Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Brewsday - America's Finest Beer City: San Diego

One doesn't often think of San Diego when someone says beer, but you should be. San Diego is America's Premier Beer City offering 33 breweries throughout all of San Diego County. Known for the super-hoppy beers, San Diego County breweries are quickly making a name for themselves. At this year's Great American Beer Festival, Pizza Port-Carlsbad received the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. You name the style of beer and it is being brewed by one of the many breweries in San Diego County. 

San Diego was recently named America's Top Beer City by Men's Journal magazine. It beat out cities with notable brewing history like Portland, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Home of the Great American Beer Festival and home of the Brewer's Association Denver didn't even make the list. San Diego seemed like a dark horse until you begin to look at the breweries located in San Diego. Stone Brewing, located in Escondido, was named BeerAdvocate's Top Brewery on Planet Earth in their 2008 annual report.

Located in Stone Brewery's former San Marcos location are two breweries that are winning awards left and right. Pizza Port owners Vince and Gina Marsaglia realized they needed to increase their operations as people would ask where to get their beer outside of a Pizza Port restaurant. At the time there was no where. They were brewing to capacity at all three Port locations. So they bought Stone's former location in San Marcos. Knowing that Stone was vacating their property, and having been good friends of Stone's (Pizza Port Solana Beach was the first to put a Stone keg on tap) they worked a deal a purchased the location from Stone Brewing Co..

Half of the location is devoted to brewing additional beers for the Pizza Port locations, allowing locals additional venues to enjoy their favorite beers. Owner Vince had fallen in love with Abbey style beers years earlier and couldn't find the styles and quality of beer he sought after. So he decided to brew them himself. Now Lost Abbey is one of the highest rated Abbey-style breweries in the World and continue to produce some of the best beer around. Now the Pizza Port owners have five brewing locations around the Southern California area with Pizza Ports in Solana Beach, Carlsbad and San Clemente as well as their Port Brewing and Lost Abbey breweries in San Marcos.

These are just a handful of the breweries that San Diego has to offer. Karl Strauss, San Diego's first microbrewer has five locations of their own throughout the county, Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Company have three. Make sure that you visit San Diego, not for their Zoo, Naval Fleet, the Padres or Chargers, but visit simply because of their beer. You won't regret you did! So the next time someone says BEER! Tell them about all of the wonderful breweries awaiting them in San Diego County, California.

Below is a map of the breweries in the San Diego County area.

1. AleSmith Brewing Company
17. La Jolla Brewhouse
2. Alpine Beer Company
18. Lightning Brewery
3. Backstreet Brewery
19. Mission Brewery/ Miami Grill
4. Ballast Point Brewing Company
20. Oceanside Ale Works
5. Ballast Point – Home Brew Mart
21. Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company
6. The Brewhouse at Eastlake/Bay Bridge Brewing
22. Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company
7. Breakwater Brewing Company
23. Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company
8. Coronado Brewing Company
24. Pacific Beach AleHouse
9. Firehouse Brewing Company
25. Pizza Port – Carlsbad
10. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
26. Pizza Port – Solana Beach
11. Green Flash Brewing Company
27. Port Brewing/ Lost Abbey
12. Karl Strauss – Downtown
28. Rock Bottom – La Jolla
13. Karl Strauss – La Jolla
29. Rock Bottom Brewery Restaurant
14. Karl Strauss – Sorrento Mesa
30. San Diego Brewing Company
15. Karl Strauss Brewing Company
31. San Marcos Brewery & Grill
16. Karl Strauss – Carlsbad
32. Stone Brewing Co. & World Bistro Gardens

For more on San Diego Country Breweries and beer visit the San Diego Brewers Guild, Stone Brewing Co., Pizza Port, and Karl Strauss websites.

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