Bruce Glassman

Beer-Centric Bites: 5 Great Craft Beer Restaurants in San Diego

Let’s face it, touring San Diego’s many craft beer offerings is hard work. All that standing at bar counters, lifting your arms up and down as you sip…it’s not difficult to work up an appetite. Fortunately, San Diego is not only home to more than 70 great craft breweries, it’s also home to dozens of great beer-centric restaurants, bistros, and pubs.

Here is just a smattering of some great craft beer restaurants in San Diego (starting in North County and moving south):

Churchill’s Pub & Grille (887 W San Marcos Blvd.)

churchills stout braised pot roast san diego craft beer restaurants

The pot roast at Churchill’s is stout-braised, of course. (Photo ©Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press)

This popular spot boasts one of San Diego’s best selections of craft beers on tap and a great menu of beer-friendly and beer-inspired food to go along with it. More creative than simple “pub comfort food,” the kitchen offers a wide variety of apps, soups, salads, burgers, and craft-centric entrees, including a Spicy IPA Burger, Cottage Pie made with brown ale, Imperial Stout Pot Roast, and a Grilled Salmon topped with a sour ale beer blanc sauce.

URGE Gastropub (16761 Bernardo Center Dr.)

urge beer battered mac n cheese san diego craft beer restaurants

Craft beer mac n’ cheese at URGE (Photo ©Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press)

With 51 craft beers on tap (mostly from San Diego) and more than 100 bottles to choose from, URGE’s food offerings are unabashedly beer-inspired. Brew-infused, hearty pub fare makes up the core of the menu (Beer Cheese Fries and Beer-Battered Mac and Cheese!), with many dishes that include more interesting elements, such as wild boar and rabbit, and burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers that come with a variety of craft beer dipping sauces (Sculpin mustard, Ur-Bock Aioli, and Sour Cherry Ale BBQ sauce to name a few). For the light of heart, there are numerous salad options, including a goat cheese salad topped with a Wit Beer Vinaigrette and a wedge salad topped with a Barbar Honey Ale Blue Cheese dressing.

Local Habit (3827 Fifth Ave.)

local habit cali belgique braised pork san diego craft beer restaurants

Pork braised in Stone Brewing Co’s Cali Belgique at Local Habit (Photo ©Mike Pawlenty/Chefs Press)

This Hillcrest restaurant is a bit of a hybrid: it combines the casual, comfortable aspects of a pub setting with a more elevated take on salads, small plates, and sandwiches. An excellent selection of local brews on tap, along with great non-local craft selections, make it easy to pair the creative but comforting fare with great beer. A regular lineup of special beer-and-food pairing menus and brewmaster dinners means that, whenever you go, chances are good some special beer-inspired food awaits.

Ballast Point Little Italy (2215 India St.)

ballast point brewery tasting room and kitchen san diego

Ballast Point’s new Little Italy Tasting Room & Kitchen

Fans of this brewery’s great beers are already flocking to Little Italy’s newest tasting room and kitchen for a taste of Ballast Point’s new food menu. In addition to an impressive selection of Ballast beers on tap, the menu offers numerous beer-infused choices that include everything from beer-battered onion rings to house-made pretzels with beer cheese and beer mustard, to a grilled chicken sandwich with beer vinaigrette. And note to garlic lovers: don’t pass up the beer-steamed mussels with ginger.

Stone World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station (2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116, San Diego)

stone brewing co. world bistro and gardens liberty station san diego

Stone Brewing Co.’s new World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station

Opened this past summer, Stone’s impressive new dining site on Point Loma rivals its Escondido sibling in every way. Beautifully designed, with numerous indoor and outdoor dining and drinking options, Stone offers an extensive draft and bottle list along with a varied menu that highlights organic, local, and farm fresh ingredients (Stone’s own organic farm supplies many of the bistro’s products). For beer-centric bites, a few of the options include Arrogant Bastard brined pork chops, Cheddar, Garlic, and Stone Ruination IPA Soup, and the super popular BBQ Duck Tacos dressed with Stone Levitation BBQ sauce.

Enjoy!

bruce glassman author of san diego brewery guideBruce Glassman is the author or numerous books on San Diego craft beer, including the award-winning San Diego’s Top Brewers. His San Diego Brewery Guide, which offers essential information on each brewery, tasting notes, and touring maps, is available at www.georgianbaybooks.com.

Candice

Top Things to Do in San Diego: Nov. 6 – 10, 2013

san diego asian film festival 2013

If you’re an arts lover, you’ll love these events coming up in San Diego, Nov. 6 – 10. And if you prefer to get outdoors, there’s lots of options for you, too: set sail on a historic ship, go ice skating or just sample some San Diego beers under the sun.

Medium Festival of Photography

medium festival of photography san diego 2013

Portfolio reviews are just one part of the Medium Festival of Photography.

The second annual Medium Festival of Photography pairs educational lectures, workshops, and portfolio review sessions with fun and unique after-hours celebrations. On Nov. 8, famed photographer Abelardo Morell will speak at The Lafayette in North Park, and the festival continues with lectures from photographers like  Doug Rickard, Stephen Berkman, Michael Lundgren and more. On Nov. 9, the Lafayette hosts “An Intimate View of Southern California,” an outdoor exhibition of 50 photographers housed in a vintage trailer.

Where: 2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
When: November 7 – 10, 2013
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies (some events are free, some require tickets/registration)
>Find out more about the Medium Festival of Photography

San Diego Asian Film Festival

san diego asian film festival 2013

The San Diego Asian Film Festival offers countless screening opportunities.

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the largest exhibitions of Asian international and Asian American cinema in North America. Along with narrative features, the nine-day Festival also showcases documentaries, short films, and animation. Screenings take place primarily at the Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, but there are additional screenings around town.

Where: Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center
When: November 7 – 16, 2013
Time: Various times throughout each day
Cost: General Admission $11.50
>Find out more about the San Diego Asian Film Festival

Art San Diego 2013

Art San Diego 2013 contemporary art fair balboa park

The Art San Diego 2013 contemporary art fair mixes the old with the new in Balboa Park.

The annual Art San Diego contemporary art fair returns for a fifth year Nov. 8 – 10. The theme for 2013 is “Collide,” which means guests and visitors are sure to find unexpected cross-sections of art and film coming together in new and unusual ways. Explore one of four districts – Contemporary Art, Contemporary Product & Furniture Design, Mid-Century & Modern Art, and Solo-Artist Curated Booths – set up in historic Balboa Park.

Where: 2145 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 8 – 10, 2013
Time: 12:00 – 4:00 pm daily
Cost: Varies
>View the complete Art San Diego 2013 schedule of events

Star of India’s 150th Birthday

san diego maritime museum star of india 150th birthday sailing trip

Set sail with the Maritime Museum of San Diego for the Star of India’s 150th birthday.

The world’s oldest active sailing ship turns even older this weekend. Before becoming part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the Star of India sailed the world, from South America to New Zealand to the Bay of Bengal and back. This Nov. 9, 10 and 11, she sets sail again out of San Diego Bay, and guests can travel alongside in the Maritime Museum’s Californian and America companion ships. The sail includes a light brunch, lunch buffet and beverages.

Where: 1492 N. Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 9, 10 and 11, 2013
Time: Ships set sail at 9:30am each day
Cost: $125 for Maritime Museum members, $150 general admission
>Buy tickets for the Star of India’s 150th Birthday Sail 

Viejas Outlet Center Ice Rink Grand Opening

Viejas ice skating rink

SoCal’s largest outdoor ice skating rink at the Viejas Outlet Center.

Lace up your skates and head out to Viejas Outlet Center in San Diego’s East County for the opening of the largest outdoor ice-skating rink in Southern California – it’s even bigger than the famed ice rink at Rockefeller Center in New York! The rink opens for the season on Nov. 9, and guests can practice their axel jumps and salchows through Jan. 5.

Where: Viejas Outlet Center, 5005 Willows Rd., Alpine, CA 91901
When: Nov. 9 – Jan. 5
Time: Monday-Friday: 5-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 12-10 p.m.
Cost: $14 for adults; $12 for kids 12 and under (90 min. rental)
>Find out more about ice skating at Viejas Outlet Center

Free Admission to The New Children’s Museum

san diego new childrens museum feast 2013

It’s all about hands-on fun at learning at the New Children’s Museum.

The second Sunday of every month, The New Children’s Museum offers free admission giving families the opportunity to enjoy interactive activities and creative new exhibitions like Feast: The Art of Playing With Your Food. Installations are designed to educate and inspire creativity which typically resonate more with older kids, but the museum also features lots of hands-on art projects that are engaging for kids of all ages.

Where: 200 W Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 10, 2013
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Cost: Free
>Find out more about the New Children’s Museum

San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden & Chef Celebration

Beer Garden attendees talking to a brewer during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden

Meet the Brewers during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

The 5th annual San Diego Beer Week comes to a close on Sunday with the week’s most lavish event yet. Held amidst the beautiful gardens of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, the Beer Garden & Chef Celebration pairs 24 local breweries with 12 top local chefs for a delicious and unique tasting event. Each admission includes unlimited tasters of beer and food.

Where: 11480 North Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: November 10, 2013
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Cost: $75 (includes valet parking)
>Purchase tickets for the Chef Celebration & Beer Garden

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Browse the Event Calendar

What will you be doing in San Diego this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Robert Arends

Coronado November Events: A Cornucopia of Fun!

Skating by the Sea-Coronado Beach

With sunny skies, glistening crowd-free beaches and temperatures averaging 70 degrees, November is the perfect time to visit Coronado, located a bridge or ferryboat ride away from downtown San Diego. There’s so much to do, from craft beer tastings and lavish Thanksgiving feasts to ice skating by the beach, that you won’t know where to start!

The following are my Top 5 to Try in Coronado this November.

Good Times on Tap: San Diego Beer Week in Coronado

Craft beer by the bottle at Coronado Brewing Company

Craft beer by the bottle at Coronado Brewing Company

During San Diego Beer Week, Nov. 1-10, visit the award-winning Coronado Brewing Company to sample tasty ales like Orange Avenue Wit. Also, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge on Orange Ave. features a “Local Tap Takeover,” pouring only San Diego beer on all 16 of their taps!

Talking Turkey: Thanksgiving Dinner

san diego hotel del coronado crown room thanksgiving 2013

The luxurious Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado will host this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Let the Hotel del Coronado and Loews Coronado Bay Resort do all the cooking this Thanksgiving Nov. 28 as they serve up turkey with all the fixings in festive elegant style. The Del presents a lavish buffet spread in the Crown Room and Ballroom, with live entertainment. Loews hosts a fab champagne brunch buffet in its main dining room, plus a prix fixe family-style dinner in Mistral.

Ice Skating by the Sea

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Lace up your skates and head to the Hotel del Coronado on Nov. 27 for the launch of Skating by the Sea, a magically surreal SoCal experience like no other where guests can practice their axel jumps just steps away from Coronado Beach. A portion of ice skate rental proceeds benefit San Diego’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K

Rollerblading the Silver strand Half Marathon

Rollerblading the Silver Strand Half Marathon

Hightail it to the scenic Silver Strand for the popular annual Silver Strand Half Marathon and 5K on Nov. 17. Participants can run, walk, even rollerblade or rollerskate  from Coronado to Imperial Beach; handcyclists and wheel chair participants are welcome too!

Rock n’ Roll: “Suds” at the Coronado Playhouse

Suds Coronado Playhouse San Diego Theater

Suds hits the stage at the Coronado Playhouse this November.

Audiences are in for a rocking good time at the Coronado Playhouse– a 100-seat, cabaret-style theatre on lovely Glorietta Bay – presenting the 1960s musical soap opera “Suds” through the end of the month.

Want to win your own getaway to Coronado? Visit Authentic Luxury Travel to win a romantic Coronado stay!

Candice

San Diego Brewery Guide: Beer Week and Beyond

san diego beer week brewery tour tasting

The days are getting shorter, the air is getting chilly (ok, not that chilly), and San Diegans are in a festive holiday mood, which can only mean one thing. No, it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas that San Diego is getting ready to celebrate – it’s the annual tradition of San Diego Beer Week!

With 70+ breweries across San Diego County, navigating the brewery scene can be daunting at any time of year, and even more so during the 10-day run of San Diego Beer Week. Fortunately, the new San Diego Brewery Guide offers essential tips and advice for any travelers looking to brave the San Diego beer scene. The comprehensive guidebook features tasting notes on more than 400 San Diego brews, at-a-glance details on just about every San Diego brewery, dozens of maps to fit in your back pocket, and beer-based itineraries by region and by beer style.

san diego brewery guide 2013 georgian bay books bruce glassman

The San Diego Brewery Guide offers everything you need to know about San Diego’s 70+ breweries.

During San Diego Beer Week, you can pick up a copy and meet the author Bruce Glassman at two fun- and beer-filled events:

Friday, November 8, 4 – 7 p.m., at Stone Brewing Co. World Bistro & Gardnes, Liberty Station

Saturday, November 9,  5 – 10 p.m., at Mission Brewery

If you can’t make it to the events, or simply can’t wait to get your copy, the San Diego Brewery Guide will be available for purchase online for just $16.95 beginning Oct. 30, 2013.

