SAN DIEGO: Part 2 – North County Breweries


Last week we posited that San Diego was the brewpub capital of the United States. This was our opinion only based on the number of breweries and brewpubs we found in the county. So many, in fact that it took two posts to list them all.

In Week 1 we gave you the rundown on South County locations and this week we bring you the 28 located in North County, of which Vista seems to be the hotspot. So when you are ready to sample some tasty brew, head on down to one of these local suds stops.

North County Breweries and Brewpubs:

Arcana Brewing Company • 5621 Palmer Way Suite C, Carlsbad  • Brewery and tasting room
Aztec Brewery • 2330 La Mirada, Vista • Brewery and tasting room
Backstreet Brewery • multiple locations • Brewpubs
Barrel Harbor Brew Company • 2575 Pioneer #104, Vista • Brewery and tasting room
Belching Beaver Brewery • multiple locations • Brewery and tasting room
Breakwater Brewing Company • 101 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside • Brewpub
Culture Brewing Co. • 111 S. Cedros Avenue Suite 200, Solana Beach • Brewery and tasting room
Dos Desperados Brewing • 1241 Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos • Brewery (tasting room to come)
Fallbrook Brewing Company • 136 N. Main St, Fallbrook • Brewery and tasting room
Indian Joe Brewing Company • 2379 La Mirada, Vista • Brewery and tasting room
Iron Fist Brewing Company • 1305 Hot Spring Way #101, Vista • Brewery and tasting room
Karl Strauss Brewing Company • multiple locations • Brewpub
Latitude 33 Brewing Company • 1430 Vantage Court #104, Vista • Brewery and tasting room
Legacy Brewing • 363 Airport Road, Oceanside • Brewery and tasting room
Mike Hess Brewing • multiple locations • Brewery and tasting room
Mother Earth Brew Co. • Multiple locations, Vista • Brewery and tasting room
Nickel Beer Co. • 1485 Hollow Glen, Julien • Brewery and tasting room
Oceanside Ale Works • 1800 Ord Way, Oceanside • Brewery and tasting room
Offbeat Brewing Company • 1223 Pacific Oaks Place, Escondido • Brewery and tasting room
On the Tracks Brewery • 5674 El Camino Real Suite G, Carlsbad • Brewery and tasting room
Pizza Port • multiple locations • Brewpub
Plan 9 Ale House • 155 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido • Brewpub
Prohibition Brewing Company • 204 E. Vista Way, Vista • Brewpub
Rip Current Brewing • 1325 Grand Ave #100, San Marcos • Brewery and tasting room
Stone Brewing Company • 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido • Brewpub
Stumblefoot Brewing Company • 1784 La Costa Meadows Dr #103, San Marcos • Brewery and tasting room
The Lost Abbey • 155 Mata Way #104, San Marcos • Brewery and tasting room
Valley Center Brewery • Valley Center • Brewery only



SAN DIEGO: Brewpub Capital of the U.S.?


Every time we turn around a new brewery or brewpub is opening in San Diego County. We could probably do one post a week just on this topic alone, but in the interest of space and in deference to non-beer drinkers, we chose to consolidate the state of suds in SD into two posts—one for San Diego and one for North County San Diego (coming next week).

Our very unscientific research found 61+ breweries and brewpubs* located within the county, a figure that just very well may be higher than any other town, although Seattle and Portland are possible rivals. Nonetheless, when you are ready to sample some tasty brew, you shouldn’t have to look far.

Your San Deigo contenders:

Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment • 1795 Hancock, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
AleSmith Brewing Company • 9638 Cabot Drive, San Diego • Brewery only
Alpine Beer Company  • 2351 Alpine Blvd, Alpine • Brewpub
Amplified Ale Works • 4150 Mission Blvd #208, San Diego • Brewpub
Automatic Brewing Co. • 3416 Adams, San Diego • Brewery  – attached to Blind Lady Ale House
Backstreet Brewery • multiple locations • Brewpubs
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits • 10051 Old Grove Rd, San Diego • Brewery, distiller, tasting room
Belching Beaver Brewery • multiple locations • Brewery and tasting room
Benchmark Brewing Company •  6190 Fairmont Suite G, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Callahan’s Pub & Brewery • 8111 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego • Brewpub
Coronado Brewing Company • 1205 Knoxville Street, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Gordon Biersch • 5010 Mission Center Road, San Diego • Brewpub
Green Flash Brewing • 6550 Mira Mesa, San Diego• Brewery and tasting room
Groundswell Brewing Company • 6304 Riverdale, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Helm’s Brewing Company • 5640 Kearney Mesa Rod Suite C/N, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Hillcrest Brewing Company • 1458 University Avenue, San Diego • Brewpub
Intergalactic Brewing Company • 9835 Carroll Centre Road, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Karl Strauss Brewing Company • multiple locations • Brewpub
La Jolla Brewing Company • 7536 Fay Avenue, La Jolla • Brewpub
Manzanita Brewing Company • 10151 Prospect, Santee • Brewery and tasting room
Mike Hess Brewing • multiple locations • Brewery and tasting room
Mission Brewery • 1441 L Street, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Modern Times Beer • 3725 Greenwood Street, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Monkey Paw Brewing Company • 805 16th Street, San Diego • Brewpub
New English Brewing Company • 11545 Sorrento Valley Road #305, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Pacific Beach Ale House • 721 Grand Ave, San Diego • Brewpub
Pizza Port • multiple locations • Brewpub
Rock Bottom Brewery • 8980 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla • Brewpub
Rough Draft Brewing Company • 8830 Rehco Rd Suite D, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Saint Archer Brewing Company • 9550 Distribution Avenue, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
San Diego Brewery • 10450 Friars Rd Suite L, San Diego• Brewpub
Societe Brewing Company • 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
The Beer Company • 602 Broadway, San Diego • Brewpub
Thorn Street Brewery • 3176 Thorn Street, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
Wet ’n Reckless Brewing • 10054 Mesa Ridge Ct #132, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room
White Labs Tasting Room • 9495 Candida Street, San Diego • Brewery and tasting room


If you want to know more about the San Diego craft beer scene, don’t miss The San Diego Brewers Guild and the West Coaster magazine.

*Several breweries operate multiple locations.

SAN DIEGO: The Declan Suites Bringing Avant Garde to Downtown


There’s a new hotel in town with some big plans for a multi-million dollar renovation. The Declan Suites has taken over the downtown Sheraton Suites, located adjacent to the San Diego Symphony Hall. While it is currently open for business, the big changes will begin in the Spring, when the new owners embark on a complete overhaul of guest rooms, conference/meeting space, restaurant and lounge.

The intent is to bring an avant garde vibe to the hotel, intertwining technology, music and the arts. The transformation will yield 264 two-room suites that will offer either a city or bay view, a signature restaurant, live feed video wall, and communal technology area. Local art will be featured throughout the property. In addition to the fully-equipped fitness center, bikes will be available for guests to use, for not only a healthy alternative (for guests and the environment) but a great way to see the city and nearby Balboa Park.

The rooms, among the largest in the city, will each have a separate sitting room. Guests will enjoy complimentary wi-fi, a full-service business center, and a skilled concierge team ready to make your San Diego visit the best it can be, from restaurant reservations to sporting events, as well as tickets to the area’s many cultural activities and family-oriented theme parks.

Declan Suites San Diego
: 701 A Street, San Diego
Cost: $109.00 and up

SAN DIEGO: Coin-Op Game Room Is a Big Kid’s Dream in North Park

Rob Boudon, NY

The latest and greatest brilliant idea to hit San Diego is the new Coin-Op Game Room, a retro arcade + bar + the best snacks ever! This cool industrial-vibe space, with street-facing garage doors that open, offers everything a big kid could want: classic arcade games (think Mrs. Pacman, Mortal Kombat, Dig Dug), two old-school pinball games, a full bar, and a some very grown-up versions of kid’s snacks.

While some might call this a “barcade,” it is so much more than that; it is instant fun. For mere quarters, you can get your game on while you share a Punch Bowl with your friends, all the while munching on maple-bacon popcorn, yellowtail sliders, or a really tasty funnel cake with fancy fixins.

In addition to those punch bowls, Coin-Op’s bartenders can pull 20 kinds of draft beer or make you a fancy craft cocktail (seasonal menu made with ingredients from the local farmer’s market). And they even have wine on the menu, but really, who drinks wine while they play Mrs. PacMan?

Coin-Op Game Room
: 3926 30th St, San Diego
When: 4 pm to 1 am every day of the week

SAN DIEGO: 34th Annual Jazz Fest

musical notes

Time to get your boogie on at the 34th Annual San Diego Jazz Festival. This musical festival will feature jazz, Swing, boogie woogie, rockabilly, gospel, and ragtime, with over 30 bands playing 7 venues over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Held at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, this year’s event will feature tributes to both Louis Armstrong and Irving Berlin, as well as New Orleans-style parades and a Battle of the Bands. Venues include large concert rooms, double dance floors to flaunt your style, as well as more intimate “listening” rooms.

For those of you wanting to be more participatory, there will be a Sunday morning hymn-along, dance classes, and a number of jam sessions.

A full festival line-up and schedule can be found here.

