Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)


73 Reviews
Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods)

Type: Store

1036 7th Ave
San Diego, California, 92101-5302
United States

(619) 232-6367 | map

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Added by SidVicious619 on 07-27-2009

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 119
Photo of mactrail
2.96/5  rDev -32.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

This place is rightfully esteemed as a place with a remarkable selection of California and Belgian beers. There is a fair amount from other microbreweries around the country though they tend to be the widely distributed ones like Allagash. But short on common ones like Dogfish Head. They do specialize in the strongest, rarest, and most expensive, so if you are swinging for the fences this is the place.

On the other hand, this is definitely not my favorite place due to the ever-present bums. You have filthy guys wandering the aisles, odiferous punks ahead of you in line buying wine or half pints, schizo maniacs glaring at you over their shopping carts at the door, and festive winos hanging on the sidewalk with bags and bottles.

Did I mention the dogs?

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Photo of easong
3.15/5  rDev -27.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I don't like to give beer places bad reviews, but I have a responsibility to fellow BAs who might inconvenience themselves, as you guys always do it for me. Went here when I stayed in the neighborhood recently during a Giants-Padres series. Looking for an Alpine IPA or maybe another great local product I can't find in the Bay Area. Damn, actually, none. Settled for a Pliny from back home and an Avery Maharaja from Boulder. Yes the one in Colorado. Gave the Pliny to my brother-in-law to take back to NC. The Belgian section looked better stocked. But still, San Diego, this is Not Really the Best Damn Beer Shop, simply average in the context of a great American beer town.

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Photo of Driver8rws
3.49/5  rDev -20.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5

AMAZING selection of WORLDWIDE beers.
Stuff I have NOT seen elsewhere for sale.

Not that great of a Southern California selection but pretty good.
Prices were a few cents more or a few cents less than BevMo.

TOTALLY "gangsta" area of town though (at least after dark)...

The beer area takes up about HALF of the supposed "grocery" store.

Staff was fairly knowledgeable about the beers they had and even ones they did not (Heretic).

Worth a trip (in the daytime) if you are in the area.

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Photo of Bobbo330
3.76/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This was the first shop that I visiting on while on vacation last week. For reference I was there early in the morning on a weekday. As others have stated the area did have a large number of homeless people and while unsightly I did not feel like I was in harms way at any point. Onto the beer... Their selection was solid with a good amount of Russian River and Lost Abbey. I must say that I was not blown away by the overall selection and after having gone to 4 bottle shops in total I would rate this in the bottom half of the regional shops. While still having a solid selection I was able to find many more 'harder to find' beers at other shops. Perhaps I came at an odd time but honestly I would not go out of my way to re-visit this shop in the future.

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Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I'm glad I stopped in during my most recent visit to San Diego. As others have mentioned, the beer is tucked away in a grocery store - kind of cool to find such an awesome selection in such a place. Much of the beer is kept in coolers, particularly anything that requires drinking fresh. Plenty of bottles suitablr for aging, big beers and Belgians primarily, were stored at room temp. Lots of singles, including some limited releases, as well as a decent six pack selection. It's not the largest selection that I've seen, but just about everything on the shelf was something worth drinking. I didn't experience the same service others have apparently had, but had no issues either - about what I expected for a grocery turned beer store. Definitely stop by if you're in the area.

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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Medium sized food market in the downtown area with a large beer selection that takes up almost a third of the store. They have a nice selection of local and other domestic craft as well as a large selection of imports and glassware.

The vibe of the place is odd with a mix of beer geeks, city workers and homeless people walking around. While I was in line waiting to pay a homeless man who was clearly mentally ill was screaming and threatening to fight everyone. Nobody said anything to him and he finally walked out. I'm used to living in the city so this wasn't a problem for me but I can see how this could be a turn off or really bizarre for others.

Although this place doesn't have the nicest atmosphere, they have a good selection at reasonable prices. Tons of imports including Mikkeller, Drie Fonteinen, rarer Fantome, etc. along with a lot of quality locals and a few east coast offerings. Normally I would give the selection a four but the ridiculously large selection of glassware bumped it up for me. All kind of cool glasses including Russian River ation glass, collectors edition Duvel tulips, Lost Abbey tulips and many others. Really nice!

