Over the last two decades, San Diego has developed into a craft brew lovers Mecca. There are dozens of breweries, quite a few taphouses and plenty of restaurants and bars that feature locally made craft beers. There are so many locations, in fact, that you can find breweries with unique offerings in just about every part of San Diego.
Pacific Beach is known for its namesake beaches, which offer plenty of fun opportunities for local surfers, wakeboarders and ocean enthusiasts. Of course, there’s more to Pacific Beach than a strip of sand. There are trails for biking, shops to visit and plenty of excellent restaurants for when you’re feeling hungry. For those who are more frugal, there are plenty of great local restaurants and bars that offer really competitive Happy Hour specials.
If you aren’t constrained by daily specials, however, and are more interested in flavor and quality, Pacific Beach has that on tap as well. There are plenty of great eateries that will serve up creative foods alongside beers brewed right here in San Diego. It all comes down to questions of personal preferences.
Do you want to visit a brewery, where the beer is made in the same space? Would you prefer a location that specializes in carrying a variety of beers, ensuring that there’s no brand limit to the flavors you can enjoy? Thankfully, you can find both of these, and much more, in Pacific Beach. We’ve hunted down four of the best craft beer destinations in the neighborhood.
Amplified Ale Works
Location: 4150 Mission Blvd., Suite 208 (map)
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday: 10 a.m. to midnight, Sunday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Amplified Kitchen and Beer Garden has been a popular destination in Pacific Beach since 2012. With ocean views from their outside seating, creative foods and incredible beers, Amplified Ale Works is becoming one of the most loved breweries in the area.
Their flagship beer is their Electrocution IPA, with a powerful 7.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). They have also released other takes on this popular beer, including the 5.0 percent ABV Electro-Lite Session IPA and the 4.2 percent ABV Electro-Lite. They’ve also received awards for their brews, including a Gold Medal in the American Wheat category at the 2016 World Beer Cup American with their Whammy Bar Wheat.
Their beers are excellent, and you can find some of them on tap at other local establishments, as well as certain varieties bottled for retail sale. Of course, beer alone won’t make this a must-visit destination. Their incredible food options also help keep people coming back for more.
When you bring earplugs on tour for a show (or snoring musicians) and you end up awake at 4:30AM because of a snoring French bulldog you end up craving breakfast döner fries. We’re not really sure how this works out on a consistent basis, but döner fries always make everything better. 😍 head on down to PB and grab some breakfast doner fries for hangover brunch to take away all your troubles
Start your meal off with Parmesan-crusted, deep-fried zucchini or a salad made with local greens. Order a dish from their grill. They serve skewers of tender meats, like Alaskan salmon, pomegranate sirloin and her marinated chicken. There are vegetarian options as well, including a veggie burger and grilled local vegetables.
Location: 1261 Garnet Avenue (map)
Hours: Monday and Tuesday: 3 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday-Friday: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday: Noon to 2 a.m., Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to midnight
With a laid-back, sports bar atmosphere and plenty of great beers on tap that you can pour yourself, Barrel Republic has become a very trendy destination. They are so popular, in fact, that they also have locations in Carlsbad and Oceanside.
The Pacific Beach menu has a rotating list of current draft beers available, usually almost four-dozen varieties. You can find locally made craft brews, as well as beers from other states, such as Colorado, Oregon and Florida. You can enjoy a full pint of any of their beers or pour yourself many small tasters to make your own flight of craft beers. Guests receive a wristband that they can simply scan when they are ready to pour a new beer.
There are also plenty of California-inspired dishes on their menu, such as crispy avocado grilled cheese and Parmesan-crusted tater tots served with a lovely green truffle chimichurri sauce. For those who only want a snack, they also serve up free popcorn to go with your beer. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to pay this place a visit, they also offer Happy Hour specials. On weekdays, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., you can take 20 percent off of the cost of any tap beer you enjoy.
Iron Pig Alehouse
Location: 1520 Garnet Avenue (map)
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If barbecue dishes featuring meat so tender that it’s falling apart is your craving, then Iron Pig Alehouse has a menu built just for you! This place is a meat-eaters heaven, featuring overstuffed sandwiches, massive plates of BBQ meats and side dishes like southern greens made with smoked pork or cheesy smashed potatoes.
Everything that they serve here is made from scratch, which means that their meats cook for at least half a day before they make it to your plate. Sometimes, that can mean that certain dishes run out due to high demand. If you can’t enjoy the exact BBQ treat you were craving, try to keep an open mind and consider another option.
They make baby back ribs, spare ribs, pulled pork, brisket smoked Texas style and brined, dry rubbed chickens. They do offer some kids’ dishes, including smoked chicken wings and grilled cheese. Each of these dishes pairs well with their impressive assortment of draft beers, which regularly changes.
They also have a $5 Happy Hour on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with specials that include their house salad, rib tips, tacos and sliders. There are daily specials and discounts, including California Brisket burritos on Wednesday and Soul Food Sunday.
Location: 721 Grand Avenue (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
As a restaurant, Pacific Beach Ale House offers food that meets a high standard. When it comes to brewing, however, this establishment helps set the standard. Their in-house brewery has top notch, brand new equipment and a lineup that covers every major variety.
They have three stouts available currently, including a Dry English Stout available standard and with nitro, as well as a nitro coffee oatmeal stout. Those looking for something a little lighter can consider their Law Street Lager or 858 Blonde. There’s also a Grand Ave IPA and a Rockfish Red Ale to try. If nothing made here piques your interest, they offer guest beers from local breweries in California and beyond.
They have a full lunch and dinner menu, and they serve brunch on the weekends. The dishes are new American comfort food with a focus on fresh seafood and ingredients. They make an ahi tuna poke served with a wakame sea vegetable salad, as well as chicken wings, crab cakes and fried pickles.
In addition to daily soups and fresh salads, they make flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches and specialty dishes. You can enjoy macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, smoked chicken, and even a crab and lobster roll.
Haven’t you heard about our new menu items? Come check it will it for yourself 😉! Try our new Softshell Crab BLT – Fried Soft Shell Crab, Baby Iceberg, Tomato, Bacon, Cajun Aioli, Ciabatta Bun / If you come during our HOPPY HOUR you’ll need something to wash it all down 🍺🍻 / M-F 3-6PM: $2 off apps, $2 off drafts & craft cocktails, 50% off bottles of wine 😋. 📷 cred @arleneibarra
Don’t think that just because they’re a brewery, they lack a liquor license. They have a great craft cocktail menu, as well as clever spins on classic drinks, like their Coastal Sour. There’s also a carefully curated wine list, along with an assortment of bubbles.