To craft beer fans, Greg Koch may be a household name. The co-founder and CEO of Stone Brewing Co., one of San Diego’s largest craft breweries, definitely knows his beer. But rest assured, even if you’re a beer novice, Greg has some tips to get event the first-time craft beer drinker started. As Greg would say, “I’m a beer nerd so that you don’t have to be!”
“San Diego is considered a Mecca,” says Greg. “We’re looked at as being a leading destination in the world for beer.” So where would this craft beer expert spend his time in San Diego? Check out Greg’s tips for getting to know San Diego’s craft beer and much more.
Great Breweries are Everywhere
Stone Brewing Co. is, naturally, Greg’s favorite brewery, but he has plenty of other favorites, too. “Many of them are doing incredibly specialized, unique creative things that nobody else does,” says Greg. Here are some of Greg’s favorite San Diego craft breweries:
- The Lost Abbey – this award-winning brewery is housed in the same spot that once held Stone Brewing Co.’s first brewery location.
- AleSmith Brewing Co. – Another frequent award winner, AleSmith is a favorite of many San Diegans.
- Societe Brewing Co. – Though they are one of San Diego’s newest breweries, Societe Brewing Co. is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best in town.
- Pizza Port Brewing Company – Sip their own brand of brews at one of their three coastal locations, including Carlsbad, Ocean Beach and Solana Beach.
- Ballast Point Brewing Co. – Visit their newest tasting room in Little Italy to enjoy some tasty grub with your brew.
- Automatic Brewing Co. – You’ll find Automatic Brewing Co. housed behind the Blind Lady Ale House, a local bar and restaurant that’s made several appearances on Draft Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Beer Bars in America, and it’s sister restaurant Tiger!Tiger! Tavern.
Beyond the Beer Suggestions from Greg Koch
It’s true – there’s more to San Diego than craft beer! Break up your beer tasting with a few of Greg’s other favorite activities:
- Hiking – Try your exploring the Torrey Pines State Reserve or Cowles Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park. San Diego’s varied landscape and topography give you a lot of different environments to explore on foot.
- Visit the San Diego Zoo – It’s considered world-famous for good reason.
- Explore downtown San Diego – the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy and East Village neighborhoods are all great spots for people watching, top culinary experiences and fun nightlife.
- Relax at beach café.
- Enjoy some live music – Greg loves Dizzy’s for jazz, the Belly Up Tavern for notable touring bands, and the Casbah for punk and underground shows.
Get more insight from Greg Koch on exploring San Diego’s craft beer scene, including tasting tips, at www.sandiego.org/goodstuff.