Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beerical Mile

There is a stretch of Interstate-5 in central San Diego - from the Sea World Drive exit to downtown - with an astonishing number of breweries and beer stores.   I'm calling it the Beerical Mile.  OK it's more than a mile (it's really closer to five miles) but along this short path of highway are nine breweries and three beers stores.

The breweries in geographic order from north to south are:

Coronado Brewing - Huge, well appointed, wood adorned tasting room and brewery located off the Sea World Drive exit, just east of I-5 in San Diego's Bay Park neighborhood.
Ballast Point - Linda Vista - Ballast Point's original brewery and tasting room that shares space with HomeBrew Mart.  Always a good crowd, so keep driving if a tour bus is in the small parking lot.
Modern Times -  Tucked behind a couple of nudie bars in the industrial part of the Sports Arena area sits Modern Times' brewery and tasting room.  Good beers, a hipster vibe and a friendly knowledgeable staff.
Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens - Liberty Station - The new epicenter for San Diego's beer tourism industry.  Amazing experience and destination drinking at its finest.
Acoustic Ales - Brewery and tasting room in the landmark Mission Brewery building just off I-5 and Washington Street.
Ballast Point - Little Italy - Ballast Point's newest location offers a restaurant and on-premise brewed specialty beers, located on India Street at the far north end of Little Italy.
Karl Strauss - The granddaddy of brewpubs, and for many years a lone bastion for good beer in San Diego.
Monkey Paw - This East Village brewery and restaurant/bar nearly abuts I-5 just south of the S-curve.  It is home to multiple Great American Beer Festival medal winning beers.
Mission Brewery - Cavernous facility a baseball's throw from Petco Park.  Cans.  Thirty-two ounce cans.  Mission Brewery is putting its beers in 32-oz cans called "cannons," and one of the beers is Shipwrecked Double IPA.  Lord have mercy on my soul.

(If you add the Beer Co downtown (about which I know nothing) it brings the total to ten breweries.)  I have been to six of the nine breweries, but plan to visit the new Ballast Point Little Italy, Acoustic Ales and Monkey Paw soon.  Each of the breweries offers a unique experience and ambiance.

There are three beer stores in the same vicinity.

Bottlecraft - Little Italy - The first craft beer-only bottle shop in San Diego located at the north end of Little Italy along India Street.  It's probably less than 100 yards from Ballast Point Little Italy. Tasters are offered nightly and there are two beers on draft.  Bottlecraft has opened a second store in North Park.
Best Damn Beer Shop - The boldly named bottle shop is a store within store, and located downtown in the Krisp market.
San Diego Brew Project - Also a store within a store, San Diego Brew Project is, as its name states, a beer bar and bottle shop featuring only San Diego County beers.  It is located inside the 57 Degrees Wine Shop and Bar just across Washington street from Acoustic Ales.

There are other famous beer corridors in San Diego:  along Highway 78 in North San Diego County, 30th Street / North Park, and around Miramar Road and Mira Mesa Blvd.  The Beerical Mile has bloomed over the past several years - with the exception of Ballast Point Linda Vista and Karl Strauss that have been around for years - and now ranks as one of the best beer zones in San Diego.


The Hop Daddy said...

Nice concise post! Rock Bottom could have been included, but they have either just closed or will be closing in the next couple of weeks. I love that you can take Washington St. from Acoustic Ales right up to University Ave. to reach hugely beercentric North Park.

Beer Rover said...

Thanks. I didn't include Rock Bottom because of the closing.