: Suds” at

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