These 3 California breweries are too new to be household names but have gained a devoted local following. Spoiler alert: their beers live up to the buzz. And if you haven't heard the buzz yet, you will.
'san diego' on Serious Eats
The third annual San Diego Beer Week, which took place November 4 to 13, was a 10 day long endurance test for thousands of beer-lovers city wide: there were no fewer than 540 events, dozens of participating bars and restaurants, 40 local breweries and brew pubs, and thousands of eye-opening moments as beer lovers, beer makers, and beer newbies discovered ales, lagers, pubs, and pairings that would change how they experienced beer in San Diego.
While San Diego is known as a craft beer destination, being home to Stone, Ballast Point, AleSmith, and many more, there was a thriving brewing scene long before those breweries appeared. 19th- and early-20th century San Diego's breweries were a little smaller and rougher, but they were a key part of their city. Here is a brief look at three nearly-forgotten San Diego beer pioneers.
With Mike Yen behind the bar at Ave 5, strange and wonderful things are happening. In addition to cranking out killer cocktails, he has created a collection of intriguing molecular interpretations of classic drinks like the bloody mary, mojito, and bellini.
Ask any serious beer drinker where you must have a pint in San Diego, and they'll point you toward a tiny, crowded strip mall in the middle of an industrial suburb. Your experience of the San Diego beer scene isn't complete until you head to Kearny Mesa and spend an afternoon at O'Brien's Pub.
Don't let anyone tell you there's a "West Coast" beer style—California does India Pale Ale its own way. We tasted 30 IPAs (yes, 30!) from Cali so we could recommend the best and the brightest.
Yuseff Cherney, the head brewer at Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, tells us a little about the founding of the company, the scene in San Diego, and how he goes about developing recipes for his award-winning brews.