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AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Brewing CompanyAleSmith Brewing Company
Based on:
82 Beers
25,152 Hads
Place Score: 95
Reviews: 48
Visits: 287
Avg: 4.34
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

9368 Cabot Drive
San Diego, California, 92126
United States
phone: (858) 549-9888

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

AleSmith has been in operation since 1995. The brewery is open to the public for growler, bottle and merchandise sales:
Monday - Thursday: Noon-9pm
Friday: Noon-9pm (food truck at 5pm)
Saturday: 11am-9pm (food truck at 1pm)
Sunday: 11am-6pm

Tours are given the last Saturday of each month. Please call ahead for groups of 7 or more.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 48 | Visits: 287
Photo of SSS
4.94/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

What a great place to hang out and have a beer. They have an outdoor area as well as indoor. Good selection of beers, you can mix and match tasters. The service was very fast. Vibe was pretty good for 3pm...the have a food truck parked on the side of their terrace.

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Photo of amano_h
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

AleSmith would have been my favorite stop during my mini San Diego brewery tour, had it not been for the fact that I was suffering from heat exhaustion earlier during the day and could not consume any alcohol on-site (which kind of worked out, since it allowed me to drive my two other brewery tour buddies around.)

For beer enthusiasts everywhere, AleSmith really needs no introduction. Their beers, regardless of style, have been received with critical acclaim (and boy, you should meet some of these critics), which is quite uncharacteristic of breweries nowadays where people tend to remember a brewery's flagship beer and not much else.

There's definitely something here for beer drinkers/enthusiasts of all ages and levels; unlike the other San Diego giants, (e.g. Stone, Ballast Point, Green Flash) AleSmith has a more intimate, local watering hole/lounge atmosphere, which was definitely a nice refreshing change after visiting the giant industrial complex that is Green Flash/Ballast Point.

Not only can you sample all of AleSmith's year-round offerings on draught, but this is pretty much the only place you can purchase the highly sought-after barrel-aged/rare coffee variants of AleSmith's Speedway Stout without giving up both legs and arms; I also saw a small foodstand/food truck toward the back of the brewery, which I should probably try the next time I come back. (hopefully without the heat exhaustion)

Long story short, despite their ubiquitous appeal across America, AleSmith seems keen to remain San Diego's best kept secret and it really shows -- definitely a "local favorite" kind of spot

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Photo of Dave_Treat
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Nice place in the corner of a little complex. Surprised that Alesmith can brew all their beer is such a small spot, maybe why they just opened a second. Very freindly staff. Nice selection of Alesmith beers.

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Photo of RLVineh
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Love Speedway and its variant, but sometimes theres not much on the board. The service is good for the most part, but when they get busy, the beertenders seem to get overwhelmed and come off a little rude. i understand they're under stress so im not killing them on it.

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Photo of domdomdomdom
4.47/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A little out of the way from San Diego proper but still not as far as going out to Escondido to Stone. They usually have some interesting things on tap as well!

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Photo of QuakeAttack
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Wanted to get to the original taproom/brewery before the new brewery opens in the next couple of months. Wife and I dropped in for a few tasters and to pickup some bottles.

As expected, not a large facility. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Patrons were friendly and helped explain to my wife the tap systems (traditional English cask tap).

Only disappointment was the lack of variants, but I did get a chance to try Cask Old Ale. Worth the trip.

Got four bottles, tee shirt, and a cool bag to carry the four bottles purchased.

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Photo of Pawoto
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

AleSmith was a great stop on our 14-brewery San Diego beer trip. The selection was solid - Speedway from the source was a highlight, as was .394 and imperial .394. They had a few BA beers on and I would've gladly stayed longer if there was time.

Merch was great - took home a tasting glass and the .394 Pale Ale Hooded Sweatshirt.

If you don't stop at AleSmith the next time you are in the area then you hate beer.

