It’s not just beer—San Diego’s brewers have turned their talents to apples, pears, and even pomegranates, making the region ground zero for the craft cider movement, too. The result is a smattering of dedicated cideries where the bubbly brews take center stage.
Where: 3986 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
Neighborhood: North Park
No mere brewery, this outdoors-adventure inspired cidery (knotted ropes feature as decor) doubles as a restaurant serving an eclectic menu of things like tamarind-glazed duck leg, cider-steamed mussels, and a half-pound grass fed burger. Multiple flights may be required to taste your way through dozens of ciders made in numerous styles with things like Bosc pears, blueberries, blackberries, and black currant.
Where: 1477 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
Appetizers and flatbreads round out a dizzying lineup of hard kombucha, mead, wine, and of course, cider, made from a litany of fruits including pluot, pineapple, pomegranate, and cranberry. Try fruit-derived craft cocktails or tasting flights of three for $7 or five for $10.
Where: 6496 Marindustry Drive, San Diego, CA 92121
Available on tap all around San Diego, Guthrie also serves its dry hard ciders—nothing sweet here!—at its Miramar tasting room Thursday through Saturday, and by appointment only Sunday through Wednesday. Their low-sugar brews bring out the flavors and amp up the semi-dry, extra-dry, and dry dry notes.
Twisted Horn Mead and Cider
Where: 1042 La Mirada Ct., Vista, CA 92081
If the Vikings knew this land could yield such wonderful mead and cider the warriors may have stayed in North America after visiting its shores. Norse seafaring vibes—including many appealing wooden accents—run strong here, as do brews like yule cider made with figs and dark chocolate; quince- and star anise- infused cider; as well as meads made with honey from wildflower, alfalfa, and other earthy ingredients.
Where: 10045 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92131
Neighborhood: Scripps Ranch
This cider begins with fresh-pressed apples from family farms on the West Coast, including San Diego. Then globally-sourced botanicals such as elderberry and cardamom and other ingredients are dried and ground in house to create Newtopia’s four styles: an IPA, a Belgian-style, a semi-sweet, and a “Wyld” cider.
Where: 8665 Miralani Drive #100, San Diego, CA 92126
Two former wildlife biologists launched this cidery (named it for a rattlesnake encountered while surveying the Mojave for desert tortoises). A burned-wood mural inside the dog-friendly digs sets the tone for flights of dry apple, guava, and passion fruit ciders. Neighboring restaurant The Good Seed Food Company provides local organic eats. Closed Mondays.