Beer Maverick

How Many Breweries in San Diego? 143, 163, 182 (soon, 219…ish)

How many breweries in San Diego? Let me count the ways….

[Note added later: This post has been generating a lot of steady traffic. Note that I update the results monthly: The SD BEER LIST is where I keep an up-to-date categorized listing, and this is the most recent monthly summary of activity.]

In a previous post, I gave an accounting of the number of breweries in San Diego. I’ve come to think that there is a better way to cut up the data, so here it is.

The first major change is remove Ballast Point and Saint Archer from the main list and put them in the category “Non-Craft San Diego Brewhouses.” That’s where ABInBev’s 10 Barrel Brewing Co. goes, too, in the “in planning” section.

The second major change resulted from the revelation (surprising to me, at least) that BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse counts as craft beer. BJ’s has six breweries in five states (Brea and West Covina in California) that brew for all of their restaurant locations. Each of the five breweries is a member of the Brewers Association–the Brewers Association is the keeper of the definition of “craft” and I confirmed with Bart Watson, BA’s beer economist, that BJ’s does indeed count as craft. The resulting change to the list is to put BJ’s in the category “Non-San Diego-Brewed Craft Brewpub.” Since Oggi’s Pizza now has all of their brewing done at Left Coast in San Clemente, just over the San Diego County line, they also now belong in this category.

The third major change is to divide up the list of brewhouses in planning into “credible” and “dubious.” The brewhouses in the latter category are ones for which I can’t find any current information, or where the most current information is from six or more months ago. I interpret these as likely stalled projects. If you know for sure that projects I’ve placed in the dubious category are dead or still going, let me know!

The upshot is that there are currently 143 brewhouses in San Diego. If you cut out the non-craft and add in the satellite tasting rooms, the number is 163; 168 with Ballast Point and Saint Archer. If you include everything that is operational, the number is 182. Add those that are projected and we get 219…but 7 of the projected brewhouses are dubious, so it is probably more like 212. But there could be several projects in planning that are not listed; just this month two new craft breweries opened that I had no idea were coming. So though this may be just about the most precise list available, it certainly cannot claim to be perfectly accurate. Given growth trends, though, with six net new additions to the list in just the last two months despite several closings and removals from the list, it is likely that the projected total is an underestimate over some reasonable timeframe (like, say, a year or so).

The chart, below, gives the summary. Below the chart, you’ll find my current San Diego brewery/brewpub/satellite tasting room list, which includes the details and some notes. As explained in my earlier post, my sources are West Coaster, the San Diego Brewer’s Guild, Google, and social media. (I started from West Coaster’s list and did about 50 hours of internet sleuthing over the last few months to get what you see below.)

Chart of the various categories of brewhouses, brewpubs and satellite tasting rooms in San Diego County.

Chart of the various categories of brewhouses, brewpubs and satellite tasting rooms in San Diego County.


San Diego Craft Brewhouses in Operation

1.     2Kids Brewing Co. (Mira Mesa, 2013)

2.     32 North Brewing Co. (Miramar, 2014)

3.     Abnormal Beer Company (Rancho Bernardo, 2015)

4.     Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment (Midtown, 2013)

5.      AleSmith Brewing Company (Miramar, 1995; 2015)

6.      Align Brewing Company (Miramar, 2017)

7.       Alpine Beer Company (Alpine, 2002)

8.       Amplified Ale Works (Pacific Beach, 2012)

9.       Amplified Ale Works (Miramar, 2016)

10.     Arcana Brewing Co. (Carlsbad, 2012)

11.      Automatic Brewing Company (Normal Heights, 2010)

12.      Aztec Brewing Company (Vista, 2011)

13.      Back Street Brewery (Vista, 2004)

14.      Bagby Beer Company (Oceanside, 2014)

15.      Barn Brewery (North Park, 2016)

16.      Barrel Harbor (Vista, 2013)

17.      Battlemage Brewing Company (Vista, 2017)

18.      Bay Bridge Brewing Co. (Chula Vista, 2006)

19.      Bay City Brewing (Loma Portal, 2015)

20.     Bear Roots Brewing Co. (Vista, 2015)

21.      Belching Beaver Brewing (New HQ – Oceanside, 2016)

22.     Belching Beaver Brewing (Original Location – Vista, 2012)

23.     Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern & Grill (Vista, 2016)