Not the nicest place but perfect for stocking up on good bottles and cool glassware. Check it out if you are in the area.

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Photo of sholland119
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

An interesting combination of bottle shop / homebrew shop / bodega / homeless shelter. We visited on a Sunday morning while strolling the Gas Lamp area after our arrival in town.

There is a very extensive selection of bottles on the right hand side of the store, with a heavy emphasis on locals and big ticket Europeans like Mikkeller. The homebrew section at the front of the store was cool as well, with a good selection of base and specialty malts, yeast and basic supplies.

The neighborhood, and the area right around the front door, were rather more heavily populated with homeless folks than average for San Diego. I have never really had a difficult encounter with homeless anywhere but it is a bit more off putting for me in a strange town.

We were planning to return with our rental car to make some purchases but then we hit KnB and blew our budget. Worth a stop for sure.


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Photo of Taybeh
4/5  rDev -8.5%

This is a grocery store with a pretty impressive beer section on one wall, and the prices were good. Lots of bombers but not really a place to get a mix-six, which is what I was hoping for. If you're stuck in the Gaslamp/Downtown, this is your best bet (I think).

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Photo of scxcrunner
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

neat place not too far from our hotel. I was expecting a little more but i can't complain with the selection. found a lot of beers i was looking for at a decent price.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This store is in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood with some addled vagrants wandering around but it's not dangerous per se; you're not gonna getted jacked going in here. It's just not as lovely and pristine as much of the rest of town is. Don't let that stop you though, they have a truly tremendous selection of singles, sixers, and large format bottles, make your own six, etc. Lots of rare and hard to find bottles. It's kind of a weird store because it's just a kind of average food market with an aisle of ridiculously good beer. Apparently they have a great homebrewing section too, but I didn't check it out because that's not my thing (yet). Nice glassware choices as well.

Service was decent enough although I've heard the guys here can be great, I just don't think they were in attendance when I stopped in. As an Easterner it was great to come here because there was more stuff I can't get at home than I could possibly begin to try. Scored myself some Russian River, Kern, Alpine, New Belgium, Port Beers. As someone else mentioned, they have a sign limiting you to 2 a piece Pliny and Blind Pig but didn't have any bottles of either, oh well. Got 'em elsewhere.

Definitely worth a stop. Don't let my opening paragraph sway you; just wanted to distinguish the hood from the rest of town; this was the only place in the city I actually saw panhandlers and homeless folks, etc. Being from NYC it didn't bother me but if you're not used to seeing that don't let it dissuade you. Metered parking on the street, I was able to pull right up in front of the store and park for a quarter.

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Photo of Siggy125
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5

Visited this spot for the first time yesterday. I bit embarrassed since it's been under my nose for quite a while and I didnt know it. What kind of BA am I??? Oh well, nevertheless...

Nice little store in an odd place. Downtown SD with a challenge with parking depending on time of day. Great beer selection right as you walk straight in the door. Just about every west coast beer you can think of on the shelf with a nice selection of beers from other regions and countries. One of the best selections I've seen in SoCal.

Pricing is mediocre to high but not ridiculous. Make sure to check shelving endcaps. I found stuff "around the corner" from the main corner and shelving.

The help on hand the day I was there seemed clueless when asked beer questions. Hopefully this isnt the norm.

I will definitely recommend this to others

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Photo of zhanson88
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75

Was down in the Gaslamp district of San Diego, saw this store was close and figured I should stop by based on reviews. Walked in to a very nice, clean store. Lots of interesting organic and natural foods in about half of the store. The other half is devoted to wine and beer, with the majority of that half being devoted to beer.

