San Diego’s brewery scene has exploded in the past decade. It’s no wonder, considering the huge food and drink scene here. Combine all of that with great views, and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for a great afternoon of beer drinking. But with so many breweries, it’s hard to find the best. This list of the best breweries in San Diego will help you refine your decision, so you can spend more time on the activities that matter. By that, we mean beer and cannabis.

Viewpoint Brewing Company

Viewpoint was founded by Charles Koll, a chef and brewer. Viewpoint aims to fuse craft beer, great food and stylish ambiance.

Beer

Viewpoint’s beer is somewhat lesser known than most of the beer on this list. Yet that doesn’t mean they’re any less deserving of a spot. Even though they haven’t been around for as long as some of the other mainstay breweries in the city, they still have a huge selection of beers (just under 20). You’ll find everything ranging from blondes to stouts here.

Ambiance

Truth? All beer aside, the ambiance is the real reason to head to Viewpoint (as the name suggests). Situated right on the San Dieguito Lagoon, it’s the perfect spot to sit back, relax and enjoy a frosty cold one.

Food

The food doesn’t disappoint here, either. You’ll find everything from beef tartare to ceviche to pork belly bites topping the appetizer menu. Hearty sandwiches and entrees representing several major cuisines dominate the rest of the menu.

Alpine Beer Company

Alpine Beer is the type of brewery that beer aficionados make pilgrimages to visit. The Beer Advocate ranked Alpine as the fifth best brewery in the U.S. in 2006.

Beer

Alpine features seven active beers and five seasonal beers. Some of their most popular beers include an Irish red, chocolate oatmeal stout, an orange blossom honey ale and a pale ale.

Ambiance

If you’re not into frills, the tasting room at Alpine is for you. There’s nothing to come between you and your beer here — no tablecloths, fancy napkins or even tables.

Food

The tasting room is adjacent to the Pub, where you can enjoy a pint of beer alongside barbecue, nachos and other hearty foods.

Stone Brewing Co.

Even if you’re not local to San Diego, you’ll probably recognize the Stone Brewing name — and their sister company, Arrogant Brewing. Their most famous beer is their Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Beer

Arrogant Bastard isn’t the only beer up Stone’s sleeves. They offer six year-round beers, four special releases and one seasonal beer. They also collaborate with other breweries. Their Mikhail Espresso Russian Imperial Stout won a Critic’s Picks award from San Diego Magazine in 2018.

Ambiance

Stone has three taps rooms and one bistro in San Diego. Both taprooms offer warm, rustic ambiances. The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens has an impressive outdoor space and industrial design bar.

Food

The menu fuses cuisines from all over the world — but definitely leans toward Asian fusion. You’ll find Bavarian pretzels, Sriracha-glazed honey quail knots and egg drop soup here.

Belching Beaver

Founded back in 2012, the Belching Beaver Brewery has made up for lost time by taking the beer world by storm. Beaver’s head brewer, Thomas Peters, was awarded the Alpha King award not one — but two times.

Beer

Belching Beaver features seven beers — all with names like Phantom Bride and Me So Honey.

Ambiance

The Beave has two locations in San Diego and one in Vista. All three locations offer a similar ambiance that embodies that industrial streamlined designs most California breweries lean in to. The best part? They’re also canine friendly.

Food

The menu is full of serious comfort food. Think: burgers topped with cheese and onion rings, bar snacks and all the other good stuff that’s best eaten on vacation.

Green Flash Brewing Co.

Green flash is sort of the OG of the San Diego brewing world. Which means you could probably just call them the OB. But that would be weird. These guys are known for brewing hoppy IPAs. Bonus? You can visit these guys on our Kegs-n-Kush tour for a VIP cannabis/brewery experience.

Beer

Green Flash produces eight beers, year-round. They also offer two limited releases. Their IPAs are balanced with fruit to give the beer a crisp flavor. In addition to IPAs, they also offer wheat and lager-style beer. Their limited editions often feature something a little darker.

Oh, and they’ve also raised over $300,000 to fight breast cancer. NBD.

Ambiance

You can visit Green Flash in San Diego or Lincoln. The tasting rooms are very industrial with minimal décor. What can we say? The focus is on the beer here.

Food

When hunger strikes, the Green Flash Gastro food truck will roll into view. Meat dominates the menu, and you’ll get everything from burgers to jerk chicken to Bahn mi fries here. Vegetarians aren’t left out of the mix though, either. The veggie burger and jalapeño cheese fries were invented just for you guys.

Societe Brewing Company

Another brewery to open its doors in 2012 (must have been a great year for beer, right?), Societe has won the West Coaster’s Best Brewery award two times. They also won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. San Diego Magazine listed their Highbinder Feral Raspberry Ale as one of their “Best Picks” for 2018.

Beer

Societe serves over 30 different beers — all with classy old-school names, like Harlot, Baroness, Dandy and Haberdasher. It’s basically a hipster’s dream brewery.

Ambiance

The tasting room has an open, airy feel to it; it’s also full of dark, olden-timey day decorations that’ll make you want to grow a beard and wear more sweaters.

Food

Different food trucks roll on up to the tasting room every day. You’ll see everything from sushi to Mexican to Greek food here.

While we can’t vouch for every brewery in the San Diego area, hopefully, this list will help narrow down your choices for you. Still can’t decide? Discover the similarities between cannabis and beer on our Kegs-n-Kush tour.

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