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Craft Beer

Head inland for sunnier beers

When fog settles along the coast, these San Diego County breweries can help patrons rise above the gloom.

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

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July 23, 2015_San Diego California_USA_| A view of the main dining area at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido on July 23, 2015. .| _Mandatory Photo Credit: Photo by Michael Cali/San Diego Union-Tribune/Copyright 2015San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC (San Diego Union-Tribune/Zuma Pre/Michael Cali)

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  

Nickel Beer

Nickel Beer's Fresh Mountain Crystal Wet Hop IPA

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

3 Local Brothers
SAN MARCOS, CA: April 12, 2017 | Dan Cooper bowls at the 8-lane bowling alley inside the new Urge Gastropub and Common House near Cal State University San Marcos that features 21,000-square-feet of space which houses a Mason Ale Works brewery, restaurant, three bars and a large patio with bocce ball courts, and oversize table games. | Photo by Howard Lipin/San Diego Union-Tribune/Mandatory Credit: HOWARD LIPIN SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE/ZUMA PRESS