3 Top Microbreweries in San Diego, CA

San Diego is a wonderful place to eat, drink and party. No matter what mood you are in, there is a restaurant to fit your taste. With so many restaurants, it is only natural that beer and wine would be made locally. San Diego is a great place for microbreweries. Located throughout the county, are several breweries ran by individuals, small corporations and pub owners. It is amazing what a little hops, barley, malt and yeast can turn into. Here is a short list of three breweries that also offer beverage tasting at their brewery locations.

Lightning Brewery


13200 Kirkham Way
Poway, CA 92064-7126
(858) 513-8070

If you are looking for a European style beer, make sure you stop by Lightning Brewery in Poway, just a few minutes north east of downtown San Diego. They provide a collection of pilsners, lagers and ales to local restaurants, each with its own unique flavor. Based on the theory that better beer is made with a combination of chance and science, Lightning Brewery uses science to improve their unique products. The brewery has a tasting room open on Friday and Saturday, call ahead for directions and times.

Ballast Point Brewing Company


5401 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92110-2402
(619) 298-2337 or (858) 695-2739

Originally selling home brewing supplies under the name of Home Brew Mart, Ballast Point Brewing Company opened its brewery in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego in May of 2005. They now distribute five different beers, including ale, pale ale and wheat beer, at locations thorough out the San Diego area. They hold brewery tours so you can see how the operation is set up and they offer beer tasting on site. Call ahead for times and days of availability to make sure you get there on the best day for the best brew. Make sure you try their award winning Gold Yellowtail Pale Ale and Black Marlin Porter.

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Ale Smith Brewing Company


9368 Cabot Drive
San Diego, CA 92126-4311
(858) 549-9888

Ale Smith Brewing Company is made up of home brewers organized into a small operation in an industrial park in the Mira Mesa, a suburb north of downtown San Diego, near the Mira Mar Marine Air Base. Founded in 1995 as an artesian microbrewery, all their employees are proud home brewers. Each employee is a member of a home brewing club and has won brewing awards for their home brews. Ale Smith Brewery does not have a restaurant, and there is no fancy building to find. They don’t need a restaurant or fancy building to offer beer tasting. When there, ask to try their Horny Devil, Old Numbskull and Wee Heavy brews. Check out their web site for a short clip on how the beer is made at their brewery. The tasting room is open on Friday, 3pm to 5 pm and Saturday 1pm to 4pm.