Local Breweries

San Diego: a county known for its beaches, baby pandas and, more recently, the finest craft beer in the nation. We've heard of beer aficionados flying in from around the country for week-long beercations consisting of tours, tastings, and late nights at Hamilton's Tavern and Toronado. Here is our DIY guide for visiting the best breweries in town. (Photo courtesy of Ballast Point)

Updated: June 02, 2010

San Diego Breweries

Port Brewing LLC

155 Mata Way, San Marcos, CA 92069

On weekends, Port offers informal 20-minute guided tours of the brewhouse and barrel room. The tasting room offers individual tastings and beer flights of more than 20 fresh Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey beers. Public hours are Fridays 4-8pm, Saturdays 12-5pm, and Sunday 12-4pm.

Ballast Point Brewing Co

10051 Old Grove Rd, San Diego, CA 92131

The local company started as Home Brew Mart in 1992 and expanded operations to include two breweries in San Diego. Visit the Scripps Ranch location for a tour and tastings of Yellowtail Pale Ale, Black Marlin Porter, Wahoo Wheat Beer and other specialties. Public hours are Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm and Sunday 1-5pm.

Stone Brewing Co

1999 W Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92029

Offering what is probably the most popular brewery tour in San Diego, Stone offers free 45-minute public tours every day of the week. After the tour, order Stone Pale Ale or an IPA, take a seat on the patio, and enjoy the lush gardens of the brewery's property.

Oceanside Ale Works

3800 Oceanic Dr, Oceanside, CA 92056

The North County brewery produces Pier View Pale Ale, San Luis Rey Red Ale and American Strong Ale along with seasonal ales. Tasting hours are Fridays 4-8pm and Saturdays 12-4pm.

Alpine Beer Co

2351 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901

The small brewery offers eight beers year-round and more on a seasonal basis. At $1 each, try 4 oz. tasters of the refreshing Alpine Ale, a double IPA called Pure Hoppiness and an orange blossom honey ale called Mandarin Nectar. The brewery is open to the public Tues-Sat from 12-6pm each day.

Green Flash Brewing Co

1430 Vantage Ct, Vista, CA 92081

Best known for its West Coast IPA and Trippel Belgian Style Ale, the Vista-based brewery offers tours, tastings, and growler fills for the public on Fridays 4-8pm, Saturdays 12-5pm, and Sundays 12-4pm.

Karl Strauss Brewing Co

9675 Scranton Road, San Diego, CA 92121

The beer/restaurant company started with two energetic young college grads who set up shop in an apartment in Mission Beach. Decades later, Karl Strauss's Red Trolley Ale, Woodie Gold, Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen and other brews are available in bars and grocery stores across Southern California. The Sorrento Valley location has an outdoor garden that's ideal for brunch and a beer.