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San Diego has the world’s most vibrant and well-established craft beer scene (sorry Portland). With more than 100 craft breweries and plenty of taprooms and restaurants serving up locally brewed beers, there are sought-after destinations in just about any neighborhood. This is definitely the case with North Park, one of our favorite spots for local beer in town.

North Park is a quick trip from downtown, the College area, or Mission Valley, and is the perfect spot to enjoy a beer. If you walk southward from Adams Avenue along 30th St., you’ll stumble upon at least one brewery every block or so. No brewery? Then there’s bound to be a bar or restaurant where you can sample local suds. The incredible walkability of the neighborhood, combined with the high density of quality businesses, should put it at the top of any beer lover’s list.

Belching Beaver: Better than its Name Suggests

Belching Beaver Tasting Room
Location: 4223 30th Street (map)
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: Noon to midnight, Sunday: Noon to 10 p.m.
Price: $

If you’re looking for unique flavors and funny beer names, look no further than the Belching Beaver Tasting Room. The Belching Beaver Brewery is relatively well-established. They have a tavern and a pub in Vista, as well as a tasting room in Ocean Beach (and this one in North Park), and their actual brewhouse in Oceanside.

If you love older music and IPAs, be sure to check out their Deftones Phantom Bride Release, an IPA created as a collaboration between the band and the brewery that features 7.1 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and 70 IBUs (international bitterness units). Looking for something a little sweeter and more drinkable? Consider their Me So Honey Blonde, a honey wheat ale with 5.5 percent ABV and only 25 IBUs.

If you’re looking for their classic beer, the one that made their name, then you must sample their Peanut Butter Milk Stout, Belching Beaver’s #1 best seller. If you want just a hint of something more, their Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout is also a great choice. They create limited release and seasonal beers, such as their Mosaic Double, an IPA with a hint of tropical fruit or the PB &J, which has plenty of roasted peanut flavor as well as hints of sweet grape jelly.

Modern Times: Yes, those are Lamp Shades on the Ceiling…

Modern Times Flavordome Tasting Room
Location: 3000 Upas Street, Suite 102 (map)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: Noon to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: Noon to midnight
Price: $

When you walk into the Flavordome, you’ll have the opportunity to try 16 different beers on taps. They will happily fill growlers and sell you a bag of their locally roasted coffee for tomorrow morning. Modern Times also has plenty of on-brand merchandise so you can display your affinity for their craft brews proudly.

At night. #lights #night #color #bicycle #loft #downtown #streetphotography

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While they don’t have a kitchen at this tasting room, you can bring in your food or order delivery from one of the nearby eateries in North Park. You can even bring your kids, so long as you keep a close eye on them. If you have fur babies, Fido will certainly appreciate the dog-friendly space on their patio.

Craft beers here range from classic to freaky. Their Lomaland, for example, is a Rustic Saison, while their Fruitlands is a Gose that features both passion fruit and guava. You can also find Imperial Stouts, Oatmeal Stouts, Pilsners, Witbiers, porters, and IPAs on tap here, depending on the day and the season.

One of our favorite beers is Black House, their stout that’s available year-round. This extremely well balanced and “crushable” stout has all the notes of coffee and chocolate that you love in a stout, without any of the heaviness. At only 5.8% ABV, which is relatively low for this style of beer, you can enjoy at least a few before you have to call it a night!

Mike Hess: The Coolest Tasting Room in Town?

Mike Hess Brewing Company
Location: 3812 Grim Avenue (map)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: Noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: Noon to midnight
Price: $

Walking into the Mike Hess immediately puts you on a catwalk above the brewery floor. It’s a unique and unusual setup for a brewery/tasting room, but it works beautifully. Nine flagship beers are available year round, whichinclude an orange honey wheat ale called 8 West, a Kolsch called Claritas, two IPAs, a little IPA, a double IPA, a Berliner Weisse and a Rye Imperial Stout, as well as a Vienna Cream Ale.

The standard offers alone should be enough to keep you coming back for more, but you can also find seasonal beers and limited edition brews to enjoy depending on the time of year.

Striking entry @mikehessbrewing #buildingabrewery #craftbeer #breweryarchitect

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Have you every tasted an Imperial Black IPA? If not, you might want to order up their Decepito, which looks an awful lot like a porter or a stout. It has won three different awards at beer competitions and features a powerful 8.5 percent ABV and 90 IBUs.

If you love classic German beers, you’ll probably enjoy a pint of Oktoberhess, a Marzen with a lovely copper color or their Festivas, an Amber German Alt-Bier. Seasonal beers include a Belgian Golden Strong, a Belgian Witbier and another flavorful IPA.

Fall Brewing: An Instant Classic

Fall Brewing Company
Location: 4542 30th Street (map)
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: Noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: Noon to midnight
Price: $

Located right on the cusp of where North Park meets University Heights, Fall Brewing Company has plenty to offer beer lovers. While they don’t serve food here, they are more than happy to let you bring in outside food to enjoy with your beer. They even allow well-behaved dogs (and kids) right in the tasting room during business hours.

If you’re looking for cleverly named beers, you will definitely find them here. A Beer Named Sue is one such offering. A classic California Common, this beer is very lager-like and has a highly drinkable 5.5 percent ABV. Their Jazz Hands is a Berliner Weiss. They also make a sangria version with plenty of fruit added. They have a whole line of eleven different Weekend Pirate IPAs, each made with its own unique blend of hops.

Bikes and beers!! Happy Saturday!! #beersnbikes #bikesnbeers #fallbrewing

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Prefer a Brown Ale? Check out Speedo’s Tiki Love God, a nutty brown ale with 4.7 percent ABV. There’s also Speedo’s Tiki Love Nuts, which is a brown ale with coconut. Their Demognome is a Belgian Dubbel with 7.5 percent ABV and a dark, rich flavor. Apocalypse Pony is an imperial stout made with nitro that features both Dark House coffee beans and real vanilla beans as well.