Beer Maverick

Coronado Brewing Company, Bay Park

The large Coronado brewing facility in the Bay Park neighborhood off the 5 just north of downtown also functions as a popular neighborhood bar for locals and a place to get beer to go.

This is the brewery for all the Coronado beers you see in stores, as well as for their brew pub locations in Coronado and Imperial Beach. This location is impressively large, with huge brewing tanks (much bigger than you’ll see in most craft breweries). They’ve created a more intimate bar area by putting a wooden false ceiling over it, so you don’t feel like you are in a tiny corner of a huge warehouse. The bar itself is long and has plenty of seating, and there are plenty of tables as well.

Snowy Plover (American IPA, 6% ABV). Great name, decent beer. It is malt-forward for an IPA and easy to drink. The color is amber/brown. 3/5

My impression is that this place has a lot of regulars. They seem to really love it. The bartenders I saw knew their regulars and treated them well. New customers didn’t quite get the same level of welcome but were still served with professionalism and courtesy. They seem to do a brisk business in growlers and cases “to go” besides serving people who are drinking in-house.

North Island IIPA (Imperial IPA, 7.9% ABV). This has a cloudy straw color. There’s an ABV edge to it, and it is definitely bitter. It is a bit floral/tropical, but not “juicy.” 3.25/5

I’ve had Stingray IPA several times at bars around town and would definitely get it again. Their other year-round offerings (such as Mermaid’s Red and Orange Wit) are solid and are widely available in this region and beyond. I tried five tasters from the list of rotating taps during my visit to the Bay Park location. My overall feeling is that the beers here are good but not exceptional.

English Red (5% ABV). This surprised me by having the mouthfeel of a Guinness. It is tasty. Malty. Slightly thin on the finish. 3.25/5

Parking is really tough in this area. There aren’t many spaces in the lot, street parking is very limited, it is a large venue so lots of people go, and there is a Christmas store just across the street that is drawing even more people to this little street this time of year. The first time I came was a Thursday around 5pm and the after-work crowd was so big that I couldn’t find any parking at all and didn’t get to try it.

Rush of Hops (India Pale Ale, 6.5%). Mmm. Dank, tropical. Almost clear yellow, no head. Carbonated bit adds to the bitterness.  3.5/5

Food trucks open shop here every day. I had a chicken sandwich and macaroni salad from Big Front Door, and it was pretty good. They gave quite a lot of food for $12. I wish they hadn’t used big chunks of raw onion in the macaroni salad, though.

Early Bird Mocha Stout (5.3% ABV). Roasty, coffee on the nose and slightly on the palate. 3.25/5

Overall, this is a good place to stop in for a drink or to pick up some beer to go; they function as a neighborhood bar as well as being a large brewing operation.

Ale Colossus (IPA, 6.6% ABV). This is spicy, almost like a rye beer. Good!  3.25/5     1205 Knoxville Street, San Diego, CA 92110 


Don’t Just Take My Word for It (Links to Related Beer Writing)

San Diego Brew Reviews loves it.

San Diego Magazine’s Brewery Guide entry for the Coronado brewing facility.