Tasting notes, fast facts, and expert reviews on every brewery in the San Diego region
By Bruce Glassman
Talk about reimagining a previously inhabited space: The new location for Latchkey Brewing has seen more than its share of tenants through the years. In fact, Mission Brewery Plaza—downtown near the airport—is an historic location for many reasons. It takes its name from one of San Diego’s most prominent Pre-Prohibition breweries (today’s Mission Brewery is downtown on 14th and L, near Petco), but the site has also been home to a substantial amount of current-day San Diego brewing history as well. Over the course of the past two decades or so, Mission Brewery Plaza has been a brewing home to such luminaries as Coronado, Five Points, New English, and Acoustic Ales in addition to its newest resident.
The Latchkey team has simplified the space that previously housed the Acoustic tasting room, providing more of an open, airy feeling that highlights the fairly cozy copper-topped bar. According to Latchkey management, the adjoining outdoor plaza space will soon be outfitted with tables and umbrellas, and after that, a small empanada kitchen is planned for inside the tasting room. The tasting room itself will also eventually expand its footprint by utilizing what is currently back storage space.
The opening tap lineup at Latchkey is modest in number and does not stray too far from straightforward, mostly hoppy styles. The beers are all well made—nicely balanced, clean, and easy to drink (all selections were 6.5% ABV or lower). Of particular note are the highly aromatic and nicely bittered Dank Diggler IPA and the Squeak Pale Ale, which has lovely citrus and tropical aromas, good fresh hop flavors, and a mellow low-bitterness finish.
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