24.     Benchmark Brewing (Grantville, 2013)

25.     Bitter Brothers Brewing (Bay Ho, 2016)

26.    BNS Brewing & Distilling (Santee, 2013)

27.     Bolt Brewing Co. (La Mesa, 2014)

28.     Booze Brothers (Vista, 2013)

29.     Border X Brewing (Barrio Logan, 2013)

30.    Breakwater Brewing Company (Oceanside, 2008)

31.     Burgeon Beer Company (Carlsbad, 2016)

32.     Burning Beard Brewing (El Cajon 2016)

33.     California Wild Ales (Sorrento Valley, 2017)

34.     ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, 2013)

35.     Chula Vista Brewery (Chula Vista, 2017)

36.     Coronado Brewing Company (Coronado, 1996)

37.     Coronado Brewing Company (Bay Park, 2013)

38.     Council Brewing (Kearny Mesa, 2014)

39.     Culture Brewing Co. (Solana Beach, 2013)

40.     Culver Beer Co. (Carlsbad, 2016)

41.     Division 23 Brewing (Miramar, 2015)

42.    Dos Desperados (San Marcos, 2014)

43.    Duck Foot (Miramar, 2015)

44.    Ebullition Brew Works (Vista, 2017)

45.    Eppig Brewing (North Park, 2016)

46.    Fall Brewing Co. (North Park, 2014)

47.     Fallbrook Brewing Company (Fallbrook, 2013)

48.    Finest Made Ales (Santee, 2016; formerly Butcher’s Brewing, 2013)

49.    Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (Mission Valley, 1998)

50.    Green Flash Brewing Co. (Mira Mesa, 2002)

51.     Groundswell Brewing Co. (Grantville, 2013)

52.    Groundswell Brewing Co. (Santee, 2017)

53.    Guadalupe Brewery (Carlsbad, 2015; growler fills only, no tasting room)

54.    Half Door Brewing Co. (Downtown, 2015)

55.    Helix Brewing Co. (La Mesa, 2015)

56.    Helm’s Brewing (Kearny Mesa, 2012)

57.    Hillcrest Brewing Company (Hillcrest, 2012)

58.    Home Brewing Co. (North Park, 2015)

59.    Indian Joe Brewing (Vista, re-opened 2017)

60.    Intergalactic Brewing Co. (Mira Mesa, 2013)

61.     Iron Fist Brewing Company (Vista, 2010)

62.    Jacked Up Brewing (Escondido, 2017)

63.    Jamul Brewing Co. (Jamul, 2013)

64.    Julian Brewing Company (Julian, 2012; no tasting room as of 2016; still operating?)

65.    Karl Strauss 4S Ranch (4S Ranch, 2012)

66.    Karl Strauss Carlsbad (Carlsbad, 1999)

67.     Karl Strauss Downtown (Downtown, 1989)

68.     Karl Strauss La Jolla (La Jolla, 2004)

69.     Karl Strauss Main Production Brewery (Pacific Beach, 1996)

70.     Karl Strauss Sorrento Mesa (Sorrento Mesa, 1994)

71.      Kensington Brewing Company (Grantville, 2013)

72.      Kilowatt Brewing Company (Kearny Mesa, 2015)

73.      KnB Brewery (Del Cerro, 2016)

74.      Knotty Brewing Co. (Downtown, 2016)

75.      Kuracali Saké & Beer Brewery (San Marcos, 2014)

76.      La Jolla Brewing Company (La Jolla, 2013)

77.       Latitude 33 Brewing Company (Vista, 2012)

78.       Legacy Brewing (Oceanside, 2013)

79.       Little Miss Brewing (Miramar, 2016)

80.       Longship Brewery (Mira Mesa, 2016)

81.        Magnetic Brewing (Kearny Mesa, 2015)

82.        Mason Ale Works (Oceanside, 2015)

83.        Mason Ale Works (San Marcos, 2017; production brewery; tasting room?)

84.        Midnight Jack Brewing Co. (Oceanside, 2016)

85.        Mike Hess Brewing (North Park, 2013)

86.        Mikkeller Brewing San Diego (Miramar, 2015)

87.         Mission Brewery (Downtown, 2008)

88.        Modern Times (Midway, 2013)

89.        Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery (East Village, 2011)