It has been a while since I have been truly "wowed" when walking into a beer store. But I must say that after a few minutes of perusing, this store gave me that reaction. As far a quality goes, the styles are grouped together, and probably 3/4 of the inventory is refrigerated, which is great. Those styles that are not refrigerated are the appropriate styles to not refrigerate. Selection wise, the usual great Cali IPA selection, with some real eye openers in other styles, such as some Cascade sours, multiple Eclipse 50/50 varieties, several Bruery semi-rarities such as White Chocolate, and an excellent selection of Belgian sours. I ended up snagging a couple Avery Rumpkins (stoked to find this), a couple Anchorage Bitter Monks (have not seen this at all in the LA area), and a couple Prairie Artisan Okies. Price is what deterred me from snagging some of the slightly "rarer" brews, though. They were most definitely not priced to sell. The more common beers were probably about on par with what I have seen elsewhere, but when I see single beers marked $35-45/bottle, I call that overpriced. Overall, an excellent store that hope to get down to at some point again. Very nice selection.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here on Halloween night '11 to pick up some suds to bring back east.

First of all: beeline it when you get there, as there's always a hoard of homeless folks begging out front. When I was there, this was most certainly true, as we got approached the moment our feet hit the sidewalk.

Once you're in, the shop looks ok. I wouldn't say it's on par with Whole Foods or anything like that, but it's a decent shop with a nice selection of foods, snacks, etc.

The service was really on point. The beer buyer approached me pretty quickly, and was extremely friendly and helpful. Once I told him "I got this" he smiled, walked away and left me to my business without hovering.

I'd been told that this is "the place" for beer in SD. Though it has good selection, I can't say the shelves were stocked with mondo-rarity. Being an east coaster, I was a little dissapointed not to find the treasure chest of amazingness I'd hoped sat on their shelves 24/7. Maybe they keep some stuff in the back, I don't know. But don't get me wrong, the selection was still pretty solid, as I easily found ten day old Pliny and Blind Pig in their fridge.

You know, maybe I'm being a bit tough on 'em. But you've gotta understand that when I see an A+ rating, I tend to think it a life changing place. Everything was good, really good. Would I come back and shop again? Absolutely. Just keep your expectations in check.

*A BIG thumbs up and thank you for selling styro bottle shippers, both one and six bottle packs!

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Photo of madpentzer
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The vibe here is a little odd. Every time I come in to grab some good beer there at least a couple homeless people hanging around doing weird shit (i.e. talking to themselves, etc). Looks like a hole in the wall market, but when you get to the beer isle it's fantastic.

The quality of the beer here is great and it is always kept nice a cool.

The service here is hit or miss. If Sid is in he's really great. He is very knowledgeable about beer and glad to help you out. But, if he's not in the service isn't really that good. The girls at the counter are nice and will try to help, but they seem to know almost nothing about craft beer.

Selection here is awesome with a huge selection of both craft and import beers. Sid sends out a newsletter via email too letting you know about any new beers comming into the store. The newly renovated home brew section is really nice too.

The food here is actually pretty good (I enjoy the carne asada torta), and it's cheap.

Value here is good. The prices are reasonable compared to other bottle shops.

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Photo of lloyd83
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

As recommended by some ba's in a thread that I made about san diego, I visited this place to grab some west coast stuff that I'm unable to get in chicago. Easy to find, great selection and friendly staff... Only downfall was the constant influx of undesirables who kept pushing past me to grab tall boys of natty light out of the cooler.. Some have mentioned that the market isn't in a great neighborhood; I wouldn't say it's the best, but I definitely never felt uncomfortable.

Great little shop though. Wish I had had more time to poke around, and more room to get stuff home.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

+My buddy and I were really looking forward to checking this place out, as it was highly recommened. Low and behold, we had a job to do a few blocks away, so we decided to check it out. Here is my experience...

First of all, the parking for the place is horrendous. We drove around looking for a spot, and ended up paying 6 dollars to park at a parking structure...

The store itself looks like a run down grocery store. Not the nicest looking place. I enter the store and head straight for the craft section. I was hoping to score on a couple of the harder find RR brews, everything they had was pretty standered. Looked around for a while, and noticed they had a pretty decent selection. Good selection of Lost Abbey, Alesmith, Ballast Point, and other local SD brews. Solid selection, but nothing too impressive. After looking around for a while, I notice that they have a very extensive selection from around the world. Lots of brews I have never heard of before. This is where this place shines...

