For beer enthusiasts visiting LA, it’s no secret that San Diego houses some of the best breweries. Needless to say, San Diego is a must. I should warn you that LA to San Diego is a two-hour drive, but if you’re looking for a stress-free way to get to San Diego, definitely check out the Amtrak (Pacific Surfliner) and enjoy a beautiful coastal train ride down to SD.
The first thing you should know about SD beer is that it’s known for its IPAs (India Pale Ale). While to some (me) it can be a bit bitter, it is definitely one of the more popular choices for those who enjoy a hoppy beer. Another SD favorite is a nice Stout. Stouts are typically heavier and darker than most beers, and usually has a richer bolder taste. From my experience, one of the great things about beer tasting in SD is that there are so many great microbreweries around– you’ll definitely find a beer you won’t be able to turn down!
There are a few breweries that are must when you are in town:
The Lost Abbey: The Lost Abbey has over 40 beers on tap. While it has the feel of a major brewery, it doesn’t get overly crowded. Be sure to try their unforgettable pale ale, Avant Garde.
Stone Brewery: Stone Brewery is probably one of the most popular breweries in SD. I would recommend making this your lunchtime beer -stop, since their bistro has incredible food attached to their beer garden! The ambiance and draft beer (especially their Stone IPA) is well worth the crowded atmosphere.
Iron Fist: Looking for a laid back and low-key atmosphere? Stop by this family-owned brewery for a fun and more intimate experience. This brewery offers a series of popular Belgian beers such as Dubbel Fisted, Uprising and my favorite, Velvet Glove, an oatmeal stout.
Looking for a fun and safe way to enjoy beer tasting, check out Scavengers Beer Adventures. Having enjoyed my fair share of beer tastings and tours in SD, this company does it right! You meet them at a mutual place, where you board a Swiss Troop Transporter that will take you to three breweries. Also included are lunch and a brewery tour. A great way to play it safe in a fun and unique way!
Image courtesy of westcoastersd.com