This Weekend in San Diego Is All About Beer

From Stone Brewing’s 27th Anniversary to Craftoberfest, there’s plenty to drink in San Diego this weekend.

It’s blissful, glorious autumn in San Diego, with golden sunshine, brilliant blue skies, and pumpkin spice wafting from bakeries and coffee shops. Time to relax and recharge before the busy holiday season with leisurely walks through art galleries and museums, chilling out at a peaceful spot, or escaping the inevitable autumn heat waves. From Oceanside to Julian and everywhere in between, here are the best things to do in San Diego.

Food & Drink in San Diego

Saturday, September 23
La Jolla, $85
Cove House in La Jolla and Second Chance Beer Company, the “Seize a Pint, Save a Pup” brewery, have partnered for a five-course beer-pairing dinner on the eatery’s beautiful patio at 6:30 pm. Chefs Lance Repp and Manny Perez, along with brewmaster Marty Mendiola, have created a menu that includes Pan Roasted Scallops with Fistful of Gummies Fruited Sour, Everything Bagel Quail and Fluffy Tangerine Clouds Hazy IPA, and Dry Aged Pork alongside Dawg Daze West Coast IPA.

Saturday, September 23
Escondido, $55 and up
One of San Diego’s oldest and most successful craft breweries, Stone Brewing, celebrates its 27th anniversary with a blowout party at Stone Brewing Bistro and Gardens, its flagship brewery in Escondido. Two ticketing options are available; a Rare Beer Festival begins at 5 pm and continues into the Main Festival from 6 to 10 pm. The Rare Beer option gets you thirty-five 2-ounce pours of exclusive Rare Beers or Main Festival beers and tasty bites from the kitchen, while the general admission tickets are good for 20 2-ounce tasters from 40-plus breweries. Both include a commemorative glass and live music from Flashpants. Check out Stone’s event webpage for tickets and beer menus.

Sunday, September 24–Sunday, October 1
Various locations, Prices vary
For eight glorious days, nearly 100 eateries all over the county will be participating in the bi-annual San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW). There are delicious options for every taste and budget—restaurant offerings will include two-course prix-fixe lunch menus and three-course prix-fixe dinner offerings for $10-$60. Use the interactive website to plan your food odyssey, and be sure to make reservations at your favorite participating places early; tables will fill up quickly. Karma tip: Your servers will be extra busy during SDRW, so exercise patience, thank profusely, and tip generously.

Festivals in San Diego

Friday, September 22–Sunday, September 24
Point Loma, Prices vary
Bring on the beer! Point Loma’s Eppig Brewing celebrates Oktoberfest at the Waterfront Biergarten in Point Loma this weekend with Festbier stein specials, warm pretzels, and cool commemorative steins, which will come in handy for the stein-holding contest. Mastiff Sausage Company will be serving up traditional Bavarian fare, and there’ll be a succulent choker workshop by Stemtations San Diego on Saturday at noon. Can’t make it this weekend? No worries—they’re doing it all over again on September 30 in La Jolla. Reservations are not required, and seating is on a first-come basis.

Friday, September 22–Sunday, October 1
Liberty Station, Free and up
Head to the Liberty Public Market for an Oktoberfest that can’t be contained to just one weekend—Craftoberfest lasts a full 10 days. Start at Bottlecraft LPM for a tap takeover featuring pilsners, lagers, stouts, and more, then stroll the food stalls for bites from your favorite vendors like Cane Patch, Slurp, and Cecilia's Taqueria. There’s also live music, Beerlympics, photo ops, lawn games, beer-themed trivia, and other fun daily activities.

Saturday, September 23–Sunday, September 24
Waterfront Park, $209 and up
San Diego’s favorite electronic music festival returns when CRSSD Festival takes over Waterfront Park for two days, starting at noon, with three stages of world-renowned DJs guaranteed to get you dancing. This year’s lineup includes Amelie Lens, Basement Jaxx, Flume, Underworld, Boys Noize, Charlotte de Witte, and more than 50 other performers. The 21+ event will also feature food trucks, craft brews and cocktails, and, of course, breathtaking sunsets. Keep the party going at CRSSD After Dark, taking place at clubs across the city.

Saturday, September 23
Liberty Station, $60 and up
The San Diego Distillers Guild Fest returns to San Diego at BRICK in trendy Liberty Station. More than two dozen local distilleries are represented, including You & Yours, Cutwater, 619 Spirits, Malahat Spirits Co., and more. Ticket holders will enjoy cocktails and spirits and have the opportunity to meet and chat with award-winning distillers. General admission gets you access to all participating distilleries, along with a signature shot glass, or upgrade to VIP tickets for all that, plus a food truck voucher and one-hour early entrance. This event is always a sellout, so grab your tickets before they’re gone! 21+ only.

Other fun things to do in San Diego

Friday, September 22–Sunday, September 24
Oceanside, Free
Watch the women hang ten at the 16th annual Supergirl Surf Pro, the world’s biggest women’s surf event and festival! More than 80 top women surfers will compete for the $10,000 cash prize and the coveted Supergirl cape at the world's only large-scale all-women action sports competition. Surfers expected to compete include defending champion Sawyer Lindblad, along with other world-class surfers like Alyssa Spencer, Leilani McGonagle, Caitlin Simmers, and Brianna Cope. In addition to a jam-packed weekend of incredible surfing, there are 15 free live concerts featuring headliners Sean Kingston, Bikini Trill, Flip Turn, and Aloe Blacc; an all-female DJ competition; yoga, dance, and fitness classes; a food court; beer and wine garden; and plenty of vendor booths for a diverse shopping experience.

Saturday, September 23
Pier 1 Hornblower Landing, $114.90
You and your well-behaved good boy or girl will enjoy brunching on the water at City Cruises’ Bow Wow Brunch, a two-hour cruise around the sparkling San Diego Bay. Your ticket provides you with bottomless mimosas, a full gourmet brunch and dessert buffet, and, for the four-legged cruisers, a “to go” doggie buffet. Well-socialized dogs are welcome and must be on a non-retractable leash. Proceeds from the cruise will benefit the San Diego Humane Society.

Saturday, September 23
Chula Vista, Prices vary
Pácabol Dispensary in Chula Vista is turning one year old, and they’re throwing a party where you get the gifts. Join in the fun from 11 am to 3 pm with vendors, music, and more, plus an amazing 30% off storewide all day. The first 300 early birds who show up when the doors open at 8 am and spend over $50 will receive a goody bag for just $1. Goody bags are available on a first-come basis.

Saturday, September 23–Sunday, September 24
Normal Heights, Free and up
Explore the Craftsman neighborhoods of University Heights, Antique Row, Kensington, and Normal Heights at the 41st annual Adams Avenue Street Fair. This year's celebration has expanded to 10 full blocks, and includes music, carnival rides, beer gardens, beer tastings, festival foods, and 300 exhibitors with unique offerings. More than 75 musical acts on seven different stages, with headliners The Creepy Creeps, Well Well Well, The Swedish Models, The Vinyl Shop, Farmdust, Mr. Heck, Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, and La Diabla will keep you grooving all day long. The Street Fair Craft Beer Taste, open from noon until 4 pm on Saturday only, will offer unlimited 2-ounce tastes from 17 breweries for $25. Three other beer gardens will be open during the two-day run, offering full pours of San Diego’s best beer selections or upgrade to VIP pre-sale beer deals for $19 (four pints). Cannabis Row, a brand new 21+ venue featuring cannabis education, buying tips, special programs, licensed vendors, and more, is located in the newly refurbished historic Adams Avenue Theater with a $5 presale admission ticket required.

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer.