1. Ballast Point
As the nation’s 11th-largest craft brewery, Ballast Point attained much of its popularity with its hoppy Sculpin IPA that has hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors. With four locations in San Diego, including a homebrew mart, it’s easy to see what all the hype is about. Locations vary
2. Green Flash Brewing Co.
Green Flash’s Cellar 3 tasting room is home to San Diego’s only dedicated barrel-aging facility. With up to 30 beers on tap in this urban-style tasting room, guests can sip their way through a tour of the facility, including a rotating art gallery. 6550 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego, 858.622.0085
3. Modern Times Beer
One of San Diego’s fastest-growing breweries, Modern Times has tasting rooms in Point Loma and North Park that rank high in design and creative decor. Don’t tap out at mealtime—bring your own food or have it delivered from a nearby restaurant to keep going through their 16 taps. Locations vary
4. North Park Beer Co.
Having recently opened its custom copper doors to the public, North Park Beer Co. brings a midcentury modern–meets–American Craftsman aesthetic to the neighborhood known for its brewery-laden “Beer Boulevard.” Not sure what to order? Try the American-style IPA called Hop-Fu! that put their brewmaster in the game. 3038 University Ave., San Diego, 619.255.2946
5. Stone Brewing
As an early ambassador of the craft beer movement, Stone Brewing is now the largest brewery in SoCal and the 10th-largest U.S. craft brewery. Associated with high-hopped IPAs and high-end tasting rooms in Escondido and Liberty Station, both Stone locations include a bistro, gardens and about 40 taps. Locations vary
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