arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

San Diego's Frankenbeers

Difficult-to-define, definitely delicious

San Diego brewers are known to create beers based on interesting concepts. These beers are combining unexpected flavors and turning heads while doing it.

Cake, Cookie, Curry....San Diego Creations Worth Trying

San Diego beer makers are known as rebels in the brewing world—they create beers based on interesting concepts and ingredients, and not always within traditional style guidelines. Many of the resulting beers are difficult to define, but once you taste them, you definitely want another. They incorporate offbeat brewing techniques with unexpected flavors that some call “Frankenbeers,” but most just call “awesome.”

Indra Kunindra - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Ballast Point calls this beer a "Curry Export Stout." Yeah, it has curry in it. The India-style stout, which is also brewed with cayenne, coconut, and kaffir lime leaf, came about when homebrewing superstar Alex Tweet submitted it for a Ballast Point competition and won. The beer caused such a sensation—and enjoyed such great demand—that Ballast Point eventually made it part of its regular production lineup.

Le Freak - Green Flash Brewing Co.

The first-ever hybrid ale of its kind, this groundbreaking beer combined a Belgian-style Trippel with an American Imperial IPA. This rich, malty, subtly fruity beer is plenty hoppy and packs a punch at 9.2% ABV. It has all the caramel, toffee, and bubble gum flavors you expect in a Trippel, but it’s balanced with a crispness and bitterness from a healthy dose of hops. It’s also Green Flash Co-Founder Mike Hinkley's favorite combo beer!

Peanut Butter Cup Porter - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

When Karl Strauss first released their Peanut Butter Cup Porter, they officially set off what has come to be known as the “candy bar” beer craze. This beer combines the rich, nutty flavors of peanut butter with the deep, roasty, chocolatey flavors and aromas of roasted malts—it’s like a liquid Reese’s. Other brewers have since developed an “Almond Joy” beer, a “Fluffernutter” beer, and a “Mounds Bar” beer.

Agave Maria - The Lost Abbey

The Lost Abbey is San Diego’s most revered barrel-aging brewery. This agave-based strong ale is the first Lost Abbey beer to be aged in tequila barrels. The brew clocks in at 13.5% ABV and was aged for a minimum of 10 months in barrel. With the rich flavors of black pepper, oatmeal, and honey, this brew was designed to complement the unique spiciness of tequila.

Blood Saison - Border X Brewing

Border X uses Mexican flavor influences in many of its beers, but this one stands out. This saison is inspired by the Mexican drink, Jamaica, and Border X uses real hibiscus and agave to give it tartness and a distinctive, bright red hue.

Bacon & Eggs, Imperial Porter - Pizza Port Brewing Company

This dark beer has some serious coffee flavor—far more than most beers that call themselves coffee porters or coffee stouts. Like a great triple espresso, this beer doesn’t mess around. With tons of dark and roasty flavors from cold-brewed coffee made by local roaster Bird Rock Coffee, this is a beer that will certainly wake you up—although you might not want to actually have it with breakfast if you have any plans for the day! "Like a cold cup of coffee with 8% ABV," says Pizza Port Co-Founder Vince Marsaglia. "Good morning!"

24 Carrot Golden Ale - Stone, Monkey Paw & Juli Goldenberg

Stone Brewing Co. collaborated with San Diego's own Monkey Paw Brewery and homebrew competition winner Juli Goldenberg to make this crazy-brilliant, devilishly decadent dessert-like brew. It's a Belgian-style golden strong ale inspired by...carrot cake. The finished product has everything you’d want in a carrot cake: flavors of cream cheese frosting, cinnamon, vanilla, carrots, and raisins.

Dia de los Serranos - Green Flash Brewing Co.

San Diego brewers have been innovating with chile beers for many years, and wherever you go, it’s not uncommon to find at least one beer on tap that’s made with jalapeños, anchos, pasillas, even ghost peppers! This double stout is made with fresh serrano chilies, which blend with the rich, chocolatey flavors of the beer just perfectly. Don’t trust the initial sweetness, though, because there's a major spicy kick that follows the luscious chocolate and coffee flavors in the beer.

Watermelon Dorado - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Fruit-infused beer isn't new...but a double IPA with watermelon? Now that's out there. And it’s delicious. The sweet aromas and flavors of the watermelon mellow the bitter kick of the double IPA and create a surprisingly tasty, well-balanced, and unexpected combo. For other surprisingly delicious combinations, also try Mango Even Keel IPA, Longfin Cucumber Lager, and Pineapple Sculpin IPA, also from Ballast Point.

Horchata Imperial Stout - Belching Beaver Brewery

Two popular drinks in San Diego, beer and horchata, come together for this fun flavor mash-up. Drinkers can thank San Diego's friends to the south for inspiring this glass. Savor the Mexican flavors of vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt all blended together in a creamy beer that comes in at 9% ABV.

Track #08 - The Lost Abbey

The brewers at The Lost Abbey let their Judgment Day brown ale sit in bourbon barrels for a while...and when they tasted it, they realized that the raisins used in the base beer were being accentuated...the beer actually tasted like in a delicious oatmeal cookie. Following that train of thought, the brewers added cinnamon sticks and a few dried chilies to create a form of liquid oatmeal cookie that packs a spicy punch.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Biking

50% off on Tour and Rentals!

Bike & Kayak Tours, Inc. - La Jolla
Valid: Jul 28 - ongoing

50% off weekdays before 10am and after 4pm (not valid 05/31/18-09/04/17) and 20% off before 10am and after 4pm (expires 12/31/17)

Accommodation

Discover Your Great Escape To San Diego

Bristol Hotel
Valid: Mar 6 - ongoing

Ignite your own memorable moments and discover downtown San Diego with this Great Escape Stay Package!

Accommodation

Pet-Friendly Package at the Empress Hotel of La Jolla

Empress Hotel of La Jolla
Valid: Mar 6 - ongoing

With a one-time fee, this hotel package will provide a pet bed for your special friend and a baggie of milk bones. Dogs are welcome to stay with us and enjoy exploring the beautiful La Jolla area...

Events to check out

Event

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2017

Don't miss America's Finest Bowl Experience! This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football's most competitive conferences, the Big Ten and the...

Event

Farmers Insurance Open 2018

Jan 25 - Jan 28, 2018

The PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open is played annually at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, home of the 2008 & 2021 U.S. Open. Mark your calendars now, because one of San...

Event

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 10 - Dec 17, 2017

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

ChinaGermanyGreat BritainJapanMexicoKoreaSwitzerlandBrazilFranceAustraliaCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish