For this week’s blog, hot off the presses, I thought we would switch gears up a little. Instead of San Diego’s amazing food scene, let’s talk about it’s amazing craft beer scene! Craft beer and San Diego are pretty much synonymous in most people’s books (including ours). San Diego has a plethora of awesome, niche craft breweries scattered throughout its many neighborhoods. The city is well known for its strong IPAs. It’s a beer-lover’s dream! Let’s not forget you can buy it pretty much anywhere here as well. Not only in restaurants and bars, but at the movies, ball parks, and (most importantly) the zoo! I thought this week we would talk about our top four favorite breweries located just in North Park. Now, I want everyone to keep in mind (and be nice) that I am more of a foodie than a beer expert, but I am going to try my hand at it (and also rely on Ian’s much more vast knowledge). On that note, let’s get started shall we?
- BELCHING BEAVER BREWERY
Belching Beaver is a pretty well known San Diegan brewery. Possibly up there with Stone and Ballast Point (I remember having one of their beers when I was in Greenville, SC). The best thing about Belching Beaver is their inventive beer flavors (with equally inventive names). Belching Beaver puts out a lot of different, unique flavors that actually taste good! There isn’t much more disappointing than a flavored beer that tastes bad OR tastes like nothing. Each of their beers tastes EXACTLY like what is advertised. I have actually never had one I did not like from there. The one I find the most mesmerizing is the peanut butter and jelly blonde. First you get the peanut butter, then you get the finish of the jelly. It’s oddly satisfying. The Me So Honey is also nice. Light, crisp, with a sweet finish. The real star of the show is the Peanut Butter Milk Stout on Nitro (Ian note – BEST. STOUT. EVER. One of the best beers) . OMG this is the beer to end all beers. If you disagree, I’m sorry, you are wrong. It is smooth, dark, and nutty. Get it. It will change your life. The Mexican Peanut Butter Stout is also great– the cinnamon really comes through in the end. You can also get it as a float with ice cream! We have not tried it, but we have always wanted to! Beer and ice cream? Two vices together to create something otherworldly!
- THORN STREET BREWING
Full disclosure, one of the big draws to Thorn Street Brewing for us is that it is 1.5 miles from our house and we can walk there. It’s one of the only ways Ian gets me to exercise! Just kidding! Kinda… Thorn Street is a quaint, hole in the wall brewery with a cozy semi-outdoor back patio. The beer is great. Simple and refreshing. Ian favors the Rock the Pale Ale (Ian note- favorite San Diego Pale Ale by far). I prefer the Foreplay Belgian Blond. Ian finds their IPAs pretty stellar. They also have great seasonal porters and sours. One of the most surprising ones we ever had was a cucumber sour. As weird as it sounds, it was really delicious! Only thing about Thorn is they close a little early, and they are not shy about kicking you out when they are done!
- POOR HOUSE BREWING COMPANY
Poor House is another hidden gem of a brewery. It is self-described as rustic, and that is our favorite thing about it. There is a pool table, arcade game, and a shuffleboard table. It is simple and small. No frills. To this date, my favorite beer I have ever had came from Poor House. It was a toasted marshmallow stout, and it was incredible. This brewery (as well as Belching Beaver) is responsible for my newfound love of porters and stouts. Every single one we have had from there have been amazing (Ian note- great prices on samplers, and chill vibe). It is the perfect fall and winter spot to grab a brew.
- NORTH PARK BEER COMPANY
Again, I have a disclaimer here that I am a little biased about North Park Beer Co. We hosted Ian and Sean’s (his twin) birthday party here and they were so accommodating and friendly that I have nothing but mad love and respect for them. It is a huge spot with great beers and pretty darn good food (they have a Mastiff sausage on premises). The decor is classic and the location is perfect. I personally like their selection of sours and their hazy pale ale (it’s delicious). Ian does not care for sours, but he likes their IPAs (Ian note – and that Red they had that one time). In true San Diego fashion, they have plenty of IPA options.
North Park has many craft beer options, but these are our favorites! If you have any you recommend, please let us know! We are always open to try new things!
(Ian note- many more to come!)