I end up buying a few things, including an Italian IRS that I have never heard of. When I get to register I ask the guy at the cash register about Santification. Was hoping I would get lucky, and he would have some in the back. The guy at the checkstand just chuckles. Not sure if he was laughing because it was such an absurd request, or because he didn't understand what I was talking about. Either way, I consider my inquiry a loss, and proceed to ask him about the IRS I was buying. I ask him if he had ever had it before. The guy then picks up the bottle and starts spinning the bottle around in his hands reading the print. "I think it's a stout", he says, even though it says IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT in bold letters on the front of the bottle. Wow, what a revelation. Thanks again for the advise, man. It was actually kind of funny. My buddy and I got a good laugh about this afterword...

All in all, a decent shop for craft, but I don't understand the high praises. I can think of three or four places off the top of my head, in SoCal, that are hands down better than this place. Cool place... but not worth the effort in my opinion...


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Photo of orangesol
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Best way to describe this place is a NY bodega on steroids. Typical small grocery in the front and along the left wall and then tons of liquor, wine and beer in the middle and right side. Atmosphere was laid back and easy going. Service was nowhere to be found initially but once they cleared the small line I was asked if I needed help but I was good by then. Quality was solid all around. I only saw a few bottles I would say are past their prime and they had some really cool glasses, including one of the specialty Duvel’s which I hadn’t seen yet. Selection was top notch. They have a TON of beer in that place including some pretty limited bottles from overseas to go along with the above average local selection. Prices were a touch high on the rarer stuff but the rest was on par with all of the other shops I have visited in the area. Overall a really nice bottle shop in the city limits, if I lived in the area I would definitely return often.

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Photo of gabeerfan
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%

We sort of stumbled onto this place based on a couple of BeerFly reviews on our visit to S.D.
It can be a little confusing to find this place, it's not so much a beer store as an aisle in a little grocery store on 7th and Broadway. There seemed to be plenty of street parking in front of the store. It is not the best area of downtown, but I didn't feel unsafe going to this store.
The selection was quite good. Most of the usual suspects along with Coronado, The Bruery, Lost Abbey, etc. Prices seemed pretty reasonable based on some other places we visited. Service seemed pretty good. There were two guys buying a couple of cases of macros and seemed to get good attention from the staff. The only assistance we needed was to get a price on The Bruery's new fall beer. It had been put on the shelves that day and the price tags hadn't been put on yet. The price was found quickly and politely. Overall, I liked this place and will visit again when we go back to S.D.
Definitely worth a stop.

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Photo of theghost3
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%

This is a little market with a deli and a killer beer selection. It's actually called the "Super Junior Mart" and it's just north of Broadway on 7th. Don't be confused with the "Super Discount Mart" on the corner. I would recommend going during the day because the area around it can be a little seedy with the winos and panhandlers even in the morning.

The beer is located along the right side of the store towards the back and in a cooler on the back wall. The cooler in the back is all BMC. There's a cooler facing the right side with lots of goodies in bombers, sixers, and 12-packs. There are also beers on shelves across from and beside this cooler.

You will find a great selection of West Coast beers from Alpine, Port Brewing, Lost Abbey, Sculpin, Stone, Karl Strauss, Deschutes, Hair of the Dog, Green Flash, Marin, Alesmith, Kern, Speakeasy, Hair of the Dog, and Russian River (Supplication, Consecration, and Damnation when I was there). There was also a decent selection from Belgium and from the Midwest and Northeast U.S. represented by breweries such as Goose Island, Allagash, and DFH.

I was happy to find some older vintages of Port Older Viscosity as well as Mikkeller Black Hole and almost everything from Lost Abbey and Alesmith. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't any RR Blind Pig and there weren't more seasonal/limited beers from Deschutes or Hair of the Dog. But overall, a nice selection; better than I expected after reading the reviews of this place. A little pricey on some of the beers, but it is downtown San Diego.

No one ever asked if I needed help, but the checker did at least place each bottle I purchased in a separate paper bag.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Best Damn is inside the Super Junior Market on the outer edge of downtown. Easy on-street metered parking.

