Like clockwork every year, San Diego’s skies go from sunny to gray as fog settles in along the coast and creeps slightly inland. While May (Gray) and June (Gloom) have earned themselves nicknames for the socked in seasons, fogbanks can hit at any time.
Rather than moan and groan about the situation, take some time to head inland and drown your gloomy sorrows in a fresh, tasty pint where sunshine abounds. Here are some great breweries that will allow you to rise above (the fog).
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Escondido
At the top of the list is this sunny oasis in Escondido. Walking out into the brewery’s outdoor patio, bar and manicured gardens is like stepping out into craft beer vacationland. Relax and stay until the fire pits get lit at night for an all-day escape.
1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, 760.294.7899, stonebrewing.com
Churchill’s Pub & Grille, San Marcos
One of the most beloved beer bars in San Diego County, and known to grace lists for Top Craft Beer Bars, this county location is home to craft beer dinners, cask tappings, specialty events, and a stellar bottle list. You’ll always find something you want to drink at Churchill’s. While you're in San Marcos, don’t miss award-winning breweries Port/Lost Abbey and the recently opened Wild Barrel Brewing.
887 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos, 760.471.8773, churchillspub.us
Nickel Beer Co., Julian
Head to the land of apple-pickin’ and pies to check out Tom Nickel’s (of Mira Mesa’s O’Briens beer bar fame) own brewery. With multiple beer selections, including an Apple Pie Ale, horse carriage tours of town, and mouthwatering desserts down the street, there’s no going wrong here.
1485 Hollow Glen Rd., Julian, 760.765.2337 nickelbeerco.com
ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, Ramona
For those enjoying outdoor activities (horseback riding, hiking, and camping) out in Ramona, stop into this favorite local brewery for suds to match the sunshine. You can find their beers on tap in San Diego, but it’s always better to go right to the source. While in town, be sure to stop by Smoking Cannon Brewery, as well.
2330 Main St. C, Ramona, 760.440.5205 chuckalek.com
Mason Ale Works/Urge Gastropub, San Marcos
Walter Sobchak said it perfectly in The Big Lebowski: “F**k it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.” Toss a few down (and back) at this brewery and gastropub that also features a bowling alley. Notable brews include the Charley Hustle Red IPA and Willy Time White Ale. On the drive there, take a listen to PACIFIC’s Kiss My Glass podcast where co-founder Grant Tondro talks about new brews and the future of the Urge Gastropub and Mason Ale Works empire.
255 Redel Rd., San Marcos, 760.798.8822, masonaleworks.com