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Photo of ARoman
4.01/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3

*Based on notes from 02/2014 visit*
A quaint little storefront tasting room, but to be honest, for a guy from Chicago - where Alesmith is unavailable - it was awesome to finally sample some of the offerings of this renowned brewer. Well polished and maintained taproom, bit of a lodge / lounge feel but with hints of the production facility just around the corner. Friendly staff, excellent pricing, but only a handful of brew available.

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Every time I'm out to visit the giant Stone beer garden I swing by Alesmith 20 min down the road. No food served here but there is typically a limited offering such as a Speedway variant on tap. The beer tenders are always jovial and quick to fill your glass. Just be wary of the beer buses that drop off loads of people at once that can take the crowd from enjoyable to packed instantly. Grab some bottles to go as they often have some good stuff you won't find in stores.

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Photo of porbastipa
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

A must visit when in SD selection varies and the vibe is ok only because of the seriously overcrowding from these silly brew tours. Most of the drinkers never even heard of AleSmith.

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Photo of HunterSBeerson
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Amazing brewery that does not often get the recognition it deserves. With so many great brewers in Southern California, it can be hard to stand out. Despite the crowded market, AleSmith stands apart by putting out amazing beers that differ from the American IPAs that you commonly find out here (and they even do those better than almost anyone in the form of YuleSmith!)

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Photo of RogueOz
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Nice clean, modern facility. Average bar area and seated/standing area. Partial view into the brew/warehouse area. Single men/womens bathrooms, cleaned regularly. parking can be tight during the week due to the other business being open and shared parking lot. Occasional bus tour can make this bar area kind of tight. Nice tap list including all the staples and several special/seasonal releases. The website doesn't always give an accurate taplist and no webcam, especially if you want to know the special release taplist. Don't bother calling b/c they don't pick-up. The occasional food truck - check website for calendar. Hope this helps. Cheers.

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Just like many many other breweries, Alesmith is out in a industrial complex of buildings. They've renovated things over the past couple years. Good service almost always and the prices are reasonable for tasters/pints. I just wish Alesmith would create some new beers. Their barrel aging program is good and the one time they released a sour years ago, I was really impressed.

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Photo of timmy2b
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

The place was very clean with several tables for sitting as well as a long bar. They have multiple beers on draft, 2 on cask and the Speedway Stout was on Nitro. The bartenders were very nice and informative about the beers. Everyone in the place was happy, more sober than drunk and enjoying themselves casually which always leads for a good time. The prices for the samples I had was reasonable $1-3 and the pint for my girlie was only $4 for an Oktoberfest which is a great price compared to what I saw in CA for the weekend. As we left each bartender said thank you for coming in which was a nice twist. Really enjoyed the brewery and the beers were excellent!

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Photo of Gavage
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

This is a small little tasting room in a warehouse and office area that is pretty easy to find. Lots of grey concrete and dark woods here as there were a few hitops to stand around and sample beers. Some barrels decorate one wall and souvenirs on another. The bar area is L shaped but is for standing only.

13 beers were available on this trip, the standard offerings plus 3 specialties. The beers I had were super fresh and delicious. Picked up a t shirt and a bottle to go. A very enjoyable stop.

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Photo of sharkboy
3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4.5

Always come in for a growler fill, and usually there's a solid variety on tap. My only gripe is some of the service is sub par, but not everyone. Small gripe, I know, but it does make a difference.
Not any food available from what I recall other than nuts and standard pub grub. Get's packed on the weekend just a heads up.

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Photo of Flip4beers
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Great atmosphere, nice selection of beers, Speedway variants are always Grade A for me. There's not enough chairs to sit but we'll see how the new place holds up, Cheers!

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Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere: A nice welcoming environment, very clean, friendly inviting staff

Quality: Beer is excellent quality, only thing else is souvenirs, which I didn't get

Service: Excellent service, staff is very knowledgeable and friendly

Selection: Plenty of beer choices

Value: Excellent, no price gouging here

Overall: A must try in San Diego, excellent beers and a good place to try them.

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Photo of Shindoverse
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

The beer selection is truly tasty. It was a little strange to find this place in the office park district of Mira Mesa, but the selection more than made up for the location or the atmosphere. The food is offered by a revolving selection of food trucks, depending on the week.