90.        Mother Earth Brew Company (Vista, 2010)

91.         New English Brewing Company (Sorrento Valley, 2008)

92.         Nickel Beer Company (Julian, 2013)

93.         North Park Beer Co. (North Park, 2016)

94.         Novo Brazil Brewing Company (Chula Vista, 2015)

95.         OB Brewery (Ocean Beach, 2016)

96.         Oceanside Ale Works (Oceanside, 2006)

97.          Oceanside Brewing Company (Oceanside, 2016)

98.          O’Sullivan Brother’s Brewing (Scripps Ranch, 2014)

99.          Pacific Beach Ale House (Pacific Beach, 2007)

100.         Pacific Islander Beer Co. (Santee, 2015)

101.         Pariah Brewing Company (North Park, 2017)

102.         Pizza Port Bressi Ranch (Bressi Ranch, 2014)

103.         Pizza Port Carlsbad (Carlsbad, 1997)

104.         Pizza Port Ocean Beach (Ocean Beach, 2010)

105.         Pizza Port Solana Beach (Solana Beach, 1992)

106.         Plan 9 Ale House (Escondido, 2013)

107.         Poor House Brewing Co (North Park, 2012)

108.         Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey (San Marcos, 2006)

109.         Prodigy Brewing Company (San Marcos, 2016)

110.         Prohibition Brewing Company (Vista, 2011)

111.         Pure Project Brewing (Miramar, 2016)

112.         Quantum Brewing Company (Kearny Mesa, 2014)

113.         Reckless Brewing Co. (Miramar, 2015)

114.         Resident Brewing Co. (Downtown, 2016)

115.         Rip Current Brewing Co. (San Marcos, 2012)

116.         Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurant La Jolla (La Jolla, 1998)

117.         Rough Draft Brewing Company (Mira Mesa, 2012)

118.         Rouleur Brewing Company (Carlsbad, 2017)

119.         San Diego Brewing Company (Grantville, 1993)

120.        San Diego Brewing Company (North Park, 2017)

121.         San Marcos Brewery & Grill (San Marcos, 1991)

122.         Second Chance Beer Co. (Carmel Mountain Ranch, 2015)

123.         Smoking Cannon Brewery (Ramona, 2017)

124.         Societe Brewing Co. (Kearny Mesa, 2012)

125.         South Park Brewing Co. (South Park, 2015)

126.         SpecHops Brewing Co. (Vista, 2017)

127.         SR76 Brewery (Valley Center, 2017)

128.         Stone Brewing Co. / Stone World Bistro and Gardens (Escondido, 1996)

129.         Stone World Bistro and Gardens Liberty Station (Liberty Station, 2013)

130.         Stumblefoot Brewing Company (San Marcos, 2012)

131.         The Beer Company (Downtown, 2010; no live web presence detectable)

132.         Thorn St. Brewery (North Park, 2012)

133.         Thr3e Punk Ales (Chula Vista; late 2016, website claimed their beers were on tap around San Diego; May 18, 2017 Fb post suggests they are brewing and tap room is completed)

134.         Thunderhawk Alements (Miramar, 2016)

135.         Toolbox Brewing (Vista, 2014)

136.         Wavelength Brewing Co. (Vista, 2014)

137.         White Labs (Miramar, 2012)

138.         Wiseguy Brewing Co. (Carlsbad, 2017)

Non-Craft San Diego Brewhouses in Operation

139.       Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits (Scripps Ranch, 2006; Acquired by Constellation Brands, 2015)

140.       Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits (Little Italy, 2013; “)

141.        Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits (Miramar, 2014; “)

142.        Ballast Point Home Brew Mart (Linda Vista, 1996; “)

143.        St. Archer Brewing Co. (Miramar, 2013; Acquired by MillerCoors, 2015)

 Non-San Diego-Brewed Craft Brewpub

144.         BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Chula Vista)

145.         BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (La Mesa)

146.         BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Hazard Center)

147.         BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (La Jolla)

148.         BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Escondido)

149.         BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Carlsbad)

Note: BJ’s has six breweries in five states (Brea, Boulder, Chandler, Reno, Temple, West Covina) and has won a variety of awards (including 28 GABF medals since 2000; BJ’s won Large Brewpub of the Year at GABF 2002). BJ’s breweries are members of the Brewer’s Association, which means that BJ’s IS craft beer. That is contrary to what I had thought; certainly, West Coaster and others don’t have them on their lists of craft beer in San Diego.

