Beer Maverick

The State of Beer in San Diego, July 2017 edition

San Diego now has 143 operational craft breweries, plus 6 others. That’s a net increase of 12 in four months, including some closings. A monthly update on the state of #craftbeer in #sandiego.

As of July 20, 2017, San Diego County is home to 143 operational craft brew houses plus 25 satellite tasting rooms owned by those breweries. In addition, there are 20 “other” breweries and brewpubs currently in operation in San Diego, plus 40 more breweries and tasting rooms at various stages of planning. So, depending on what you want to count, there are 143 craft breweries, 149 brew houses, 168 craft brewery locations, 188 brewery locations of all types, and a projected future overall total of 228.

Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of beer. And the San Diego beer scene is still growing rapidly: since March 7, the overall total of operational breweries (all types) has increased by 12 (including a net increase of 11 craft breweries despite a couple of closings); the “locations in planning” category had a net increase of 7 (after taking out ones that became operational in the same period). The net total (operational plus projected) has grown by 20 despite me removing some “dead in the water” projects from the list in the period.

The “first edition” of my list was this one. The accompanying text there describes the thinking behind the organization of the list and what I have included.

If you compare my list to West Coaster’s, you’ll see several differences that go beyond just the new categorizations I’ve introduced. For example, West Coaster includes Julian Brewing and Circle 9 Brewing among the “operational” brew houses; on this list, they are both still “in planning”. (Circle 9 is only open for private events so far, and Julian Brewing has been closed for some time for a major renovation.)

You may have heard that the San Diego Brewers Guild is issuing window films and other marketing materials to members as part of a campaign to educate consumers about supporting independent craft beer–rather spending their drinking money on “ex-craft” or “pseudo-craft” or “fake craft” breweries/brewpubs owned by major international conglomerates that aim to keep craft beer down. It is a good move, but it leaves out the 17% (24 of 143) local, independent, San Diego craft breweries that (for whatever reason) have chosen not to join the SDBG. To help illustrate how many there are, I’ve marked the non-SDBG members in the list of operational brew houses, below. If you are someone who believes in independent craft breweries, they deserve your patronage, too. You can see the full list of SDBG members here. By the way, if you are curious about why the SDBG list includes things that are not on my list or West Coaster’s list, it is because some of the things on the SDBG “Breweries” list are not breweries but brands (like Stone’s Arrogant Brewing, Port Brewing’s Hop Concept, and Green Flash’s Cellar 3).

For fun, I’ve added “Sake Breweries” and “Cideries and Meaderies” categories to the end of the list. They are craft alcoholic beverages served in pint glasses and brewed by local independent companies, after all. Plus they taste great. I was impressed to learn that San Diego County already has 10 meaderies and cideries in operation, with at least 3 more due to open soon.

Please let me know ( if you see any mistakes or know of anything else that needs to be added to the list.



            San Diego Craft Brewhouses in Operation

(Asterisk * indicates non-members of San Diego Brewers Guild)

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, soft opening June 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.             Black Plague Brewing (Oceanside, June 10, 2017)

27.             BNS Brewing & Distilling (Santee, 2013)

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

29.             Booze Brothers (Vista, 2013)

30.             Border X Brewing (Barrio Logan, 2013) *

31.             Breakwater Brewing Company (Oceanside, 2008)

32.             Burgeon Beer Company (Carlsbad, 2016)

33.             Burning Beard Brewing (El Cajon 2016)

34.             California Wild Ales (Sorrento Valley, 2017; no tasting room) *

35.             ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, 2013)