Loads of beers along one long series of shelves and more on shelves opposite. This place is definatley import/Belgian heavy, so if you want to drop loads of cash on Mikkler, this is your place. The usual suspects for SoCal though, and only a sign on the shelf where the Pliney and Blind Pig should be that states "Pliney and Blind Pig, two bottle limit". (I guess you can take down the sign if you have none to sell?)

Probably the best selection in SD proper, and certainly the go-to place since Southbay drugs closed up about a year ago. I was asked if I needed any help, which is high marks for service in my book!

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Photo of JamLand
4.24/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

One of the four bottle shops I visited while on vacation in San Diego recently. It is in downtown with some homeless around, but honestly more of hassle for me was the parking. However, I'm a bigger guy and could see how some would be more nervous around some of the downtown crowd. At one point, my wife walked back to the car, to refill the meter, because of how long I was spending in there and she was not happy with the downtown crowd when she got back. So, I would say, if you are squeamish about homeless people in a downtown area, this might not be your spot, but not the bottle shop's fault for society's failures regarding the homeless.

As for the shop itself, great selection, once approached the beer guy in the store was very friendly and helpful. Nothing over the top, he didn't offer anything from the back or from his stash, but friendly and seemed knowledgeable. If you are in San Diego, worth a stop if you are near downtown, but not necessarily a must stop.

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

I used to really like this place because they got everything and the prices were reasonable. Since blowing up over the past couple years the mark ups have got really ugly on the more coveted beers. Despite that, the selection is one of the best in San Diego particularly if you want something cold I have yet to see a wall fridge like theirs.

Aside from prices the only other real negative is the location. At least it isn't in the gaslamp because I would never shill out $5-20 just to park and find beer there. If it's after 5pm any day of the week you're going to have a tough time finding parking. I suggest giving it a go if you're in town particularly if you want to find belgians you can't find most other places. Service is so-so. If there is a guy in the beer aisle working there you'll get some good help and I've never had to wait long to check out.

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Photo of mrcraft
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I briefly visited this store during a business trip since it was only about a 10 minute walk from my office. I completely forgot it was inside Krisp, so I kept walking back and forth because I had the general location, and I was looking for a beer shop and not a market. :)

I thought the selection was on par with the better bottle shops I visit in the Los Angeles area.

I'll spend more time at this store during my next visit and update my review. I was initially impressed.

Update: I visited BDBS again today and spent more time perusing their selection and bought a bottle of 3F Oude Geuze. I noticed beers are more expensive than places I visit in LA. I knocked some points off for that. You have to be careful because some were on the "are you kidding range." Common beers were only a $1 more but 375ml Cantillon Gueuze was $29.99, while the regular price is closer to $16 for this beer.

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Photo of PLsnatch
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%

I live in the OB area of San Diego and was looking for a new place to find real beer. Glad I found BDBS. Best selection of quality beers I have found in the downtown and beach area, although I have not checked out everywhere. From foreign to local and everywhere in between they have a good sampling of most major styles and reasonable prices. For example, their bottles of Ballast Point brews run about $1 cheaper than elsewhere. As I was talking to Sid (owners son responsible for their greatness) a distributor cruised in and I got the first bottle of Russian River Temptation! Thanks Sid!

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Photo of bargerking
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%

This is in Super J's Market on 7th street on the left of a one way street. Metered parking so bring you quaters.

This was a great find but its kind of on the shady part of town. A lot of rough/homeless looking people roaming the streets. Many of them entering the store. Not a big deal for me as I was by myself but I could see where some people could get uncomfortable. Especially if you have $100+ of beer chillin in the trunk. The store itself is a little bit old but well kept. As you walk in you have a wall full of liquor on your right and just a few steps ahead is the stash. Huuuuge selection! Lost Abbey, Port, Mikkeller, RR, Alpine (was out of Pure Hopiness though), Nogne, Old Dubh, Alesmith, La Roja, DFH (WWS, Chicory Stout, and the usuals), Victory, and a good selection of Belgians and Sours. There was only one girl in the store working the register so I can't really chime in on service. Pricing was on par and not bad at all. Overall, not the best part of town but selection overules any negetives. A great find and well worth the visit.

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Best Damn Beer Shop (Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods) in San Diego, CA
4.37 out of 5 based on 119 ratings.
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