What’s Brewing in the San Diego Beer Scene

Beer may not be the first thing you think of when you think of San Diego. But given our fast-growing brewery scene, it certainly should be. San Diego Magazine, Men’s Journal, and countless other authoritative publications have called San Diego the “Craft Beer Capital of America,” and for good reason. San Diego County is home to more than 150 breweries, brewpubs, and tasting rooms — the most of any county in the nation. 

The hop-heavy West Coast IPA is San Diego’s signature style, but fans of lagers, stouts, porters, and sours will also find lots to love among the county’s craft beer offerings. 

Thirsty for more? Here’s a look at 10 of the best breweries in San Diego, all just a short jaunt from our front door.

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Mike Hess Brewing (1.7 miles from the hotel)

4893 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107  

(Photo: @mikehessbrewing)

Mike Hess is far from your average brewery. Rather than focusing on one or two primary styles, this beer emporium thrives on taking chances, getting experimental, and throwing caution to the wind. The result is a beer list with a dizzying level of variety and no shortage of style. Find something you like? Drink it fast and get a six’er to go — it may not be there the next time. Either way, you’re sure to discover something you won’t find anywhere else. 

Bay City Brewing Company (2 miles away)

3760 Hancock St, San Diego, CA 92110

(Photo: @baycitybrewing)

First established in 1912, Bay City can count itself among the city’s oldest continuously operating beer centers. With a mix of always-on-tap beers and “brand-new today” creations, there’s always something new to try here. And if you like what you’re drinking, Bay City also offers six-packs and growlers to go. Want to grab a bite with your beer? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the menu and enjoy some pub-style favorites. 

Kilowatt Brewing (2.2 miles away)

406 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054

(Photo: @kilowattbeer)

Handcrafted, small-batch beers are the name of the game at Kilowatt. The master brewers at this eclectic neighborhood beer palace continually tweak their recipes for optimal color, flavor, bouquet, and balance. This commitment to experimentation means the beer list is always brimming with fantastic flavors and uncommon variety. The taproom is just as textured, featuring interactive games, unique lighting, and work from local artists. 

Ocean Beach Brewery (2.3 miles)

5041 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

(Photo: @ob_brewery)

What could be better than a specialty brew with an ocean view? The Ocean Beach Brewery offers a deep array of specialty beers, all served in a three-story location with an absolutely stunning Pacific perspective. And since all they overlook is the water, OBB also offers a full menu of dynamite dishes, all served to order. 

Modern Times Beer (2.4 miles away)

3725 Greenwood St, San Diego, CA 92110  

(Photo: @moderntimesbeer)

Despite having only opened its doors for the first time in 2013, Modern Times has swiftly become one of San Diego’s preeminent beer hot spots. With distribution in seven states and tasting rooms up and down the West Coast, they’re clearly doing a lot of things right. Chief among them: the beer. With a full list of often-rotated hazy IPAs, fruit beers, goses and even hard seltzers, Modern Times offers a little something for everyone. 

Coronado Brewing Company Tasting Room (3.2 miles away)

1205 Knoxville St, San Diego, CA 92110 

(Photo: @coronadobrewing)

The family-owned Coronado Brewing Company first opened its doors to beer-loving San Diegans in 1996 and has been offering a full range of specialty brews (as well as a full food menu) ever since. Whether you drop by the flagship location on Coronado Island or the Tasting Room just a few miles from us on Mission Bay, you’re guaranteed a good time. 

Deft Brewing (3.5 miles away)

5328 Banks St A, San Diego, CA 92110

(Photo: @deftbrewing)

Deft models their beer-brewing approach after a distinctly European style. Goldens, reds, dubbels, stouts and even a seasonal helles are usually on tap, although the selection rotates regularly. And the only thing more appealing than the beer list? The welcoming atmosphere. Deft’s “gasthaus”-feel tasting room is family-friendly, pet-friendly, and just plain friendly overall. So expect a warm welcome along with your cold brew. 

Latchkey Brewing Company (4.1 miles away)

1795 Hancock St, San Diego, CA 92110

(Photo: @latchkeybrewing)

As you may guess from the whimsical name (borne of the co-founders having grown up as unsupervised kids with a penchant for getting into trouble), Latchkey Brewing doesn’t take itself particularly seriously. The beer, however? That, they do. As you might expect, you’ll find a good few IPAs on the menu here. But you’d be remiss in passing up the light-drinking lagers, scrumptious fruit sours, and rich coffee-infused porter. 

Thorn Brewing (5.2 miles away)

4026 Hawk St A, San Diego, CA 92103

(Photo: @thornbeer)

As one of San Diego’s youngest craft breweries (first opening its doors in 2017), Thorn has already carved out a respectable niche among the county’s most successful sources of world-class beer. Thorn has grown its distribution throughout the region from this 30-barrel brewhouse and tasting room. Stop in to sample from the list of year-round favorites, seasonal specialties, and limited-release brews sure to satisfy. 

Hillcrest Brewing Company (6.5 miles)

1458 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

(Photo: @hillcrestbrewingcompany)

Hillcrest Brewing is more than just a great place to sample a wide variety of specialty beers, some far-above-average tavern food specialties, and a convivial atmosphere. Hillcrest can also lay claim to being the world’s first LGBTQ-owned-and-operated brewery in the world. So be sure to stop in to try a pint from among their deep range of tasty tappers and say hello to their “hunky brewsters.”

Looking for a happy home base for your hoppy adventure? The Dana on Mission Bay would love to host your San Diego beer tour! Our Dana Brew Hop package is the ideal offer for beer lovers of all kinds, and our own Firefly Eatery & Bar has a selection of 20 ice-cold beers on tap and ready to pour. Cheers!