Once you’ve got the lay of the craft beer land, it’s time to plan your San Diego Beer Week agenda. Beer Week spans hundreds of events between Nov. 1 – 10, so the options are limitless, but here are some of San Diego Beer Week’s most popular, innovative and talked about events.

san diego beer week brewery tour tasting

San Diego Beer Week offers hundreds of craft beer tasting events

Rare Beer Breakfast, Nov. 1, 9 a.m.: Kick Beer Week off bright and early with Arrogant Bastard donuts, live jazz and more at Stone Brewing Co.’s World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido.

Bikes, Brews and Brats, Nov. 2, 10 a.m.: Join Green Flash Brewing Co. for a scenic mountain bike ride, followed by beers and bratwurst at the Regal Beagle in Mission Hills.

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival, Nov. 2, 2 p.m.: The official kick off festival features samples from 50+ breweries at the beautiful Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego.

“Dive-In” Theatre, Nov. 4, 8 p.m.: Join the Pearl Hotel for a poolside screening of the 1983 cult comedy classic Strange Brew and enjoy burger and beer pairings from Modern Times Beer.

Chef Celebration & Beer Garden, Nov. 10, 12 p.m.: Set in the gorgeous garden of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, this feast of 24 beers paired with creations by 12 local chefs is the perfect way to end Beer Week.

With so many events during San Diego Beer Week, which ones will you be checking out? Let us know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego: November 7-11, 2012

So here’s an idea, escape to San Diego sometime in the next few days and enjoy one of these great things to do this weekend:

1. San Diego Beer Week Continues

Beer Garden attendees talking to a brewer during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden

Meet the Brewers during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Pairing great food with craft beer has become a popular event during San Diego Beer Week (SDBW). On Friday (11/9), dine on delectable dishes while sipping great local brews during Brewtopia on the Bay at The Dana on Mission Bay.

Finish off SDBW on Sunday (11/11) at the Beer Garden at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Along with a picturesque setting, over 20 local breweries and 10 local chefs will be serving up San Diego’s best. And since admission includes unlimited samples, this is a SDBW event not to be missed.

SDBW continues with daily events through Sunday.

Dates: Through November 11, 2012
Cost: Cost Varies by Event. Brewtopia – $40, Beer Garden – $75
> Browse the over 300 San Diego Beer Week Events

2. Battle on the Midway

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum

SDSU takes on Syracuse about the USS Midway

Update: Battle on the Midway has been pushed back by two days and will now be on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 1:00 PM.

Battle on the Midway is one part Aircraft Carrier and one part NCAA Basketball. Two of the top teams in the nation, San Diego State University and Syracuse University will battle it out on a court aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.

Location: 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 9, 2012 Rescheduled for Sunday, November 11, 2012
Time: Starts at 5:00 PM New Tip Time at 1:00 PM
Cost: $150-$500
> Find out more about the Battle on the Midway

3. Dive in Theatre: The Hunger Games

Movie screening at the Pearl Hotel

Lounge by the pool with Dive In Theatre at the Pearl Hotel

Hang out by the pool under the stars at The Pearl Hotel and see if Katniss Everdeen makes it out of the Hunger Games alive! While you watch, enjoy a few snacks, drink and maybe a dip in the oyster-shaped swimming pool. If you have a group of 6, make reservations for one of the cabanas and lounge in style.

Location: 1410 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA 92106 (map)
Date: November 7, 2012
Time: Movie starts at 8:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Dive in Theatre: The Hunger Games

4. Behold, America!

Eastman Johnson, The Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket

Eastman Johnson, The Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket. Oil on canvas, 1880. Putnam Collection, Timken Museum of Art

As part of a collaboration between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The San Diego Museum of Art, and the Timken Museum, Behold, America! tells a cohesive story of the history of art in the United States. The works on display range from the colonial period to the present.

Location: 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Dates: November 10, 2012 – February 10, 2013
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Behold, America! at the San Diego Museum of Art

5. Kettner Nights in Little Italy

Ketter Nights

Little Italy’s Kettner Boulevard comes alive as visitors mix and mingle their way through the many boutiques and galleries on the second Friday of every month. Come explore this ever-growing distinctive neighborhood with a walk filled with art, design and antiques.

