Craft Beer

Your palate’s guide to San Diego Beer Week 2017

Craft beer is big across San Diego, including Encinitas, where Culture opened a tasting room this summer.
(Karen Billing)

For every palate, there is a beer — and a San Diego Beer Week event.

For the ninth straight year, the San Diego Brewers Guild has organized a 10-day mission to the heart of craft beer. The 2017 journey begins Friday and continues through Nov. 12 with an overwhelming 500-plus events.

Where to start? Consult your taste buds and the flavor guide. Then match your preferred beer styles to our suggested events.


For: Fans of wheats, pilsners, Mexican lagers.

Try: “Boat to Belly,” Puesto’s pairing of three just-caught fish tacos with three AleSmith beers, including its new Mexican-style lager, Sublime.

Puesto: 789 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


For: Explorers of tart-tastic wild ales and sour fruit beers.

Try (1.): “Spontaneous Sour Saturday.” While this collection of 15 sour beers is on tap at Stone Liberty Station, none were made at Stone. Instead, this all-star lineup features Avery, Craftsman, Jolly Pumpkin, plus local favorites from Lost Abbey, Modern Times and Toolbox. 

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens — Liberty Station: 2816 Historic Decatur Drive, San Diego. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Try (2.): “Feral Fridays,” when Societe pours four- and 10-ounce glasses of its limited edition wild and sour ales.

Societe: 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Nov. 10.

Societe Brewing Company.
(Rick Nocon)


For: Lovers of pale ales and IPAs, brews of bracing bitterness.

Try: “San Diego Blind IPA Battle.” The staff at Urge Gastropub has selected their favorite local IPAs. Taste these unidentified beauties, then vote on your favorite.

Urge Gastropub: 16761 Bernardo Center Dr., San Diego. Wednesday, 5 to 10 p.m.


For: People who drink it all — ales, lagers, sours, IPAs, even warm cans of Old Milwaukee.

Try: One or all of these three:

1. The VIP Brewer Takeover, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.

2. The San Diego Brewers Association Festival, Saturday 2 to 5 p.m. (Both Takeover and Fest are on the Broadway pier, 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego.)

3. The Beer Garden, a beer-and-food extravaganza, noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, San Diego.


For: Beer drinkers who love the — surprise! — new, the — surprise! — unexpected, the — surprise! — surprising.

Try: “Collabapalooza.” This new Beer Week event features 30-plus local breweries, each having paired with one or more others to create unique collaboration beers. The $40 entry fee comes with unlimited pours.

The Observatory North Park: 2891 University Ave., San Diego. Nov. 11, noon to 4 p.m.


For: Those who like their beers grainy, toasty and roasty.

Try: The legendary whiskey-barrel-aged stouts of FiftyFifty, Truckee’s cult brewery, while chatting with the owner, Alicia Barr, during a rare visit to San Diego.

Rip Current North Park: 4101 30th St., San Diego, 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday.


For: Bold souls, eager to venture beyond the ordinary.

Try (1.): Flights of Benchmark’s Table Beer, customised for the occasion — you’ll find lactic versions, tea versions and single hop versions. Each flight is $5.

Benchmark: 6190 Fairmount Ave., San Diego, 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Try (2): Abnormal Beer, one of the area’s most creative breweries, will pluck rare brews from the cellar of its home base, The Cork and Craft. (Bonus: this restaurant’s wine list is excellent, or so wine fanciers tell me.)

The Cork and Craft: 16990 Via Tazon, Suite 123, San Diego. 2 to 8 p.m. Nov. 9.


Try: Beer Choir. A $12 fee gets you one drink ticket at AleSmith, and copy of the Beer Choir Hymnal.

AleSmith: 9990 AleSmith Court, San Diego, 7 p.m. Monday.


Try: Former Charger Nick Hardwick will supple live commentary at Nason’s Beer Hall, as his Purdue Boilermakers renew Big Ten rivalry with the Fighting Illini.

Nason’s Beer Hall: 570 J St., San Diego, 9 a.m. Saturday.



San Diego Beer Week 2017: Choose your own adventure

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