Beer Maverick

San Diego Brewing Co., Grantville

One of the original craft breweries that got the movement started in San Diego. They still brew award-winning beers and serve them in a comfortable sports bar atmosphere with good pub food.

San Diego Brewing Co. opened in 1993 and was one of the places that helped launch San Diego’s amazing craft beer scene. Their beers, brewed in a tiny room on site, have won medals at various beer competitions over the years. San Diego Brewing Co. will open a second location soon in the North Park Brewery Igniter, with co-tenants Eppig (already open) and Pariah Brewing (also due to open soon). Once San Diego Brewing and Pariah open their doors, there will be thirteen craft breweries, brew pubs and tasting rooms in the North Park neighborhood.

The atmosphere in the original Grantville location is friendly and laid-back, with an oak bar, oak furniture and concrete floors. The decoration is mostly just beer advertising. It looks a little “1990s”; it might be time for a renovation. Some of the chairs are not very comfortable. They have TVs everywhere, so this is a good spot to catch a game. On one Saturday I visited, fans from lots of different football teams were in attendance for the early games; there doesn’t seem to be a dominant team here, though the Chargers and the Steelers were well-represented.  It is in a strip mall, so parking is ample.

During my first visit, they had ten of their own beers on tap (brewed in an improbably small space right next door) plus a house-brewed kombucha and an enviable guest beer list with 34 offerings. As you will see from my ratings below, the average quality of the house beer here is higher than you’ll find at many craft breweries.

I’ve had good service each time I’ve been here, including at tables and at the bar. The food is pretty good. 

San Diego Gold (Pale Lager, 4.5% ABV). This used to be called Grantville Gold. Pale straw color with a mild, slightly malty flavor and a crisp finish. This won silver at the 2016 San Diego International Beer Festival.  3.5/5

San Diego IPA (7.3% ABV). Definitive of the distinctive style of west coast IPAs particular to San Diego. I liked it a lot. It won gold at the 2016 San Diego International Beer Festival. 4.25/5

Infinitude IPA (Imperial IPA, 8.3% ABV). I like this even better than the gold-medal-winning San Diego IPA.  4.5/5

San Diego Amber (Amber Ale, 5.5% ABV). This is a very nice amber; it is the signature beer at San Diego Brewing Co. 4/5

Old Town Nut Brown (Brown Ale, 5.7% ABV). Smoked toffee flavors and a very smooth overall impression. 3.75/5

The Stout (6.6% ABV). A bit of sweet, a bit of smoke, a lot of toasted malt. Quite good.  3.75/5     10450 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92120


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

An article from San Diego Magazine’s Brewery Guide.

San Diego Brew Review’s entry.