San Diego is known for many things: the beautiful white-sand beaches, the gorgeous Balboa Park, the amazing local zoo, Old Town Market, and the scrappy yet lovable underdog Padres competing every year. What many outside of the county may not realize, however, is that San Diego is also highly regarded for its craft beer scene, as it has the most craft brewery locations among all counties in the United States with 150. Declared the “Capital of Craft” in 2015, San Diego is quite the place to visit and grab a brew with friends.
There may be no better time to grab this brew than this week, as the 14th annual San Diego Beer Week will begin this Friday, celebrating the dozens of local breweries across town. The week starts, as any event involving celebratory alcohol should, with a toast across the city, held within the walls of some of San Diego’s most famous breweries. Patrons are encouraged to share their drinks on social media using hashtags like #SDBeer and #SDBeerWeek.
The week will also mark the release of a new IPA by Capital of Craft, a collaboration between eight of San Diego’s finest: Pizza Port Brewing Company, BattleMage Brewing, Culver Beer, Fall Brewing, Mcilhenney Brewing, Mujeres Brew House, My Yard Live and TapRoom Beer.
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The real event of the week, however, begins the following day in Surf Sports Park in Del Mar: Guild Fest, hosted in person for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring samples of more than 60 different beers, live music from both 80s and 90s cover bands, and food trucks to balance out the drinks. While beer is the main focus, the 2022 festival will also be the first to offer wine and kombucha, and designated driver tickets will also be available for purchase. Drink tickets are available for $55, while early access tickets are available for $70 and offer special drinks for those who wish to try them; a full drink list is available here.
While these events are hosted by the San Diego Brewers Guild, plenty of individual spots are celebrating the occasion with events of their own. Pure Project, a brewery with several taprooms across the county, is offering a shirt release the same day of the virtual toast, and events like beer trivia, hops education and a doughnut and beer pairing on certain days. Eppig and Harland, inspired by the hit YouTube series Hot Ones, will be inviting audiences to hear from each of their brewers, asking them hard-hitting questions while enjoying harder-hitting wings. Russian River is also getting in on the fun, moving their annual TION takeover to the end of the week, offering more than 20 Russian River beers and a three-course meal. More events can be found on the guild’s calendar, linked here.
The week will draw to a close in – where else? – a beer garden at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, with a delicious beer and meal pairing featuring 28 local breweries and 14 local chefs. Tickets, sold for $145, can be purchased here.
After nearly three years apart and plenty to reminisce about, there’s perhaps no better time to grab a beer in San Diego. Just be sure to plan accordingly, and drink responsibly!
Photography by: San Diego Beer Week - Guild Fest And Beer Garden