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Here’s what happened when I went on a beer walk in Imperial Beach

Pint of Hartley pale ale (5.9 percent, $7.50) was fresh, hop-forward and citrusy.
At Mike Hess’ surfside outpost in Imperial Beach, the 18 Mike Hess beers on tap are all brewed elsewhere, but the pint of Hartley pale ale (5.9 percent, $7.50) was fresh, hop-forward and citrusy.
(Photo by Peter Rowe)

Inspired by the November opening of Novo Brazil’s 7,500-square-foot bayside restaurant and nano-brewery, I recently set out on a refreshing trek through Imperial Beach

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On these cool winter days, there’s nothing like a long walk along the coast, especially if there’s a great pint waiting at your destination. Or destinations.

Inspired by the November opening of Novo Brazil’s 7,500-square-foot bayside restaurant and nano-brewery, I recently set out on a refreshing trek through Imperial Beach.

1. Start at Pizza Port Imperial Beach, 204 Palm Ave. A few blocks east of the Pacific, this is the smallest spot on our journey — the indoor and outdoor tables can accommodate 85 people — but there’s an impressive 30 Pizza Port beers on tap, including five brewed on the premises. I enjoyed the expertly balanced porter, La Morena Rica (5 percent, $7 a pint).

There’s pizza and salad on the menu and a small parking lot on site.

2. Walk west to Seacoast Drive, then turn left. An easy eight-minute stroll brings you to Mike Hess’ surfside outpost, 805 Ocean Lane. The spacious outdoor venue can seat several hundred; from a second-floor platform, some tables enjoy glimpses of the sea.

Quiero Tacos runs the kichen. The 18 Mike Hess beers on tap are all brewed elsewhere, but my pint of Hartley pale ale (5.9 percent, $7.50), was fresh, hop-forward and citrusy.

Parking can be issue in the summer — you have to hunt for spaces on the street — which is one good reason to walk here. Another: This place has a great party vibe. Beyond the beer, you’ll find corn hole, kombucha, coffee and camaraderie.

3. Our next stop, 875 Seacoast Drive, is directly across the street from Mike Hess. Here, Coronado Brewing has a tap room/restaurant. The menu here runs the pub-fare gamut (burgers to salads, pasta to tacos), while the 16 taps represent CBC’s greatest hits.

Mermaid Red (5.7 percent) is a solid winter weather choice, its rich malts complemented by bracing hops (46 International Bittering Units).

Fortify yourself, because our next destination is …

4. Novo Brazil, 535 Florence St. Begin this 45-minute hike by leaving Coronado Brewing and retracing your steps, heading north on Seacoast Drive, then turning right on Palm Avenue.

Palm soon becomes Highway 75. Stay on the sidewalk and use caution — traffic can be fierce. You’ll escape most of these speeding cars by turning left on Florida Street; two blocks later, a right on Cypress Avenue takes you to Novo Brazil’s hangar-like building.

Enjoy the remarkable views, across San Diego Bay’s southern reaches to the San Diego skyline. Then savor the menu’s South American touches — a spicy Brazilian sausage skewer ($18) was delicious; black beans were served lukewarm, a problem but not an insurmountable one. Tasty!

From the 60 taps, I chose the sparkling Novo Lager ($7 a pint, 4 percent) and the Corvo Negro Coconut (12 percent), a high-octane Mounds bar.

Alert your designated driver: You’ve walked — and drunk — to the end of the road.


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