Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar

Mike Hess Brewing - MiramarMike Hess Brewing - Miramar

Type: Brewery, Bar

7955 Silverton Ave
Ste 1201
San Diego, California, 92126
United States

(619) 887-6453 | map

Tasting room hours:
Wednesday - Sunday (1pm - 8pm)

Added by Rmassimiano on 08-01-2010

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 47
Photo of MikeJet32
4.57/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25

Had an excellent time checking out all the Micro-Breweries in North Park. Mike Hess was our first stop and we were not disappointed. The space and vibe were excellent. Huge fan of the Graprefruit Solis. I will definitely be back the next time I visit San Diego.

 261 characters

Photo of GatorCoop
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Visited on July 4th before picking my mum up from the Air port. Got a 5 flight taster with free pint glass and a full happy hour pint for $17.99. Very friendly service. Enjoyed and will come back.

 196 characters

Photo of retry4z
3.66/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

The tasters are all $2 and are served in a plastic cup, like at a small beer festival. A taster should be $1 and served in a glass cup. There are few places to drink your beer, and the bartenders don't show much enthusiasm for talking about their craft. None of the beers left an impression on me.

 297 characters

Photo of bradybeer
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Located in an Industrial park near White Labs and Alesmith. I real small operation with the "bar" to the front A bummer they only had two beers on tap a Kolsch and a Saison. Both were good but I wish there were some darker beers on tap. The women who helped us indicated they are switching production to a new location and were moving the last of their beers from this location.

The service was very good and I wish we could have sampled other brews.

 451 characters

Photo of claspada
4.44/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Small industrial complex set-up, a few tables but I just stepped up to the small bar and did the sampler there which comes with a free glass so you can't beat that.

All the beers I sampled were above average with a few really quality standouts. The food trucks had some sweet looking food but I just had lunch. Bartender and patrons were all super friendly and willing to chat. Just a nice atmosphere.

I would definitely frequent this place because the beers were all quite different from IPAs to pale ales to stouts, many using different hops and all had a unique flavor profiles where some breweries just change an ingredient here and there and everything just seems repetitive.

I would highly recommend a stop here on a trip or if I was in the area.

 756 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Hess is a really small, cramped spot that is pretty disorganized and slightly dirty. The tasting room is right in the middle of the small brewery floor with the brewing equipment parked by the front door. When I was there a ton of people showed up and it turned into a madhouse. Service was a bit spotty when this occurred as there were only 2 dudes working. They have about 10 of their beers on tap and they were selling bottles of the Torulus as well. Quality was great for everything I tried. Prices were reasonable for tasters and pints but their growler fills were a bit expensive in my opinion. Worthy of a stop if you are in the area. Perhaps just come at off hours to negate crowds.

 690 characters

Photo of Skuter
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Love, love, love this place. One of the best breweries in SD. It's a must stop everytime I am close to there.

Everyone I have taken there (even non-beer lovers) all say it is the best beer they have ever had.

I love the San Diego Pale Ale and Ex Umbris. Really looking forward to their BA Ex Umbris.

For 1st timers, get the 5 tasters and glass for $10. Majority of their beers are higher ABV, so it won't take much.

Growlers are a little pricey, but I'm hoping once they move to the new place, they will have a better deal on growlers.

 539 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place is fun as hell. Coming from NYC (now NJ) this was a weird one for me...a nanobrewery in an industrial park...they pull a big garage door open and there's a bar, a brewery, and some folks with a grill in the driveway making sausages and chicken. Totally offbeat, crazy, and some shit you'd never get away with in uber-regulated New York.

Staff (one of the brewers) were cool, welcoming, accommodating despite my being an obvious outsider...beer was tasty..I believe I paid 9 bucks (?) for 5 healthy sized tasters and an etched logo glass. These guys are doing very nice work; I particularly loved their coffee porter (Brunus Induresco). Can't wait to see them start canning the goods.

Very, very close to Alesmith, Ballast Point, and Green Flash. Made for a fun day (into night) for this touristing east coaster. Thanks guys!

 839 characters

Photo of mrbubbler
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This is truly a hidden gem in san diego. Hess is an amazing little nano brewery that gives off a true garage bar feel. They have about 8-10 beers on draft if i remember correct. Some of the highlights for me were the san diego pale ale (triple ipa) and the imperial rye stout (I love this beer). They have one person working the bar and on both my trips i was treated with excellent service. This place is a must stop for me if i am in the area. My only real gripe with this place is the cost of growlers! We are in a state that has horrible growler laws, why would you make me drop that kind of coin on a growler i can only fill at your establishment?

A must stop if your visiting san diego.

 694 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I've only been to Hess once, but I really need to make a point to stop by there again soon. It's a really unique place and a great place to hang out. The employees are super friendly and the beer is definitely top notch. Rumor is that the brewery may be moving to a bigger location, which kind of gives me mixed feelings. I love the small, garage feel of this place and seeing these guys in a bigger location would just feel kind of weird. On the plus side, though, that may mean that they would be able to start bottling their stuff, which would be awesome. Looking forward to big things from Hess in the future. Check this place out while it's small!

 652 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

SirRuss and the rest of the our motley crew stopped in on 10/29/11 to grab a couple of cold ones.

When you say atmosphere and Hess in the same sentence, you're talking about how it feels to kick back in a garage with a sliding door, with brew kettles and such surrounding you. Luckily for me, I think that's badass. Really, it's the smallest brewery I've ever seen in my life, sans my kitchen.

