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Stone Brewing launched San Diego’s craft beer scene almost 20 years ago; now there are nearly 100 producers. Here, 4 worth seeking out.
Here, four terrific places to drink beer in San Diego, including Stone Brewing Co., which is one of the country's largest craft breweries.
Stone Brewing Co.
One of the country’s largest, most renowned craft breweries, Stone’s specialty is high-alcohol ales with names like Arrogant Bastard. Co-founder Greg Koch supports employees who want to start their own places, offering advice and hops and grains. 1999 Citracado Pkwy., Escondido; stonebrewing.com.
Ballast Point’s beers are great enough to win gold medals at the international World Beer Cup. At the new Little Italy brewpub (left), there’s a long list of beers, like creamy White Squall ale with hits of coffee; three four-ounce tastes are just $5. 2215 India St.; ballastpoint.com.
Mike Hess Brewing
Mike Hess founded San Diego’s first nano-brewery (smaller than micro). But his beers were so in demand, he had to expand. His new place (in a former bible store) features choices like spicy Habitus Rye IPA and flat-out delicious chocolate-flavored Grazias Vienna Cream Ale. 3812 Grim Ave.; mikehessbrewing.com.
This excellent, pleasantly dark bar is set behind a stable-style door (the top half stays open). A board lists the dozens of beers available, from local options to the sweet and sour Belgian Duchesse de Bourgogne. The large-format-bottle list includes the $125 three-liter 2008 Corsendonk. 4026 30th St.; toronadosd.com.