34th Annual San Diego Jazz Fest
: November 27-December 1
Where: Town & Country Resort
Cost: $105 (5-day), $100 (4-day) and $95 (3-day) or daily admission Wednesday 7-11pm $15, Thursday 6-11pm $20, Friday or Saturday 9am-11pm $45, Sunday 8am-6pm $25 (Children under 12 and active military are free)

SAN DIEGO: Legoland Hotel Halloween Party


While Legoland is offering their Brick-or-Treat Party Nights during October, the Legoland Hotel has its own special offering for families on Halloween night. Instead of neighborhood trick-or-treating, you can bring your costumed brood down for an exclusive Halloween Party that includes costumed character appearances, five locations for trick-or-treating, LEGO building and costume contests, a magic show, and more.

The special package includes all activities (2 – 9 p.m.), themed room, and Bricks Buffet breakfast for the whole family. There are three themed rooms to choose from: Pirate, Adventurer or Kingdom. Each room has a queen-sized bed for mom and dad and a separate sleep area for the kids with bunk beds and trundle. Little ones can keep busy with in-room LEGO bricks, a treasure hunt, and their own television.

Legoland Hotel Halloween Party
: October 31st
Cost: From $229 Book online or call 877-534-6526

SAN DIEGO: Brewers Guild Beer Festival


This year San Diego Beer Week (November 1-10) kicks off with a Brewer’s Guild Fest on November 1st and 2nd over at Port Pavillion on the Broadway Pier. This exclusive event brings together more than 50 of San Diego’s legendary brewmasters under one roof.

Friday night’s event includes unlimited beer and food tastings from the likes of Ballast Point Brewing, Back Street Brewery, Coronado Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Latitude 33, Mike Hess Brewing, and Saint Archer Brewing Company. You’ll taste not only local standards but also specialty brews made specifically for the festival.

On Saturday night, guests are provided with a commemorative tasting glass and 15 tickets for 3-ounce beer samples (20 tickets and early entry with the Premier Pass). Food will be available from local restaurants and food trucks, and local bands will take the stage for a night of unforgettable music.  

You can check out the full list of beer week events here.

San Diego Brewers Guild Fest
: November 1 from 6-9pm & November 2 from 2-5pm
Where: Port Pavillion at the Broadway Pier
Cost: General Admission $40/day, 2-day Premier Pass $100, Designated Driver Ticket $25/$50. Tickets can be purchased in advance here or on the day of the event.

SAN DIEGO: Halloween Activities for All Ages


Whether you are 5 or 55, San Diego will play host to a wide variety of spooky and fun activities for the upcoming Halloween holiday.  Families can enjoy month-long events at Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Legoland and The Scream Zone Del Mar, while adults can party at several themed pub crawls or the Gaslamp Quarter’s Monster Bash and we’ve made it easy for you to find the event that suits your needs.

Sea World Halloween Spooktacular
Sea World San Diego is offering their annual Halloween Spooktacular, which runs until October 27th. In addition to all the regular shows and exhibits there will be a special Halloween musical at the Sesame Street Bay of Play featuring all your favorite characters, sea lions Clyde and Seamore have a spooky adventure at Uncle Schmedley’s Castle, pumpkinfish will take center stage at the underwater pumpkin patch, and children (who can come in costume) can visit Otto’s Candy Garden where gumdrops and lollipops grow and collect candy at various points throughout the park.  During the month of October, San Diego residents get one free child admission for each adult admission purchased ($79), non-residents pay $79 (ages 10 & up) or $71 for children (3-9).

San Diego Zoo Spooky Sleepover
The San Diego Zoo is offering two overnight adventures on October 19th and 26th. The Spooky Sleepover, hosted by Dr. Zoolittle, will include a special bus tour through the park that will deliver you to haunted Camp Timbuktu where each family gets their own tent for the night. Campers will enjoy dinner, meeting some spooky animals, have the option of participating in a costume parade and, if they can keep their eyes open, take a night prowl through the zoo. In the morning, campers get a buffet breakfast and time to roam the zoo at their leisure. Cost is $139 per adult and $119 per child (ages 4-11) plus zoo admission.

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND
Saturday nights during the month of October bring Brick-or-Treat Party Nights to Legoland. Party nights include a dance party, “Mail Order Monsters Show,” live performances by the Witchettes and a magician, as well as a costume contest with some super prizes. Trick-or-treaters can score goodies at 10 treat stations spread throughout the park and enjoy a live fireworks show before departure. The event is free with paid one-day admission to the park ($59 per person) or $30 for admission from 5-9pm only.

