While Ireland may be more than 5,000 miles away and a daunting thirteen hours by plane, the Irish spirit is alive and well in this southern coastal paradise. From craft beer versions of Irish stouts and Irish reds to Jameson shots and Emerald Isle-inspired cocktails, San Diegans love to drink like the Irish.
Here’s the lowdown on where to find the city’s best tributes to Éire.
Societe Brewing Company: The brewery’s award-winning beer The Pugilist is a dry Irish stout that has garnered a silver medal at the World Beer Cup and at only 4.5% ABV begs for multiple pints.
Gravity Heights: Among a range of coastal-monikered beers, including Daybreak IPA and June Gloom hazy IPA, comes the Brewers Breakfast Stout, a dry Irish stout with notes of coffee and chocolate at a quaffable 4.5% ABV.
9920 Pacific Heights Blvd., Sorrento Valley, 858.283.8206, gravityheights.com
Karl Strauss: Irish-style reds are known for being smooth and easy drinking, and Red Trolley is one of San Diego’s classic examples. With two gold Great American Beer Festival medals and two golds at the World Beer Cup, this 5.8% ABV beer sets the standard for the style here in California.
Little Italy: 1157 Columbia St., 619.234.2739; Sorrento Valley: 9675 Scranton Rd., 858.587.2739; Bay Ho: 5985 Santa Fe St., 858.273.2739; 4S Ranch: 10448 Reserve Dr., 858. 376.2739; La Jolla: 1044 Wall St., 858.551.2739; Carlsbad: 5801 Armada Dr., 760.431.2739, karlstrauss.com
Second Chance: The Mulligan, an award-winning Irish-style red, takes its place among the core beer lineup, and if you have the luck o’ the Irish, you might even find the 5.6% ABV brew on nitro at the brewery.
15378 Avenue of Science #222, Rancho Bernardo, 858.705.6250, secondchancebeer.com
Coronado Brewing Company: Balancing toffee malts and dry hopping, the classic 5.7% ABV Mermaid Ale has been a core part of the Coronado lineup for years, and continues to please.
Morena: 1205 Knoxville St., 619.275.2215; Coronado: 170 Orange Ave.,619.437.4452; Imperial Beach: 875 Seacoast Dr.,619.423.4900, coronadobrewing.com
Black Plague Brewing: Between its smooth caramel maltiness and Centennial dry hopping the 6.1% ABV Daywalker Red Ale combines the tradition of the Irish Red with a touch of American style.
2550 Jason Ct., Oceanside, 877.579.4610, blackplaguebrewing.com
(may be seasonal)
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant: Stay green with the nature-inspired Irish Garden, crafted with Irish gin, nettle and barley cordial, lime, honey, pressed apple, and nasturtium juice.
2202 Fourth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.231.0222, bankershillsd.com
Kettner Exchange: The Celtic Highball blends together two neighboring lands, with Irish whiskey, blended scotch, pineapple, lime, ginger, fuji apple, soda and bitters.
2001 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.255.2001, kettnerexchange.com
Polite Provisions: Take your pick between a version of the classic Irish hot drink, the Dublin Irish Coffee, with Irish whiskey, local coffee, stout beer, demerara, and cream, or try a cocktail on draft, the Mr. Brownstone with Irish whiskey and Fat Bear’s cinnamon soda.
4696 30th St., North Park, 619.269.4701, politeprovisions.com
The Lion’s Share: Keep it warm and toasty with the Elbow Patches, a blend of Irish whiskey, hot apple cider, whipped cream and cinnamon. As they say, it’s “like a hug only better, as hugs are generally whiskey free.”
629 Kettner Blvd., downtown, 619.564.6924, lionssharesd.com