The quality? forget about it. Seriously, it's not even a question. Every single brew I quaffed was top shelf. Delicious, fresh, complex and approachable.

The service was right there too. Michael was working, and when we arrived around 5:45pm (they closed at 6pm), he was more then happy to hang out with us and chill. No rushing, rolling of the eyes or huffing and puffing. Just a smile and a "Wanna refill?"

The selection of taps was impressive, given they're working out of what feels like an enlarged closet. Something like seven, eight house brewed beers on tap.

The cost was as it should be: competeitive. The growlers were gorgeous, though a bit pricey. Otherwise, everything was really reasonable.

Hess, in my humble opinion, may be the biggest hidden gem in SoCal - hell, in the brewing stratosphere. It sounds like they may be canning their suds in short order, and when they do, I plan on having them in my fridge as often as possible.

My highest recommendation.

 1,373 characters

Photo of cocoapuph
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Hess is by far the coolest place to go grab a honest pint of beer. It's hidden away in a small garage like complex about a block or two from Alesmith. The workers there are super friendly and the customers are hardcore Hess fanatics as well.

This 'brewery' is a true nano establishment. It's kinda neat to know that the beer you are drinking there was brewed for the tasting room only, since the batches are such small in size.

A highlight of Hess is their Friday afternoon club which usually happens every month or so. They have a band playing and some food trucks or caterers selling food. Such a cool vibe with all of the locals coming together to support such a small brewery.

If they have it on tap, try the Trinitas, my favorite brew there. Ok enough talk, I'm going to get my prowlers filled up at Hess now. Just take my word... If you're in the area for Green Flash, Alesmith or Ballast Point, be sure to visit Hess.

 927 characters

Photo of jmadrigal2
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Hess Brewing blew me away. This place is the smallest brewery I have ever been to. Even though it's small, it had to be one of the friendliest, easy going and accessible brewerys I have been to. While I was there enjoying the great beer, they were in the middle of a fresh hop brewing session. This is as real as it gets with heat from the kettle making you sweat, smelling the grains in the boil and getting to hold/touch the ingredients. The brewers were super friendly. Even though they were busy as hell, they took the time to answer my group's questions. Great place, great beer and great people. It doesn't get better than this.

 634 characters

Photo of easong
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

So this is nanobrew? Then I'm in.
After driving around just a little, I found this little brewery in what amounted to a large self storage unit in an industrial strip mall, surrounded by chemistry companies and fruit drink distributors. The brewers were literally in the driveway washing out the brew kettle, a 50 gallon restaurant cook pot, with a garden hose. Had the triple pale, approximately 16 ounces, pungent, yeasty amber in color with a light but steady head. A hop bomb of the highest calliber which recalled another of my favorites, Moylan's Hopsicle. While enjoying it had a very nice conversation with the owner/brewers about the SD brew scene, and in particular the "but why all the great beer right here" aspects of it. Because, that's where the customer appreciates it.
Check Hess out while they are still smaller than Mother Earth, then watch them grow to the size of Ballast Point. Talent at work.

 915 characters

Photo of gerrick
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I love Hess brewing. Everyone I've met at the brewery is really nice. I happened to go on day 1 and loved it. I've never had a beer or person I didn't like at the brewery. On weekends I've seen the brewers family hanging around. You add fantastic beer to all that and the world is near perfect. The gorwlers they use are sweet. Both sizes have the rubber cap with metal latch. Fills and samples are priced well. They seem to be upgrading the size of something pretty often. More beer is better. Stop by and give them a shot.

 524 characters

Photo of Retsinis
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Looks like the status page has been updated for this place and I can finally post a review of it, awesome.

Ah, Hess Brewing, the best Nano Brewery East of the I-5 in Northern San Diego county. I've made it down to Hess Brewing three times now. Once last summer, a mere 3 weeks after they had first opened their doors to the public, with a group of 7 guys, and most recently about a month ago with just my wife. (Already have a return trip planned for August, 2nd annual SD Beer trip).

On the first trip, as our van pulled up after just coming from Alesmith, two friendly Labrador’s greeted us where we had parked our van, and escorted us from our van to the tasting bar (coincidence, trained, or just fate, not sure) Anyhow, we all ordered up a flight of beers, ranging from a Vienna Lager, Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and a "San Diego Pale Ale" (@ 13%) we visited a few breweries that day (including Alpine, Ballast Point, Stone, and Pizza Port) but we all concluded Hess was the highlight of the day. All the other breweries were good too, but the beers at Hess Brewing really stood out to all of us, as the flavors are distinct.

For the more recent trip with my wife, we took our time there, chatted with the owner and brewer Mike Hess, and filled a 2 liter Growler for a friend, along with a "Prowler" (1 liter) for us. Great time again, and they had 3 new beers that day from when I was there last.

The brewery is located in an industrial park, and is in just a small stall shop towards the back of the park. Being a nano brewery, with only 51 gallons per batch, the place is quite small, but for what the site lacks in sprawling space, they make up for with some pretty dam tasty beers imho, great service, and a comfortable, nearly intimate atmosphere. If you’re in San Diego, check them out, since considering Hess beers are currently not kegged for distribution, or bottled, they can only be bought on site (to my knowledge)

 1,942 characters

Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar in San Diego, CA
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,082 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.