150.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Liberty Station)

151.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Chula Vista)

152.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Santee)

153.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Del Mar)

154.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Encinitas)

155.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Vista)

156.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Carmel Mountain)

157.         Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company (Mission Valley)

Note: According to what I was personally told by an employee in spring 2017, Oggi’s no longer brews on any of their own premises but instead contracts with Left Coast (San Clemente, CA) to have their recipes made. The brewing equipment at Mission Valley, for example, was sold off to a Canadian brewing company. Oggi’s was one of the original San Diego craft beer brew pubs and over the years won many awards, so it is the end of an era that they no longer brew in San Diego.

Craft You-Brew

158.         Citizen Brewers (A You-Brew operation, Mission Valley)

 Satellite Tasting Rooms in Operation

159.        Alpine Beer Co. Pub (Alpine)

160.        At Ease @Barrel Harbor (Miramar)

161.         Belching Beaver North Park

162.         Belching Beaver Ocean Beach

163.         Bolt Brewing Little Italy

164.         ChuckAlek Biergarten North Park

165.         Coronado Brewing Co. Imperial Beach

166.         Culture Brewing Ocean Beach

167.         Green Flash Cellar 3

168.         Helm’s Brewing Ocean Beach

169.         Iron Fist Barrio Logan

170.         Kilowatt Brewing Ocean Beach

171.         Legacy Brewing Tap & Kitchen  (Miramar)

172.         Lost Abbey Confessional Cardiff

173.         Mike Hess Brewing Ocean Beach

174.         Mike Hess Brewing Miramar

175.         Modern Times North Park

176.         Mother Earth Tap Room Vista

177.         Rip Current North Park

178.         Stone Company Store Oceanside

179.         Stone Tap Room (Downtown San Diego)

180.         Stone Company Store on Kettner (Downtown San Diego)

181.         Stone Brewing at PetCo Park

182.         Stone Brewing in Terminal 2, San Diego International Airport

 Brewhouses in Planning (credible)

183.         Alta Brewing (Barrio Logan, 2017)

184.         Barrel Rescue Brewing (Kearny Mesa)

185.         Black Plague Brewing (Oceanside, soft open May 19-21, 2017)

186.         Blue Water Grill (Carlsbad, Spring 2017; contract brewed for the chain in East Village SD)

187.         Escondido Brewing Co. (Escondido, 2017?)

188.         Fourpenny House (La Mesa, 2017)

189.         Full Body Brewing (Vista)

190.         Horus Aged Ales (Oceanside, 2017?)

191.         Protector Brewery (Miramar, 2017)

192.         Viewpoint Brewing (Del Mar, 2017; missed April 1 supposed opening; May Fb posts say “getting close.”)

193.         White Fence Brewing (Encinitas, 2017?)

Brewhouses In Planning (dubious)

194.         Depot Springs (La Mesa, June ’16. Dec. ‘16, no updates since mid-2016)

195.         Dogma Brewing (Clairemont; no news since 2014)

196.         Fighter Town Brewing Co. (Sorrento Valley; planned 2015, building sold 2016, no updates available)

197.         Harney Brewing Co. (North SD; no news since 2014)

198.         Knox Corners Brewing (Lakeside; no updates to Facebook page since 2015)

199.         Legatus Brewing Co. (Chula Vista; most recent Facebook update 1/2016)

200.        Northern Pine Brewing (Oceanside; no news since 2015)

 Non-Craft, San Diego-Brewhouses in Planning

201.         10 Barrel Brewing (Downtown San Diego, summer 2017; owned by ABInBev, considered “fake craft” by many.)

Satellite Tasting Rooms in Planning (most very credible)

202.         Modern Times Encinitas (in planning)

203.         Culture Brewing Encinitas (in planning)

204.         Little Miss Normal Heights (in planning)

205.         Little Miss Ocean Beach (in planning)

206.         Groundswell Brewing Company Chula Vista (in planning)

207.         Thorn Street Barrio Logan (in planning)

208.         Second Chance North Park (in planning)

209.         California Wild Ales North Park (in planning)

210.         Benchmark Brewing Bay Park (in planning)

211.          AleSmith Brewing Carlsbad (North 40 project, in planning)

212.         Second Chance Beer Company Carlsbad (North 40 project, in planning)

213.         Mission Brewery Pacific Beach (in planning)

219.         **SIX** tasting rooms at Seaport Village?? (in planning)