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San Diego's meteoric rise as a craft beer capital has added an exciting element to the community, with more than 150 breweries, plus brew pubs and tasting rooms scattered across the county. Local pioneers like Karl Strauss Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., Ballast Point, Coronado Brewing, AleSmith and Pizza Port lead the charge, anchoring a beer scene with everything from backyard and nano-breweries to world-renowned mega craft brewing companies regularly serving up gold medal brews. Navigating San Diego's dynamic craft beer breweries and tasting haunts is an ideal way to explore the city's diverse neighborhoods and get a taste of local craft beer culture.
San Diegan's take beer seriously (in a laid-back sort of way). In fact, San Diego was named the "Top Beer Town" in America by Men's Journal and cited as a "sunny heaven for suds lovers" by the New York Times. San Diego brews have also gained national and international recognition, consistently earning medals at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and other competitions.
Sampling these award-winning brews is best experienced at the source—nothing tastes better than a beer poured fresh from a tap that's only feet away from the tank in which it was made. And for the real craft brew enthusiasts who want to pull back the curtain and see where the magic happens, a brewery tour is a must. Many of the local breweries offer behind-the-scenes tours, where you have a chance to meet the brewers and learn about the process of making great beer, San Diego style. Guided tours, which leave the driving to someone else, are also a great way to experience San Diego's craft beer scene.
Brewpubs throughout the county create a winning combination of brewery and restaurant with top-tier chefs pairing beers with delicious plates, hand crafted to perfectly complement a pint of San Diego's finest. Smaller brewers often partner with a rotating contingent of food trucks that cook-up creative fare that rivals any kitchen without wheels.
So whether you are looking to just grab a pint or to pair one with locally sourced dishes, San Diego's craft breweries and brewpubs have you covered, making San Diego the perfect place for a libation vacation.
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