36.             Chula Vista Brewery (Chula Vista, 2017) *

37.             Coronado Brewing Company (Coronado, 1996)

38.             Coronado Brewing Company (Bay Park, 2013)

39.             Council Brewing (Kearny Mesa, 2014)

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

41.             Culver Beer Co. (Carlsbad, 2016)

42.             Division 23 Brewing (Miramar, 2015)

43.             Dos Desperados (San Marcos, 2014)

44.             Duck Foot (Miramar, 2015)

45.             Ebullition Brew Works (Vista, 2017) *

46.             Eppig Brewing (North Park, 2016)

47.             Escondido Brewing Co. (Escondido, 2017) *

48.             Fall Brewing Co. (North Park, 2014) *

49.             Fallbrook Brewing Company (Fallbrook, 2013)

50.             Finest Made Ales (Santee, 2016)

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

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

53.             Groundswell Brewing Co. (Grantville, 2013)

54.             Groundswell Brewing Co. (Santee, 2017)

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

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

57.             Helix Brewing Co. (La Mesa, 2015) *

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

59.             Hillcrest Brewing Company (Hillcrest, 2012)

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

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

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

63.             Iron Fist Brewing Company (Vista, 2010)

64.             Jacked Up Brewing (Escondido, 2017)

65.             Jamul Brewing Co. (Jamul, 2013)

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

67.             Karl Strauss Carlsbad (Carlsbad, 1999)

68.             Karl Strauss Downtown (Downtown, 1989)

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

70.             Karl Strauss Main Production Brewery (Bay Ho, 1996)

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

72.             Kensington Brewing Company (Grantville, 2013) *

73.             Kilowatt Brewing Company (Kearny Mesa, 2015)

74.             KnB Brewery (Del Cerro, 2016) *

75.             Knotty Brewing Co. (Downtown, 2016) *

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

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

78.             Latitude 33 Brewing Company (Vista, 2012)

79.             Legacy Brewing (Oceanside, 2013)

80.             Little Miss Brewing (Miramar, 2016)

81.             Longship Brewery (Mira Mesa, 2016)

82.             Magnetic Brewing (Kearny Mesa, 2015)

83.             Mason Ale Works (Oceanside, 2015)

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

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

86.             Mike Hess Brewing (North Park, 2013)

87.             Mikkeller Brewing San Diego (Miramar, 2015)

88.             Mission Brewery (Downtown, 2008)

89.             Modern Times (Midway, 2013)

90.             Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery (East Village, 2011; purchased by Coronado Brewing, 2017)

91.             Mother Earth Brew Company (Vista, 2010)

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

93.             Nickel Beer Company (Julian, 2013)

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

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

96.             OB Brewery (Ocean Beach, 2016) *

97.             Oceanside Ale Works (Oceanside, 2006) *

98.             Oceanside Brewing Company (Oceanside, 2016) *

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

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

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

102.          Pacific Islander Beer Co. (Santee, 2015) *

103.          Pariah Brewing Company (North Park, 2017)

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

105.          Pizza Port Carlsbad (Carlsbad, 1997)

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

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

108.          Plan 9 Ale House (Escondido, 2013)

109.          Poor House Brewing Co (North Park, 2012) *

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

111.          Prodigy Brewing Company (San Marcos, 2016)

112.          Prohibition Brewing Company (Vista, 2011)

113.          Protector Brewery (Miramar, soft open June 2017)

114.          Pure Project Brewing (Miramar, 2016)

115.          Quantum Brewing Company (Kearny Mesa, 2014)

116.          Reckless Brewing Co. (Miramar, 2015)

117.          Resident Brewing Co. (Downtown, 2016)

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

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

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

121.          Rouleur Brewing Company (Carlsbad, 2017)

122.          San Diego Brewing Company (Grantville, 1993)

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

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

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

126.          Smoking Cannon Brewery (Ramona, 2017) *

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

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

129.          SpecHops Brewing Co. (Vista, 2017) *

130.          SR76 Brewery (Valley Center, 2017)

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

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

133.          Stumblefoot Brewing Company (San Marcos, 2012) *

134.          The Beer Company (Downtown, 2010) *

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

136.          Thorn Brewing Co. (Barrio Logan, 2017)

137.          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)

138.          Thunderhawk Alements (Miramar, 2016) *

139.          Toolbox Brewing (Vista, 2014)

140.          Viewpoint Brewing (Del Mar, 2017)

141.          Wavelength Brewing Co. (Vista, 2014)

142.          White Labs (Miramar, 2012)

143.          Wiseguy Brewing Co. (Carlsbad, 2017)­

Non-Craft San Diego Brewhouses in Operation

144.          10 Barrel Brewing (Downtown San Diego; owned by ABInBev, considered “fake craft” by many.)

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

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

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

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

149.          Saint Archer Brewing Co. (Miramar, 2013; Acquired by MillerCoors, 2015)

Satellite Tasting Rooms in Operation

150.          Alpine Beer Co. Pub (Alpine)

151.          At Ease @Barrel Harbor (Miramar)

152.          Belching Beaver Brewery (North Park)

153.          Belching Beaver Brewery (Ocean Beach)

154.          Bolt Brewing (Little Italy)

155.          ChuckAlek Biergarten (North Park)

156.          Coronado Brewing Company (Imperial Beach)

157.          Culture Brewing (Ocean Beach)

158.          Green Flash Cellar 3 (Miramar)

159.          Helm’s Brewing (Ocean Beach)

160.          Iron Fist Brewing (Barrio Logan)

161.          Kilowatt Brewing (Ocean Beach)

162.          Legacy Brewing Tap & Kitchen  (Miramar)

163.          Little Miss Brewing (Normal Heights)

164.          Lost Abbey Confessional (Cardiff)

165.          Mike Hess Brewing (Ocean Beach)

166.          Mike Hess Brewing Miramar (Due to start brewing here again on new equipment in 2017)

167.          Modern Times (North Park)

168.          Mother Earth Brew Co.Tap Room (Vista)

169.          Rip Current Brewing (North Park)

170.          Stone Company Store Oceanside (Oceanside)

171.          Stone Tap Room (Downtown San Diego)

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

173.          Stone Brewing at PetCo Park  (Downtown San Diego)

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

Brewhouses in Planning (credible)

175.          Alta Brewing (Barrio Logan, 2017)

176.          Barrel Rescue Brewing (Kearny Mesa)

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

178.          Brewers Landing (College Area, 2018?)

179.          Circle 9 Brewing (Kearny Mesa, summer 2017 target opening)

180.          Coronado Brewing Company (Imperial Beach Bikeway Village development, late 2017?)

181.          Creative Creature Brewing (El Cajon, 2017?—originally slated for downtown but location fell through)

182.          Fourpenny House (La Mesa, 2017)

183.          Full Body Brewing (Vista)

184.          Horus Aged Ales (Oceanside, 2017?)

185.          Julian Brewing Company (Julian, 2012; no tasting room as of 2016; July 2017 Fb post says “currently under renovation”)

186.          Karl Strauss Brewing Company (Santee, 2017?)

187.          Northern Pine Brewing (Oceanside; 2017 opening?)

188.          SouthNorte (San Diego, 2017?)

189.          TapRoom Beer Company (University Heights, projected Dec 2017)

190.          White Fence Brewing (Encinitas, 2017?)

191.          Wild Barrel Brewing Company (San Marcos, 2017?)

Brewhouses In Planning (dubious)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Satellite Tasting Rooms in Planning (most very credible)

198.          Modern Times Encinitas (in planning)

199.          Culture Brewing Encinitas (in planning)

200.          Little Miss Ocean Beach (in planning)

201.          Groundswell Brewing Company Chula Vista (in planning)

202.          Second Chance North Park (in planning)

203.          California Wild Ales North Park (in planning)

204.          Benchmark Brewing Bay Park (in planning)

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

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

207.          Mission Brewery Pacific Beach (in planning)

208.          Mike Hess Brewing Imperial Beach (in planning, due 2018)

209.          SIX tasting rooms at Seaport Village?? (in planning—for 2023??)

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

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

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

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

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

Non-San Diego-Brewed Craft Venues

215.          Golden State Brewery Tap Room (Ocean Beach; behind Voltaire Beach House, brewed in Santa Clara, CA)

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

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

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

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

220.          BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (Escondido)

221.          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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

228.          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 [July 2017: except at Carmel Mountain Ranch] but instead contracts with Left Coast (San Clemente, CA) to have their recipes made. Oggi’s was one of the original San Diego craft brew pubs and over the years won many awards.

Craft You-Brew

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

Sake Breweries in Operation

230.          Setting Sun Sake (Miramar, 2016)

See also Kuracali Sake and Beer Brewery, in the Brew Houses section

Cideries and Meaderies in Operation

231.          Bronto Mead (Mira Mesa, 2016)

232.          Golden Coast Mead (Oceanside)

233.          Golden Coast Mead (Julian tasting room)

234.          Julian Hard Cider (Julian; tasting room at Miner’s Saloon, Wynola)

235.          Julian Ciderworks (Julian)

236.          Meadiocrity Mead (San Diego; no tasting room)

237.          Mysterious Mead Company (Ramona; no tasting room)

238.          Newtopia Cyder (Scripps Ranch, 2017)

239.          Twisted Horn Mead and Cider (Vista)

240.          Turquoise Barn Cider (Ramona; no tasting room)

Cideries and Meaderies in Planning

241.          Lost Cause Meadery (Miramar; inside Serpentine Cider)

242.          Raging Cider and Mead (San Marcos, coming summer 2017?)

243.          Serpentine Cider (Miramar, summer 2017?)