A fresh hint of spring is in the air, and that means tastings all over town. Whether a long-time staple or a brand new joint, our favorite San Diego drinking establishments all share one thing in common: a sense of togetherness. Lively places to enjoy a couples night out, take large groups, or experience a major event are all around us. Take advantage of our high-density craft beer scene, and visit the best breweries in San Diego, all while taking part in some of the city’s signature springtime events and festivals.
Breweries in Mission Bay and Beyond
Ballast Point is a local gathering ground for beer lovers, with an ever-changing menu of beers as well as a hearty Sunday brunch. While it’s best to arrive early to beat the crowds, you can almost always count on finding a spot in this massive tasting room.
Outfitted with eye-grabbing artwork, 32 taps, and a truly cavernous space, Modern Times’ Lomaland Fermentorium Tasting Room is one of the best places in the area to take big groups. Take your pick of a year-round or seasonal brew—noted on their “Calendar of Dankness”—and enjoy the vibe.
A Liberty Station staple, Stone Brewing is at the top of the IPA game, but is also beloved for bold creations like the Stone Xocoveza, inspired by Mexican hot chocolate. Expect to find many more unconventional flavors for your consideration.
Across the Bay, you’ll find a bounty of Ocean Beach bars ranging from the casual to the upscale. OB Brewery is a brunch destination in addition to one of the most popular craft beer producers in the area, with a compilation of choices from around San Diego. Culture Brewing Company has two tasting rooms, although the Ocean Beach location is the more opulent of the two, with featured works by local artists to enhance the wide-open space.
Head into Downtown, and the possibilities only multiply. Mission Brewery, found in East Village, allows guests to bring their own food, so that you can enjoy a feast of your own design paired with their beers. Meanwhile, Karl Strauss is currently featuring one of the limited releases that has us most excited: The Aurora Hoppyalis, an IPA brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Citra hops, and a true standout of San Diego’s brew culture.
San Diego Beer Festivals
There are more opportunities to celebrate the art of brewing than we can count, but we have our annual standbys picked out for a reason. The following represent the absolute best in both brew culture and entertainment, and we hope you get to reap their benefits.
Sabor Latino Food, Beer and Wine Fest
Nobody combines the legends of San Diego and Baja California Latin Cuisine quite like the organizers of Sabor. Offering unlimited tastings of food, plus the finest beers and wines from California and Mexico, live entertainment, and more, it’s the perfect complement to the Sabor Latino Film Festival, going on until March 25.
March 18, 2018
Fashion Valley Mall – River Plaza
Stone IPA Madness
Held at Liberty Station and a host of other locations across the city, this month-long revel offers IPAs from around the world, including your longtime favorites alongside some new takes on the art of hops.
March 1-31, 2018
Best Coast Beer Fest
There’s still time to grab tickets to Will Ferrell’s beer festival of choice, a multi-brewery extravaganza accompanied by live music, food vendors, and sunny vibes. As a fundraising event geared toward helping survivors of cancer, it’s an occasion to contribute to a meaningful cause while celebrating good company and local craft culture.
March 10, 2018
Embarcadero Marina Park South
Mission Valley Craft Beer & Food Festival
An all-inclusive extravaganza, Mission Valley gets it right every year thanks to their policy of unlimited beer and spirits from San Diego's most famous restaurants, chefs, brewers, and all-around culinary geniuses. As with all great San Diego events, you can look forward to a variety of live music acts.
March 31, 2018
VIP Session: 12:00PM - 5:00PM. GA Session: 1:30 - 5:00PM. (last pour/serving 4:30PM)
Try a San Diego signature beer, check out San Diego spring events, and find tons of opportunities to combine the two. Located in Mission Bay, we’re at the heart of San Diego brew culture—don’t pass up the chance to check out our own craft beer collection!