AleSmith Brewing Company


Type: Brewery, Bar

9990 AleSmith Ct
San Diego, California, 92126
United States

(858) 549-9888 | map

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 349
Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

This place is pretty awesome. Awesome selection of beer, very open with different types of seating, including outdoors. Great service and nice vibe. I could totally hang out here all day with some friends and drink.

 215 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is a must-stop place if in the San Diego area. A little off the beaten path, especially if you are staying downtown but worth it. The Anvil & Stave is a really cool experience and something you have to do if you are there. The main tasting room has a cool vibe and a nice selection of beer but the Anvil & Stave is the highlight for sure.

 347 characters

Photo of Docrock
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Nice location right off Miramar. Very clean and open. No food available unless there is a food truck. Solid offerings of beer including some barrell aged options plus some r and d. Worth a visit if in San Diego and just around he corner from Ballast Point brewery/restaraunt.

 275 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Made two stops here and found a huge open space, long bar area, movies showing and a pretty big gift shop that also had bottle sales.

If you come on the right day, you'll luck out with some Speedway variants, if not you'll just have to settle for variants of some other beer. Hard to go wrong either way.

I'd go here if I had a big group by the way.

 353 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

All Hail, Alesmith.
I remain mystified that a brewer in one of the most consistently warm climates can produce such astounding stouts.
But the story starts two years ago because Alesmith has two on my quest to taste "10001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" and they don't distribute in my state.
When their beer starts to dribble into Illinois, I was advised by the largest beverage retailer in Chicagoland that I would be lucky to get any soon.
A month later, we visit my wife's cousin in San Diego and he has a driver without much to do. So it seemed like a genius-stroke to ask him to take me to Alesmith. I could drink all I wanted!
Well, we arrived and I discovered : no flights, but they sold bottles.
We were flying out tomorrow, so I didn't want to buy bottles. Dilemma.
Then, I saw a clique of restauranteurs sampling the brews.
Without introducing myself, I went over and acted like I knew their biz.
The conceit worked and I sampled at least five brews... all excellent and an astounding stout.

Lesson: Beer-hunting requires more than persistent, it requires guile... albeit for a good cause.

 1,108 characters

Photo of Nichols33
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Very cool place, just wish the beer was better. Food truck was pulled up for good eats. Outdoor patio area had a cool area to chill by the fire and others were playing corn hole. Inside was massive with lots of stools and tables, all of which were taken on the Saturday evening I was there.

Loved the place but unless they produce better beer, I'll probably skip next time (no Speedway stout or any variants available the day I was there).

 441 characters

Photo of dsshuck
4/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped here to check out their beers because they don't make it to DE. Beers were great as expected. The tasting room is spacious and they offer a rack of four samples for tasting. We were there during mid afternoon on a Friday and they were busy but not crowded. Not a bad place to hang out and drink some beer.

 313 characters

Photo of mschantz
3.82/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

The new tasting room is a huge space in an industrial park. Still a decent vibe given the size and location. They typically have 10-12 standards on tap and 5-6 specialty beers. A series of Mikkeller collabs were available when I visited. As with their standard bottled beers - nothing really blew me away, just a broad range of solid offerings. Beer tenders seemed to be reasonably knowledgable and helpful. In most towns Alesmith would stand out but not in SD these days.

 478 characters

Photo of Plasmafunk
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

A large warehouse structure with lots of counter bar space. Barrels serve as tables. When I was there, an Indiana Jones movie was playing via projection TV which served as the defacto kids area. No food on site but a food truck was parked nearby.
All your Alesmith classics are here, plus I had about 5-6 BA beers that were delicious.
Highly recommended.

 356 characters

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

The new tasting room is absolutely enormous. It looks like an airplane hangar. Huge bar, lots of seating, and nice outdoor area for food trucks. My only complaint is that I wish they had more limited release beers or variants available in the tasting room.

 256 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Terrible vibe on the outside, its an industrial park. On the inside it improves. But its still clustered and tight for space when it gets going inside. Quality of the beers is top notch. Wish they had more one offs on tap, really random what they tend to have. Since its next to other places in SD, its easy to make this a priority to check out.

 350 characters

Photo of shoegueuze
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

This is a great taproom, VERY big, usually have a food truck on the weekends. No shortage of seating really, even on a release party weekends. That's another thing I would recommend. If you come visit this brewery come on a weekend where they just did released a special beer that day or the day before, they will have a decent amount of other special variant beers and versions of other beers going back years sometimes. If you go any other time they will 9.9 out of 10 times have only beer they sell year round. They do proxies for beer pickups which also makes them pretty nice. Overall a decent stop if you're in this part of San Diego.

 641 characters

Photo of SSS
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

 265 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
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

 1,620 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 210 characters

Photo of RLVineh
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 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.

 269 characters

Photo of domdomdomdom
4.47/5  rDev +4%
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!

 161 characters

Photo of QuakeAttack
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of Pawoto
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 420 characters

Photo of ARoman
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 437 characters

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 477 characters

Photo of porbastipa
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 182 characters

Photo of HunterSBeerson
5/5  rDev +16.3%

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!)

 371 characters

Photo of RogueOz
4/5  rDev -7%

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.

 650 characters

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

 377 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
4.1 out of 5 based on 30,118 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.