Location: Between West Grape and West Laurel Streets on Kettner Boulevard and India Street
Date: November 9, 2012
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Kettner Nights

> Browse more great things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of any other great events going on in San Diego this weekend? Let us and others know about them in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Beer Week Returns – November 2-11, 2012

Cheers during San Diego Beer Week
Cheers during San Diego Beer Week

Say Cheers to another exciting San Diego Beer Week!

San Diego Beer Week is a countywide celebration of the amazing local craft beer culture. Over the course of 10 days, SDBW offers craft beer lovers the chance to sample award winning regional beers (San Diego breweries took home 15 medals from the 2012 Great American Beer Festival!) at more than 250 different events including festivals, tap takeovers, beer brunches, brewery tours, pint nights, beer releases, cask nights, beer dinners, brewer meet and greets, education sessions and more.

You can find a full list of events at www.sdbw.org/events.

While picking an event to attend each day and/or night can be a difficult decision, here are two events you don’t want to miss:

San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival

Mayor Sanders Tapping the first keg - San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival

San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders taps the first keg during the 2011 San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival.

The Brewers Guild Festival is SDBW’s signature event and features more than 100 different beers from San Diego craft breweries, food from local brew pubs, and live music and entertainment throughout the festival. Entry into the festival includes a commemorative 4 ounce tasting glasses, ten tasting tickets and the chance to talk to the brewers as they pour you a cold one.

> Watch highlights from last years festival here

Location: Port Pavilion Pier – 1000 North Harbor Drive (map)
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: $10-$45
> Find out more about the San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival

Tip: Save yourself the hassle and use an alternative mode of transportation to get to the festival. Take any of the multiple buses, Blue or Orange Trolley Lines, or Coaster that stop at the Santa Fe Depot, and it’s just a short two block walk to the pier. Find public transportation schedules at www.sdcommute.com. You can also easily take a taxi or Uber it. Remember to enjoy yourself and stay safe.

The Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Beer Garden attendees talking to a brewer during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden

Meet the Brewers during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

To close out SDBW, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is hosting the Beer Garden, a relaxing Sunday afternoon that includes unlimited beer tastings from 20 local breweries, food pairings from 10 of San Diego’s finest chefs and a beautiful view of Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean. Take advantage of one of the Signature Room ($349) or Palisade Room ($429) packages offered by the Lodge that include a one night stay and two tickets to the festival.

Location: The Lodge at Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road (map)
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Time: 12:00 to 3:00 PM
Cost: $75
> Find out more about the Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Which San Diego Beer Week event are you most looking forward to this year?

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

1. San Diego Beer Week: From November 4-13, hundreds of beer-centric events take place throughout the county during this 10-day festival that highlights San Diego’s award-winning craft beer, breweries and pubs. Two capstone events are the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival’s kick-off on November 5 at Liberty Station on Point Loma and the closing event, a beer and food pairing at the Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla on November 13.

2. Fall Back Festival: On Saturday, November 6, experience life in San Diego in the 1800s by heading on down to the historic Gaslamp Quarter for real gold pannin’, authentic Wild West shootouts, western bands and fun interactive activities. This annual children’s historic street faire will feature ice cream eating, pig calling, spaghetti eating and a costume contest. Kids will also love the pony rides, wagon rides and a chance to visit the William Heath Davis House for a tour of the “House of a Thousand Spiders.”

3. An Evening with America: In conjunction with the Getty-initiated Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, The GRAMMY Museum, along with Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, is honored to present iconic, GRAMMY Award-winning rock group America, this Friday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. Hear the band in discussion about their success as hit writers of enduring rock-folk-pop classics, their celebrated 40th Anniversary Tour and the release of Back Pages, their newest album, a collection of glimmering interpretations of timeless songs. After the interview, moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, America will take audience questions and will perform an acoustic set.

4. Bike the Coast-Taste the Coast: On November 5th, grabe your bike and take a tour of the coast. The Bike the Coast, Taste the Coast takes cyclists 7, 15, 25, 50 or 100 miles up the coast to the Oceanside Pier, where food, beer and music await. Must register by November 4, or just join in the fun at the Pier.

5. Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting Weekend: Head up to Temecula for this two day event, November 5-6, gives ticketed guests the opportunity to visit over 30 Member wineries for a fun-filled food and wine adventure. Delicious foods and wine samplings are offered at each stop as well as barrel and/or tank samples of finished and unfinished wines often not available to the general public.