The Scream Zone
The Scream Zone at Del Mar Scaregrounds, open until November 2nd, is not for the faint of heart. Featuring 4 haunts, you will have your choice of one or all: battling the undead at the Zombie Paintball Safari, making your way through the terrifying House of Horror, risking your life on a Haunted Hayride, or entering The Chamber, where there is no guarantee you will exit. The Scream Zone is open select evenings, including Halloween night. Tickets range from $17-$30, plus $20-$25 for Zombie Paintball.

And for those of you over the age of 21 who would like something a bit more raucous, there are two different pub crawls and the annual San Diego Monster Bash.

[Read more…]

SAN DIEGO: Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Manchester Grand Hyatt

Manchester Grand Hyatt

While October brings thoughts of goblins and ghouls, it is also a time to raise awareness of the second most common form of cancer among women. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and in celebration several San Diego luxury hotels are “painting the town pink” to honor those who are affected by the disease.

The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is celebrating in style, decking out select guestrooms with special pink sheets and donating a percentage of room proceeds to fight breast cancer. Additionally they have planned some special treats for guests: The Rock Spa will feature a 50-minute Pink Sugar Whip body scrub and Maryjane’s, the on-site restaurant, will hand out pink frosted guitar cookies each Sunday, and offer Pink Milkshakes, Pink Pineapple Mimosas, Pinkberry Cosmopolitans, Pink Floyds and Pink Dolphins at the bar (with 25% of the proceeds also being donated). In addition, hotel guests can opt to add a donation of any level to their guestroom bill during their stay.

Over at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the Kin Spa will be offering a “Pretty in Pink” spa package during the whole month. Their Infinitely Loving Manicure/Pedicure will treat your hands and feet to a moisturizing sugar scrub, followed by body butter to soothe, and a relaxing massage to leave your skin soft and supple. You’ll walk away with pink fingers and toes, as well as a pink nail polish gift.

If you stop by the W San Diego, you can partake in their “Drink Pink (for a cause)” cocktail, where 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Keep A Breast Foundation. Additionally, to celebrate Cancer Awareness Month, the W will also be turning it’s “W” logo outside pink to honor the month and help further spread awareness.

In addition to these hotel offers, you can get on the pink bandwagon at the following San Diego events:
Katsuya San Diego: Katsuya San Diego has teamed up with the Keep A Breast Foundation to “Roll out the Research” by calling on local celebrities to create a custom sushi roll using cancer-fighting ingredients to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Local personalities such as Alexis DelChiaro of KUSI News, Tom DeLonge of Blink 182, Chris Cote of GrindTV and Delana Bennett of 94.1 are competing through social media channels to have their custom roll placed on the Katsuya San Diego menu for the remainder of 2013. Each time the winning roll is ordered, half of the proceeds will go to benefit the Keep a Breast Foundation.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets will be offering customers the opportunity to make a $10 donation to benefit Susan G. Komen® and receive a discount card for 25% off one item at participating stores, while supplies last.

Bras Across the Bay is a fundraiser aboard Flagship Cruises yacht “California Spirit.” Featuring music by Raining Jane, pink cocktails, drawings and fabulous food, you will sail around San Diego Bay as the sun sets.  So put on your best pink outfit and help support the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
12th Annual Row for the Cure, sponsored by UC San Diego, will take place Sunday October 27 at North Ski Beach in Mission Bay. This is also a fundraiser for Komen San Diego open to both participants and spectators, open to all human-powered craft (Eights, OC-6, Fours, Doubles, Singles).

Breast cancer is a serious killer. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women, claiming 500,000 lives annually worldwide. In addition, the disease is diagnosed in approximately 1.3 million globally each year. Women can protect themselves by getting active with a Breast Cancer prevention program that includes eating healthy, getting a sufficient amount of exercise, and receiving regular screening from their physicians.


San Diego: Celebrate Restaurant Week


Cities around the nation are hosting Restaurant Week, a bi-annual event promoting local restaurants.  San Diego will be celebrating during the week of September 15th-20thwith over 180 restaurants participating throughout the county.  Each participating restaurant will have a special prix fixe menu for both lunch and dinner. Lunch options will be 2 courses for $10, $15, or $20, with dinner serving 3 courses priced at $20, $30, or $40.

A special website is set up for diners to search for participating restaurants, with the option to sort based on restaurant name, price, type of food or neighborhood. To make things easier, San Diego has been broken into 12 neighborhoods or areas, which include:

  • Central San Diego
  • Coronado
  • Downtown San Diego
  • East County
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • La Jolla
  • Mission Bay/Beaches
  • North County Coastal
  • North County Inland
  • Old Town
  • Pt. Loma/Harbor Island
  • Uptown

Additionally, there is an Open Table feature on the site allowing you to make reservations instantly. Bon Appetit!

San Diego Restaurant Week
: September 15-20
Where: San Diego County
Cost: $10-40 per diner