Top Spots for Holiday Beer Shopping

Nine craft brew vendors that supply libations for all the beer enthusiasts and connoisseurs out there.


Pizza Port Bottle Shop 

So, a friend or family member just gave you a mile-long holiday wish list comprised of foreign items like “Alpine Exponential Hoppiness,” “Ommegang Aphrodite” or “Bruery/Elysian/Stone La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado.” It may not sound like it, but these are beers. These are not, however, the types of brews you’re going to find hanging out by the Bud Light at Vons or Ralph’s. Many of these crafty numbers can only be found on the shelves of San Diego’s top beer shops, which are thankfully spread throughout the county, making life easier for sudsy Santas everywhere.

 Best Damn Beer Shop: It’s hidden in the oxymoronical Super Jr. Market, but fans of good beer know the way to this Downtown treasure trove, where business is so good they recently added a homebrew supply section. 1036 7th Ave., (619) 232-6367,

 Bottlecraft: They’ve been around for less than a year, but are already making a mark on Little Italy with a varied and ever-increasing selection of bottled beers from around the world, plus nightly sampler flights. 2161 India St., (619) 487-9493,

 KnB Wine Cellars: Del Cerro may be a sleepy neighborhood, but its most well-stocked liquor store has an eye-opening array of top brews plus a cozy bar and lounge area at which to enjoy some of them. 6380 Del Cerro Blvd, (619) 286-0321,

 Beverages 4 Less: Beer’s hit the ‘burbs in a big way thanks to this Santee spot, which looks just like any other liquor store, but stocks some extremely rare beers as well as a full line of homebrewing supplies. 9181 Mission Gorge Rd., (619) 448-3773,

 Pizza Port Bottle Shop: Pizza Port’s Carlsbad outpost is known as the reigning large brewpub of the year. Further heightening their status is their next door retail spot for top shelf bottles from around the globe. 573 Carlsbad Village Dr., (760) 720-7007,

 Clem’s Bottle House: Take a trip to this long-time Kensington liquor store and deli where you can unearth a great number of quality brews (they stock hundreds) and get a big ol’ sub to help soak up those suds. 4100 Adams Ave., (619) 284-2485,

 Olive Tree Market Place: The owners of this specialty grocery in Ocean Beach see good craft beer for what it is—a gourmet item. So much so, they installed their own hidden away speakeasy-like tasting bar. 4805 Narragansett Ave., (619) 224-0443,

 Holiday Wine Cellar: Surely no place has more apt a name for holiday adult beverage shopping as this Escondido emporium where, despite the misleading name, plenty of spectacular brews are there for the taking. 302 W. Mission Ave., (760) 745-1200,

 Consider the Source: Sometimes, the best way to get your hands on a specific beer is to go straight to where it’s made. San Diego is home to a large number of breweries, many of which sell bottles and growlers (large resealable glass containers available for purchase and filling onsite) of most if not all of their beery offerings.

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