San Diego Oyster Fest | John Audley
San Diego Oyster Fest | John Audley

San Diego's Best Beer Events This Year

By now, everyone knows San Diego is one of the best and most exciting beer cities in the country. What once seemed like a landscape solely for insiders is now the worst-kept beer secret in America as an endless slew of breweries try to mimic every move that Stone or Green Flash makes. (To no avail!)

While the beer scene is no longer solely ours, the explosion of breweries in town has resulted in a veritable shit-ton of beer festivals and tastings seemingly every weekend in San Diego. With half the year already down, here are the beer events you shouldn't miss for the rest of 2016.

Oysterfest | John Audley


Nothing like the middle of summer weather paired with beer, music, and copious amounts of seafood.

San Diego International Beer Festival

This is one of the best beer festivals in the America. There will be over 200 breweries from 11 countries represented. You have no excuse to miss it.
Courtesy of Hessfest

Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival

Sample more than 100 beers from over 40 breweries in an atmosphere that can only be explained as a craft beer comic book come to life. You’ll be supporting the Warrior Foundation - Freedom Station at the same time you're dressed incognito.


Head to the Museum of Man to have hoppy beers and street tacos, but more importantly, to get a little education on how beer is made, and the intricacies of hops.

Hess Fest

Celebrate the sixth anniversary of one of San Diego’s best young craft breweries in North Park.
Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing | Flickr/Isaac Hsieh

Stone 20th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival

Celebrate two decades of Stone Brewing leading the San Diego beer scene with a bunch of re-releases of some crowd favorites, including the 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (!!) and the 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale (!!!!).

San Diego Spirits Festival

Get cultured and learn about the hard stuff. Head over to the Port Pavilion Broadway Pier and take in San Diego’s Best Bartender competition.
bacon and beer
The Magical Lab/Shutterstock

San Diego Bacon Fest

Do you ever find yourself looking for new recipes that include bacon? Do you like pairing said recipes with beer? If so, head to Liberty Station Labor Day Weekend.

TJ Beer Fest

Don’t be one of those high-strung San Diegans who's ambivalent about rolling south of the border. Tijuana has an emerging craft beer and art scene; show our neighbors some respect and sample their offerings.
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest | Troy Orem

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

This is the only beachside Oktoberfest in San Diego. Isn’t that what the Germans would have wanted?

La Mesa Oktoberfest

If Ocean Beach isn’t your vibe, head over to the La Mesa Oktoberfest, which attracts over 100,000 visitors with some of the best traditional German fare you will find in the area.
Dawn Damico/Shutterstock

San Diego Beer Week

The annual festival put on by the San Diego Brewers Guild has twice been voted the best festival in San Diego by West Coaster, the finest beer nerd publication out there.

SD Cheese and Beer Festival

Same basic concept as the bacon & beer festival. See how much damage you can do to your arteries and liver simultaneously.

Del Mar Craft Beer and Cider Festival

When was the last time you made that one uncle proud and drank at a racetrack? Stick around after the festival for a free concert.
beer and pizza
Africa Studios/Shutterstock

Pizza Port Strong Ale Festival

For the beer connoisseurs who like their hop drinks strong: Pizza Port’s 20th annual festival has more than 80 taps with an ABV higher than 8%.

SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off

Eighteen local brewers join 40 local restaurants looking to claim the title for best chili. That’s a lot of good beer and chili.

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Robert Pursell is an East Coast transplant currently in Southern California bitching about traffic like everyone else. He likes beer and his jokes are terrible. Follow him @robert_pursell.