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Where To Drink In San Diego, According To Renowned Brewer Megan Stone


Megan Stone/Unsplash

Welcome to Beer This City! If you dig Eat This City and Drink This City but have always wanted more beer-ness, then this column is for you. We’re talking to brewers to get an in-depth look at the best places to pair amazing beer with exciting food in different cities around the world.

Megan Stone lives in two worlds — she’s a social media star and a deeply respected brewer. Stone’s social media profile, Is Beer A Carb, is one of the leading beer influencer pages online. But Stone’s “whole deal” extends far past the bounds of modeling, she’s also a professional brewer who worked in San Diego as assistant brewer for Mikkeller Brewing and later taking a post at Modern Times Beer. Those are two of the biggest hitters in the game today.

We reached out to Stone for an insider’s look at the best places to drink beer in San Diego right now. These are Stone’s favorite hangs, glasses of beer, and beer-friendly menu items in the city right now. If you’re hitting up San Diego for a beer-fueled adventure, start at one of Modern Times’ two San Diego taprooms and then dive into Stone’s recommendations for a sunny afternoon and wild night in San Diego’s beer scene.

Favorite Bottle Shop — BOTTLECRAFT

My favorite bottle shop is in Little Italy, Bottlecraft. The spot has roll-up doors and windows, an excellent beer selection, and dogs are allowed. ‘Nuff said. The North Park location has a cheese shop, Venissimo, in the back. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Experimental Brewery/Taproom — JUNESHINE

This is definitely a cool experimental spot. Juneshine brews hard kombucha. I know people are on the fence about it. Still, they have so many options with interesting flavor combinations and they do a good job. They’re about to start making beer and other beverages, so I’m curious to see how that goes.

I’m also a sucker for their branding/taproom aesthetic.

Neighborhood Brewery/Taproom — HAMILTON’S TAVERN

Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park has such a good neighborhood, dive-y feel. They have a great tap list and every second Saturday they have a tap takeover with a special menu.

Brewpub/Gastropub for Food and Beer — GRAVITY HEIGHTS

I recently went to a new one called Gravity Heights that I was pretty impressed by. They have a really fun location, including a patio. The food was so, so good. Don’t skip their wood-fired pizzas!

Beer Bar (that’s not a brewery) — TORONADO

I appreciate that Toronado carries beer from areas outside of San Diego. They frequently do tap takeovers with some great breweries. Don’t ask for a splash of anything and know exactly what you want when you get up to the bartender.

Dive Bar for Beer — LIVE WIRE or TRIPLE CROWN PUB

It’s a tie between Live Wire and Triple Crown Pub. They both have a decent craft beer selection and all the weird stains and smells you expect in a true dive bar. Live Wire has more of a “punk rock” feel. Triple Crown has all the best games — pool, skeeball, darts, etc. The only downside to Live Wire is that it gets packed and super loud on the weekends. Or… maybe I’m just getting old…

Hotel Bar for Beer — THE LAFAYETTE

I dig The Lafayette Hotel’s vintage aesthetic. Plus, they’re super close to so many rad breweries. Their pool is awesome and they have great cocktails. Fun Fact: They have $4 drafts during their poolside happy hour.

Fancy Restaurant for Beer — STARLITE

I’m not very fancy, but I’d have to say Starlite. Starlite has a mid-century modern feel with a really nice bar. They also have excellent food, beer, and cozy outdoor areas.

Place To Eat Pizza and Drink Beer — PIZZA PORT

Pizza Port, of course! It’s a classic here in California. I’m an East Coast native and I approve of this pizza. If you can get out of town, go to the original location in Ocean Beach. That spot has the least amount of children. You’re welcome.

Brewery/Taproom Run By A Friend — SOCIETE

Lia from Societe is a fucking boss babe. I love Societe because they have an awesome beer scene. Plus, thankfully, their tap list isn’t three-quarter hazy IPAs. I don’t think they even make hazies! It’s a nice spacious spot as well.

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