Vespa Your Way Through Vietnam's Budding Craft Beer Scene
1. 32 North Brewing Co8655 Production Ave Ste A, San Diego
2. Bagby Beer Co601 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside
3. Bolt Brewery8179 Center St, La Mesa
4. O'Sullivan Bros Brewing Co9879 Hibert St, San Diego
5. Fall Brewing Company4542 30th St, San Diego
6. Valley Center Brewery28960 Lilac Rd, Valley Center
32 North Brewing Co. is a 2,500sqft, 12-tap tasting room that tries to produce several new beers every month. Rotating specialty beers have included a toasted coconut porter, peanut butter porter, and black rye saison.
An ambitious brewery taphouse can’t simply have one bar, it has to have many: Oceanside’s Bagby Beer Co sports a 20-barrel brewing system and presents multiple bars and dining areas in a former Saab dealership. On the ground floor, you'll find a pub with 40-plus taps and bar food like pizza and burgers, while upstairs offers more of a beer garden vibe, also with a 40-tap bar. Did we mention the separate tasting room? Bagby's mile-long beer list is varied, and before you venture into guest brews, try one of the house beers.
Owner and brewer Clint Stromberg was involved with the original Bolt Brewery back in the late '80s, before craft beer was even really a thing in SD. He is bringing his decades of experience to this spot where he's doing all the brewing, from their Citra Pale Ale to their Nitro Chocolate Stout.
Five Irish brothers came together to start this family brewery in Scripps Ranch. Knowing pretty much zip about starting a brewery, these guys sent their brother Ed to UCSD’s beer school to learn the ins and outs of the commercial beer biz. Even though their beer styles aren’t all Irish, you’ll find their Irish roots in names like Finn McCool’s Big Thirsty, Catholic Guilt, and Sailhead Murphy.
You’ve probably sipped on Ray Astamendi’s Fall Brewing Company beers at local San Diego restaurants and bars, meaning you already have reason to go and visit the tasting room. In typical brewery fashion, Fall Brewing Company is designed with a muted palette of greys and browns, constructed with concrete, and topped with an exposed-beam ceiling. When you stop by, you’ll want to taste favorites like the 2am Bike Ride (a coffee bean and vanilla stout), Green Hat (a hop-forward IPA), and the bourbon barrgel-aged lager Jinxremover. After a few drinks and some food truck snacks, you’ll likely get caught taking a highly embarrassing photo with company mascot and tasting room legend Eggmund (otherwise known as drunk Humpty Dumpty) -- it happens to everyone.
Bring your kid, bring your dog, and bring some food to hang out on the patio with a cold beer at this Valley Center brewery. During football season, you can get $1 off full-pours while watching live NFL games. If you can’t make it out to the brewery, you'll be able to find their Cougar Pass RIPA bottled and in Escondido liquor stores.