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Photo of orangesol
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

My first stop of the day is a place I have wanted to visit for years. Entering the door I am greeted by a surprisingly small tasting room, reminds me of the old Tröegs tasting room. I would have expected it to be bigger, I bet this place is a mad house on days they have limited beers on. Atmosphere was pretty laid back. People enjoying their beers at the bars and over by the barrels they have lined up on the front wall. Service was pretty good. I had to wait a bit for one of my beers but all in all I never had to wait more than a minute or so for any of my beers. Quality was really high. The space feels bigger than it actually is thanks to their staging and they offer lots of swag and glasses to take home with you. Selection was a little disappointing in that they didn’t really have anything on that I hadn’t had before, just all of the regular beers and four seasonal offerings, still great beers but I was hoping for at least one or two new beers. Prices were more than reasonable. Overall a really nice space for a world class brewery. I will definitely return the next time I am in the area.

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Photo of TheDrunkenDeer
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

A great little standing pub. I tried to get in on a tour that was starting but they said it was private. Not the best looking tasting room but the beer speaks for itself. A big fan of Alesmith here. Probably the best beer I tried in a week long tour of San Diego.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

This is a complete re-grade based on the new facility which is top notch! Great people working there and a great selection of AleSmith offerings. This could well be a destination place for the San Diego Beer scene.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Showed up here when I was in town with the wife for a conference. Walked in and had no idea they were doing the Speedway Grand Prix that day. 10 crazy Speedway variants on tap, plus regular Speedway, nitro Speedway, cask Speedway, a new Hammerhead Speedway, and then their regulars. Unfortunately I had no idea about the event and did not sign up beforehand, so I could not have any of the Grand Prix tasters. But did try the Hammerhead and wow it was good. This place, like many breweries, is in an industrial/commercial park and is rather unassuming. Place was packed with nowhere to sit, but it was easy to get up to the bar and get a drink. Service was friendly and helpful, and they even had some BA Wee Heavy still for sale so I grabbed a bottle. Cool place but want to go back when it is less crowded. Might check out BA Speedway release party today, but that won't be any less packed. They had a food truck in the back for the event but it closed up before I got a chance to have some. Otherwise no food as far as I can tell. Overall a must visit place, as Amlesmith kills it with all of their beers.

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Photo of teledeluxe
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Not sure if it has changed, but when I went in 2010 the taproom was literally just a tiny bar/booth in which to sample before you buy growlers and bombers. Hard to really rate the atmosphere because it is simply a warehouse. You wouldn't really hang out here. Having said that, the people were helpful and the beer was probably the best we had within 30 miles of San Diego (Stone included).

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I would tell a long story, but I'm going to keep that to myself. Nobody wants to hear a story about hitting a wall with alcohol, passing out it his car, and receiving help for a taxi and hotel room for the night by the staff. Ok, so I didn't keep it to myself. But it was nice to see that AleSmith not only cares about the beer that they produce, but also how their customers feel afterwards, so props for that.

Beforehand, I was feeling lose after visits at Pizza Port and Ballast Point. The day was still young, and strolling into AleSmith was one thing which I had intended to do for years, but never got around to doing it. The tasting room is reasonably sized with an "L" shaped bar and an additional bar at the opposite end, where you get a look at the barrels being utilized. Extremely clean and well polished, and the bathroom was equally clean. Just beyond the bar you could walk into the production line of the brewery itself.

16 beers were on-tap during my visit, including a cask. Standards like their X, IPA, Speedway Stout, and Horny Devil were on-tap with their listed alcohol content. Additional to the standard were smaller batch beers, like their version of a Cream Ale, Irish Dry Stout, Evil Dead Red, Decadence Old Ale. From an aesthetic point of view, I did hope for something more than shaker glassware for the half-pint pours, but don't let that scare you off because their beers are very good. Pours are relatively inexpensive too, making it another reason to put AleSmtih on your tour list.

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AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
95 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.