San Diego is famous for setting a global standard for craft beer. No other place comes close to the passion San Diego has for craft beers and its evidenced not only by the number of small breweries in and around the city but also the extensive local craft beer lists and taps you’ll find at any given restaurant or bar.
After a morning of surfing, nothing is better to round out your day than grabbing a cold beer with friends. Here’s a guide to help you know what to expect if you’re new to the area and looking to explore the craft beer scene:
Hops Rule the Roost. It may be because of the high sulfur content in San Diego’s water, which accentuates hops so well, but there’s no question that IPAs and other beers that focus on hops are the most frequently brewed in San Diego. The brewers here have even created the Double IPA as if a regular IPA wasn’t hoppy enough. Stone Brewing is one of the most well-known Kings of Hops in San Diego, and their multiple breweries & restaurants should not be missed.
Get Behind the Wheel. Many great breweries are found slightly north of the city in industrial business parks—but don’t let that deter you. You’ll find a high concentration of them, and you can bar hop around to get brews directly from the people who did the brewing. One local favorite is Green Flash (try the Jibe Session IPA). Just be sure to have a designated driver with you!
Don’t Skip the Bars. If you’re not a fan of a certain brewer’s overall brewing style, you may be stuck watching your friends drink at a brewery while you stare sadly at an empty glass or worse, a pint of beer you just can’t bear to drink anymore. Luckily, bars in San Diego take their beer selection very seriously, and with good reason, considering what’s within reach right out their back door. Bars like Knotty Barrel have extensive beer lists, ensuring that everyone in your party can find a favorite.
Eat Up. You’ve spent all day on the waves and in the hot San Diego sunshine. Your body will not be too happy if you immediately put beer on an empty stomach, so make sure you drink lots of water and eat heartily while on your craft beer adventure. If breweries don’t have restaurants or snack food available, they typically have food trucks stationed nearby to feed hungry drinkers. The Hopping Pig is a local favorite known for its food just as much as for its long list of craft brews on draft.
Make a Day of It. At San Diego Surf School, we feel that surfing is not just a sport, but a healing lifestyle for mind & body. And craft beer, brewed with care, is another way to de-stress and reset. Schedule your day of relaxing to include surfing, craft beer, and friends for the ultimate experience in San Diego.
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