Best Craft Beer Bars

Favorite spots to toss one back



Hamilton’s Tavern
1521 30th Street, South Park
hamiltonstavern.com
Simple yet thoughtful, with an exceptional selection and raucous Second Saturday parties.

Live Wire
2103 El Cajon Boulevard, University Heights
livewirebar.com
This 20-year-old live music lair offered some of S.D.’s beer lovers their first taste of America’s earliest craft brews.

O’Brien’s Pub
4646 Convoy Street, Kearny Mesa
obrienspub.net
Pale ales, double and (God help us) triple IPAs have made “the hoppiest place on Earth” a standout for nearly two decades.

Small Bar
4628 Park Boulevard, University Heights
smallbarsd.com
This dark nook on Park is a bright spot for weekend brunches bolstered by an eye-opening array of craft beers.

Toronado
4026 30th Street, North Park
toronadosd.com
A laid-back take on a San Francisco institution complete with rare beers and a recently revamped bar menu.

Blind Lady Ale House
3416 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights
blindladyalehouse.com
Lesser-seen ale and lager styles from around the world in a family-friendly pizzeria.

Churchill’s Pub & Grille
887 West San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos
churchillspub.us
Ivan Derezin and his magnificent 50-tap tower bring volume and variety to North County.

Downtown Johnny Brown’s
1220 Third Avenue, downtown
downtownjohnnybrowns.com
A fave among the Civic Center set, this brew haven has everything from sours to stouts.

High Dive
1801 Morena Boulevard, Bay Park
highdiveinc.com
This lovably kitschy neighborhood hang hosts women’s beer education events, called “Chicks For Beer.”

The Linkery
3794 30th Street, North Park
thelinkery.com
Round out a meal made entirely of sustainable, local food with beers siphoned from San Diego breweries.

Sublime Alehouse
1020 West San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos
sublimealehouse.com
It’s all about the yeast with the moist-inside, crispy-outside pizza crust and a 50-tap inventory of fine craft beers.

Main Tap Tavern
518 East Main Street, El Cajon
maintaptavern.com
A location far from the coast and urban core keeps this well-stocked taproom a best-kept secret.

Neighborhood
777 G Street, East Village
neighborhoodsd.com
With so many taps, choosing the right brew can be challenging—thank goodness for four-beer flights.

OB Noodle House
2218 Cable Street, Ocean Beach
obnoodlehouse.com
Slurp up some pho while drinking in a half-priced array of 30 killer craft brews from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Tap Room
1269 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
sdtaproom.com
This party pad is the antidote to PB’s craft-starved coastal expanses.

Sessions Public
4204 Voltaire Street, Point Loma
sessionspublic.com
A neighborhood hideaway worthy for its highly local selection, especially during “Beer and a Brat” Mondays.

Slater’s 50/50
2750 Dewey Road, Liberty Station
slaters5050.com/san-diego
One hundred and eleven beers on tap and the half-ground beef, half-ground bacon 50/50 burger. Enough said.

Tiger! Tiger! Tavern
3025 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park
tigertigertavern.com
Hungry diners, oyster shuckers, and vegans alike can get something great from the wood-burning oven.

Urge Gastropub
16761 Bernardo Center Drive, Rancho Bernardo
urgegastropub.com
Beer meets the ’burbs at this sleekly outfitted den with decadent dishes and a bottle list more than 100 strong.

 

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, with reporting (read: eating) lead by food editor Troy Johnson. Looking for the Erins? Erin Chambers Smith and Erin Meanley? Find their most recent musings over at the Around Town blog. And yes, we know that one needs a new name. We're working on it. 

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