Tasting notes, fast facts, and expert reviews on every brewery in the San Diego region
By Bruce Glassman
AleSmith is part of what is considered the “first wave” of great San Diego breweries: roughly defined as places that opened their doors between 1989 and 2002. The first AleSmith beer was poured in 1995, and their reputation grew quickly. Since then, the brewery has won major medals in a wide variety of California competitions, as well as national and international festivals, including The Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup.
Their huge new brewery, opened in 2015, comprises more than 100,000 square feet and includes San Diego’s largest tasting room. Beautifully designed copper-ringed towers dominate the space, as does the enormous bar. Soon, part of the tasting space will be transformed into a Tony Gwynn museum that will house personal items and memorabilia from the Padres superstar.
Under the expert guidance of master brewers Peter Zien and Tod Fitzsimmons, AleSmith focuses primarily on beer styles from Belgium, England, and the United States. You can find a range of brews that go from a lightly hopped extra pale ale, to an IPA, to amber, malty, caramel beers, on up to dark, rich, and robustly flavored ones. Seasonal beers are often on tap, as is a regular cask selection. All AleSmith’s beers are of the highest quality, but don’t visit without tasting .394 (pale ale), Old Numbskull (barley wine), Wee Heavy (Scotch Ale), and the highly coveted Speedway Stout.
San Diego is all about great beer—and there’s an awful lot of it! We currently have more than 120 working brewery locations in our county, with an estimated 30-40 more in the planning stages. That’s a lot of breweries to sort through. So where to begin? Well, the answer is right here. If you want to plan any kind of brewery experience, The San Diego Brewery Guide is your most essential tool. Not only does it list the location and key information about every working brew house that’s open to the public, it also allows you to search for breweries that meet your specific criteria. Do you only want breweries in a specific neighborhood? No problem. Only want places that have patios for dogs? You got it. Do you want to keep your search limited to small or medium-sized breweries? Yup, we got that.
With so many breweries to choose from, we hope you’ll keep coming back to consult The San Diego Brewery Guide on a regular basis. Our ultimate goal is to make it easy for you to plan the perfect day or weekend of brewery tours and tastings in San Diego—and to do it time and time again. If you haven’t already, you’ll see that there’s nothing better than enjoying a great brewery-fresh beer right where it’s made.
So get out there and explore! Sip. Savor. Socialize. And get ready to be awed by some of the best brews to be found anywhere on the planet. Enjoy!
- Bruce GlassmanEdit ModuleShow Tags