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San Diego Advice?

Discussion in 'US - Pacific' started by coldcrush, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. coldcrush

    coldcrush Disciple (70) Colorado Mar 8, 2012

    Heading to San Diego from Denver for St. Patty's Day weekend. Staying at the Lafayette in North Park more for location than accommodations. Been to SD many times before but never to this area and never with a focus on the local craft beer scene that I'll have for this trip. Would love to get some local perspective re: top 5 bars/brewpubs to hit and top 10 SD beers to seek out. Not looking for anything too crazy/rare - just a good representation of the local offerings & establishments. Any advice?
  2. DrAwkward82

    DrAwkward82 Savant (305) California Apr 16, 2005

    I was just down at the Lafayette myself last weekend for the same reason. While its location is still the real appeal, it has recently been renovated so it made for a nice base.

    Just from where you're staying, you're in reasonable walking distance of Toronado, Tiger! Tiger!, Ritual Taven, The Linkery, Urban Solace, Small Bar and Blind Lady Alehouse, which is obviously a formidable pub crawl right there. Hamilton's and the Stone Growler Station are a bit far to walk, but easily reachable via the 30th Street bus. And it's not the city's best beer bar, but right next to the hotel is Livewire, which has a solid selection - you can't beat $4 16oz pints of Alesmith Grand Cru during happy hour.

    There are many more must-stops in SD (I'd rec any Pizza Port, Stone Bistro, O'Brien's and Downtown Johnny Brown's), but if your focus is a good representation of the great local offerings and neighborhood-y establishments, the above certainly has you covered. Enjoy!
  3. Bars:

    Toronado
    Hamilton's
    O'Brien's
    Neigborhood
    Churchill's

    (also Downtown Johnny Brown's, SD Brewing Co, Monkey Paw, SD Tap Room, Pizzaport)

    Beers:

    Alpine
    Stone
    Coronado
    Green Flash
    Port/Lost Abbey
    Ballast Point
    AleSmith
    Mission
    Manzanita
    Iron Fist

    Everyone of those breweries makes something you will like. Count on it.
  4. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Savant (250) California Aug 19, 2011

    i would take out churchills and obriens, and add monkey paw and blind lady. all much closer

    livewire is a block away, great dive bar, one of the best jukeboxes in town, and the original craft beer bar of san diego!

    good choice in hotel!
  5. Yes I agree the places you pointed out are closer. The drive on St Patty's to Churchill's though will be very much worth it. Going to be some awesome beers on tap and a great crowd.
  6. coldcrush

    coldcrush Disciple (70) Colorado Mar 8, 2012

    Thanks everyone. Glad to get the affirmation on the hotel - reviews were mixed but figured the location was ideal based on some of the bars that have been mentioned. Ended up booking a brewery tour on Saturday to Stone, Lost Abbey & Alesmith so will be trying plenty of those selections. Looks like Lost Abbey has a special release for Track 3 that day as well so am sure it will be packed but will hopefully be able to bring home a nice bottle souvenir...

    Have only ever had Stone (most of standard lineup) and Green Flash West Coast IPA of beers mentioned above. Am thinking Toronado or Blind Lady for lunch after we get in on Friday and going from there. 1st beer? Maybe a Sculpin. Or an Alpine, depending... Plenty of great choices, sounds like - Can't wait.
  7. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Savant (250) California Aug 19, 2011

    and empty bottle souvenir :)
  8. Track 3 is on site consumption only. However they are releasing Red Poppy that day as well which you will be able to take with you. I would suggest trying to make it over to Hess at some point this weekend as well
  9. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) California Dec 10, 2011

    Skip Hess, they're still making homebrew. Once their full brewery is open I hope they're making better beer. If your time is limited and you have a car, it's much more worth your time to get up and get out to Alpine when the brewery opens in order to do some tasting. Or if you want lunch look into when the cafe opens and see if it works into your schedule. A very limited brewery w/ nearly zero distribution. Buy your bottles at the brewery and take 'em home with ya.

    The drive from North Park upto Stone/Lost Abbey can be about ~50mins, keep that in mind. Ballast Point is just around the way from Alesmith and they serve full pints. Green flash is just around the other way from Alesmith.

    The Bars were covered and Monkey Paw should at least be on your radar. Somewhat like Hamiltons, but more light, it's a full brewery and still under the same ownership. They often have some of the same taps on, but it won't be crazy ass busy like Hammies. Live Wire you will hit due to proximity and I dig that place, Toronado is the next biggest and in my opinon, best beer bar in SD. Skip O'Briens, location is out of the way.
  10. Is there any chance that Younger will be on tap anywhere in the SD area on the weekend of the 24th? I'll be in town from Thursday to Sunday and would love the chance to try some.
  11. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) California Dec 10, 2011

    Extremely unlikely. Most bars don't wait long to get it out and it'll have been a month. If anything, it'll go on quietly.
  12. I would give Hess another shot. I was there last Weds and they had some good stuff on tap.
  13. Hess's beers are pretty much all phenolic and all served way too green.
  14. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) California Dec 10, 2011

    I'll give Hess another shot when they open their big boy brewery (20BBL) and stop using homebrewing equipment. I've been there once, to their 1st anni party, and the beer was raw, rushed, wasn't given the time required to bulk age and clear and a host of other problems. It's a good thing they're growing and will be making beer on a bigger system. I refuse to pay for B- level homebrew.
  15. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Savant (410) California Apr 5, 2006

    Ok, you have your road trip breweries down for Saturday, cool. You can make a whole damn sloshy Sunday just staying in the area of your hotel. Be sure you walk/bus/Segway down to Tiger Tiger, just across 30th street. Great place run by nice people. Then you can proceed to drink your way down 30th at Ritual and spend the most of your night at Toronado. Then head back to your hotel and get a PINT or two at Live Wire. Done.

    In fact, you may want to avoid the 30th street places on Saturday night because of the crowds and drunken douchebags who think St. Patty's Day involves Mardi Gras beads and New Year's Eve horns. Monkey Paw is new but well worth checking out if you feel like driving downtown.

    And I agree with Mac, Alpine is just as close as Stone but a polar opposite experience (both good). Don't try to do both in one day...too much driving - get to the beers!
  16. Livewire on Saturday has $4 pours and next door is dollar pizza slices. Great time!
  17. Skipping the Bruery event this Saturday. Gave my tickets to a friend who wanted to go more than me. I will be at Churchill's on Saturday if anyone wants to meet for a beer, let me know.
  18. We plan on going to Churchills for lunch after Lost Abbey probably around 12-1 they are charging a cover after 2
  19. Ya I will be there at around 11am.
  20. coldcrush

    coldcrush Disciple (70) Colorado Mar 8, 2012

    Main reason for the SD trip (SDSU spring fball game) got moved to Saturday from Sunday so switched our Stone/LA/Alesmith outing to Sunday. Guess no Track 3 (empty...) bottle but oh well. Am sure it would've been packed what with the release and St. Patrick's crowd anyway so maybe not a bad thing? Regardless, can't believe the options & selection after checking out some of these bars/brewpubs online.... Will do our best to hit as many as possible and look forward to checking in during/after the trip. Trying to figure out a way to get to Alpine but not sure it will be in the cards. Livewire will definitely get hit up based on sheer proximity to the hotel alone. Sounds like some solid deals too. Beer wise, (other than Alpine) anything that I need to make a point to track down that's readily available on draft - maybe for a limited time only?

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