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AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Brewing CompanyAleSmith Brewing Company
BEER AVG
4.11/5
Based on:
72 Beers
23,453 Ratings
Place Score: 97
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.37
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 

Notes:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by MadCat:
Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ARoman
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Raul_Yrastorza
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Amazing amazing brewery! the room is kinda stale, cant wait to visit the new finished expansion and brewery. Looks amazing!

Photo of porbastipa
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Donco
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Great place to pick up sought-after bottles and stop for a fresh draft. Great people. Great brewery. Great beers!

Photo of HunterSBeerson
5/5  rDev +14.4%

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!)

Photo of RogueOz
4/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

Photo of timmy2b
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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!

Photo of mabermud
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%

A quaint little tasting room. No food, helpful staff, good beer.

Photo of Gavage
4.59/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of sharkboy
3.79/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Photo of Shindoverse
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of orangesol
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of TheDrunkenDeer
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of teledeluxe
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
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).

Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of zhanson88
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Went down to San Diego to primarily pick up some Speedway variants, but had to stop into the taproom to see what was going on. Alesmith is in an industrial park, so the exterior is rather pedestrian, but when going in you enter a very cool spot. Well done taproom with a good deal of open space for chilling. Whiskey barrels aging beer provide part of the decoration which is cool. When we stopped by, it just so happened to be the release party for their BA Numbskull as well as BA Crand Cru, so the selection was probably better then that it is on a normal basis. But at that point, extremely good. If you're looking for food, they normally have several food trucks lined up serving. We did not partake, however. Overall, a good brewery with good beer that is most definitely worth a stop by.

Photo of Erbayd
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Definitely one of the best San Diego breweries, and an awesome place to go taste some extremely well crafted beers. Along with everything you can find in bottles, they have some great specialty brews available for tasting, so the trip here is worth it for those alone. When I was there they had super tasty Speedway Stout w/ Vietnamese Coffee and a version of their ESB w/ chilies that more adventurous tasters will find rewarding. The Grand Cru, IPA, Wee Heavy, English Old Ale, and Horny Devil are all very well done. Their selection may be smaller than breweries like Green Flash, but their beers are of the highest possible quality.

While the tasting room is small, they did a good job with the interior, using barrels for tables and decorating the walls with more barrels along with pictures of hops & grains. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area! It's an amazing brewery that I hope keeps growing because I'd like to see their beers more widely available in the Bay Area.

Photo of JDJTEXAS
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Although it is a bit tight and cramped at times... Im ok with that because the Beer is the real winner hear. Alesmith is a top 5 brewery in Cali IMO. If you want a world class beer and dont mind rubbing elbows this place is for you. Plus they do special releases better than any brewery in San Diego!

Photo of petermethot
4.37/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

My wife and I had an incredible visit to the brewery during a beer trip in Cali. Showed up before opening and the brewer offered to give us a private tour of the place. I tried all 22 beers on tap (a lot to handle at 11 am) but amazing quality across the board.

Photo of bradybeer
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited with my wife and we were blown away. Located in an industrial park walking in you will notice the bar straight ahead with some chairs and such located in front. We tried the Speedway Stout, Barley Wine, Belgian Strong, and a brown. While we have had all of these before it was nice to have them at the source. Service was excellent and quick for the size of the crowd. We bought some bottles and a pint glass and were on our way.

Photo of claspada
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Stopped by on my trip to pick up my BA Grand Cru Bottles and see if they had any specialties on draft.

I would say Vietnamese Speedway counts as well as BA Old Numbskull. Luckily I was heading home after this.

I can't believe how small this place is and how they have never expanded to my knowledge. They make some of my favorite beers and even the ones I don't enjoy are because they are styles I don't like, so I have to say their stuff is great. Service was great, got a free glass after good conversation.

I wish they had more consistent policies on their growler fills because I heard Vietnamese Speedway was available recently as a grumbler but was not when I was there. Anyway, would definitely frequent if I was local and definitely recommend a stop if you're in the area.

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AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.