San Diego Brewery Tour

Sunny skies and a cold beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Thankfully, San Diego has plenty of both.


There are 80-plus breweries to explore throughout the region. So, if you want to find out how this laid-back beach city earned its reputation as the Napa of craft beers, book your San Diego hotel and get your taste buds ready for the adventure of a lifetime.


Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss Brewing Company's eight Southern California restaurants are a local institution. But visit the lively neighborhood of Pacific Beach for the brewery where it all started. Nurse one of the 20 handcrafted beers on tap, including Strauss' famed India Pale Ales, in the tasting room or soak up the magnificent year-round weather in the charming beer garden. Sample beer flights in the rustic outdoor setting while seated at picnic tables surrounded by massive shade-bearing trees adorned with strung lights. Don't expect the restaurant fare, though; at Karl Strauss it's all about beer. But if you're hungry, you're not out of luck. Local restaurants deliver food to both the tasting room and beer garden. Enjoy the unique flavors of cask-conditioned beer, which the brewery unveils once a week. Tours are held intermittently throughout the year.

Stone Brewing Company

Get the inside scoop on one of the area's most successful brewers with an intimate behind-the-scenes tour of the Escondido-based Stone Brewing Company, 45 minutes northeast of downtown San Diego. It's worth the drive to see how the company makes its 36 craft and specialty beers. Plan ahead as tickets for the daily 45-minute tours are only available the day of on a first-come, first-served basis. As a beer aficionado, you'll enjoy the tour’s tasting session, while the kids in your group will get away with a nominal tour-only fee. Unwind after your adventure at the attached Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens. Dine on farm-to-table cuisine in a one-acre beer garden as you lounge on Adirondack chairs or warm yourself by the fire pit. In the summer, the sounds of live music fill the quaint setting.

Alesmith Brewing Company

Drive 20 minutes north of downtown to the quiet neighborhood of Miramar, where you'll find the AleSmith Brewing Company's massive 100,000-square-foot brewery. If you want to tour it, stop by on a Saturday afternoon, but get there early because tours are limited to 35 people. Stop by the outdoor beer garden or two-story tasting room, where you can watch brew masters hard at work on the other side of towering floor-to-ceiling windows. Savor rich handcrafted ales, including concoctions aged in oak wine barrels, served by the growler, pint or sip on several with a flight. Visit the memorabilia-filled museum dedicated to late San Diego Padre Tony Gwynn, who collaborated on an AleSmith beer.

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits

No matter where you are in San Diego, you aren't far from Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, which now boasts four local tasting rooms. Embark on one of the daily tours and tastings at the Scripps Ranch and Miramar locations, as well as the tiny pilot brewery in Little Italy, where you can test taste the IPAs, white Belgians, German-style lagers while enjoying a bite to eat. Want to expand your pallet? Head to the Scripps Ranch site, which features the newest addition to Ballast Point’s repertoire—a collection of rums, gins and vodkas.




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