Per the Men's Journal San Diego is the best beer town in the country. Suck it Portland! Anyway, in a belated post, being the week after Beer Week, I thought I'd write a tribute to beer in my hometown. Hooray Beer!
Contrary to the blandness that tends to befall San Diego (the result of waves of immigrants from the Midwest and elsewhere), the craft brews in San Diego have a distinctive local flare. In this case, we're talking about hops - the bitter herb used in the brewing process to preserve beer, and to give it aroma and spice. The classic San Diego style beer is the double IPA (which I could describe, but I much prefer that you all go and try it). The leader in this overhopped revolution is Stone Brewery, maker of such beers as Arrogant Bastard Ale (my favorite is Stone's IPA).
Interestingly, there is a second school of San Diego brews focusing on Belgian style ales. Of particular note is the Lost Abbey Brewery, which makes beers that have all the complexity of the best Belgian ales. My personal favorite is the Ten Commandments Ale.
But here's what I love about beer in San Diego - we have a lot of breweries to satisfy you. Check out this site for information on other breweries.
With all that said, for the life of me, I can't figure out how San Diego managed to pull this off. Los Angeles, which normally dominates everything in Southern California, has a pretty crappy beer scene. While there are Mexican breweries nearby (Tecate is made in Northern Baja, just south of the Border), none of them make the kinds of beer that San Diegans are drinking.
Moreover, the great cultural plague of my city is the constant flux of people moving in and out of San Diego. Most of the people I know in San Diego are from somewhere else. As a result, people tend to look outside of San Diego for culture. So we have Bronx Pizza (makes pizza "just like home"), and Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria, etc. For the longest time, it appeared that San Diego didn't have a culture of its own. The rise of craft brewing in San Diego shows that we do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting thirsty. Hooray Beer!