Craft Beer San Diego

Blind Lady took Allagash for a flight with Victor, Victoria and Confluence as passengers.

We begin this week’s L.A. BEER BLAST in…San Diego?! Part of the reason is to introduce a new Food GPS feature – brewmaster profiles – and the other reason is that if you’re looking to take a beer-focused staycation, San Diego County’s incredible breweries and beer bars are only a two-hour drive from L.A.

When I met Alpine brewmaster Pat McIlhenney, the longtime fireman only had ten shifts left before turning his full-time attention to Alpine Beer Company, the East County brewery he founded in 2002. Good timing. Last November, he and son Shawn began their expansion plans, which include tripling production and launching an upcoming brewpub. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PROFILE.

Colby Chandler started at Ballast Point almost 12 years ago and serves as brewmaster at the company’s original San Diego location, which shares space with the Home Brew Mart. He currently oversees the facility’s 1500-barrel production, which includes his Hout series, a limited line of sours that’s flavored with ingredients like black currant and cherry. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PROFILE.

Blind Lady Ale House is a five-month old beerhall/pizzeria in Normal Heights that delivers some of the better draught beers and pizza in San Diego. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW.

San Diego’s 30th Street might as well be paved with gold considering its rep with SoCal beer drinkers. One of the reasons to visit: a larger incarnation of San Francisco’s famed Toronado. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW.

Due south, Hamilton’s Tavern is yet another beer lover’s haven along 30th Street that’s worth a detour. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW.

Now for the meat of the L.A. BEER BLAST, which is designed to let Food GPS readers know about what’s new at select L.A. bars and restaurants with great beer selections. Expect a new L.A. BEER BLAST every Thursday evening, in time for the weekend rush. Look in the left sidebar, SUBSCRIBE to Food GPS and you’ll receive the L.A. BEER BLAST by e-mail.

131 Main Street, Seal Beach, 562 493 4500

Beachwood BBQ owner Gabriel Gordon streams his 24-tap blackboard menu via HOP CAM. Some of Gordon’s latest brews include Craftsman Poppy Fields Pale Ale, Deschutes Hop Henge, Gouden Carolus Van de Keizer Rood, Green Flash Double Stout and Mad River Jamaica Red.

6124 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, 323 464 2337


  • Craftsman La Luz – Saison ~ Farmhouse Ale (7.2% ABV)
  • Rubicon Purple Maibock – Maibock ~ Helles Bock (5.7% ABV)
  • Corsendonk Abbey Brown – Dubbel (7.5% ABV)
  • Seadog Blue Paw Wheat – Fruit ~ Wheat Ale (4.6% ABV)
  • Avery The Reverend – Quadrupel (10% ABV)
  • Lagunitas Gnarlywine 08 – American Barleywing (9.7% ABV)
  • Allagash Curieux – Fruit ~ Vegetable Beer (8% ABV)
  • BoHo
    6372 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, 323 465 8500


  • Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  • North Coast Old Stock 2009
  • Mission Maibock
  • Brother Thelonious
  • Bootlegger’s Palomino
    2310 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310 450 7631


  • Port Brewing 3rd Anniversary Ale
  • Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  • Alaskan Smoked Porter
  • Russian River Damnation

  • Stone IPA with Columbus hops
  • Stone Pale Ale with coriander

    Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale with Columbus and Amarillo hops – Stone’s 11th anniversary ale

    426 North Fairfax Avenue, Fairfax, 323 782 8331

    Here’s today’s update from co-owner Jason Bernstein:

    “We put on the Firestone Union Jack, their IPA. We have the AleSmith IPA on right now. For tomorrow, I’ve got a keg of Angel City Weizen, a really good example of a hefeweizen. It’s reasonably priced, it’s really approachable and it has a lot of flavor. It’s also really good when its fresh. I just got a keg of Avery Maharaja double IPA, which will probably go on Saturday.”

    17 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, 626 795 0652

    Hopheads rejoice. Lucky Baldwin’s is hosting an IPA Festival from June 13-21. Expect 50 IPAs on tap, including Russian River IPA, AleSmith IPA, Avery Maharaja Double IPA, Brewdog Hardcore IPA, Stone IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack and Bear Republic Racer 5.

    21 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre, 626 355 1140

    Lucky Baldwin’s eastern outpost is also hosting an IPA Festival from June 13-21. They have 10 IPAs on tap right now, with more to come. So far, you’ll find Stone Cali-Belgique, Port Brewing 3rd Anniversary, Alaskan IPA, Karl Strauss Tower 10 IPA, Craftsman IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. Double Dog Double Pale Ale and Green Flash West Coast IPA are on deck.

    In hop-free news, Lucky Baldwin’s also added Le Chouffe Blonde on draught.

    229 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, 310 546 1201

    Here’s today’s update from Simmzy’s General Manager Micah Schiesel:

    “We did end up getting the Stone Sublimely Self Righteous black IPA hooked up. Its an extremely limited production beer so I recommend people getting here ASAP for that one. We also added Paulaner Hef to our rotating handles, it replaced the Einhorn Hef. We also added Sierra Nevada Summerfest to replace the seasonal ESB. We are still pouring the Schneider Weisse Iceboch, but as soon as we blow through the current keg we are switching over to the Schneider Weisse Doppelboch. Also we have the Lips of Faith Dandelion Ale in line to get tapped as soon as we finish up the Lost Coast ‘Old Ale.’”

    3408 Verdugo Road, Glassell Park, 323 257 3408


  • Allagash Confluence
  • Allagash Hugh Malone
  • Stone Collaboration Triple
  • Ballast Point Syrah Barrel Navigator
  • Victory CBC Herkules
  • Mission Maibock
  • Rouge Morimoto Imperial Pilsner
  • Drake’s Red Eye

  • Grand Teton Double Vision
  • Russian River Consecration Batch #2
    800 East 3rd Street, Downtown, 213 687 4444

    Apparently dominating sausages and French fries isn’t good enough for twentysomething cousins Joseph Pitruzzelli and Tyler Wilson. Wurstkuche’s owners are on the verge of adding a deluxe cocktail program to their triangular Arts District sausage kitchen. To oversee the upgrade, Pitruzzelli and Wilson hired noted bartender Matty Eggleston, who spent the past two-and-a-half years behind the bar at The Hungry Cat in Hollywood. Eggleston started working at Wurstkuche full-time at the beginning of May and is occupying himself with the Belgian-focused taps and bottles until Wurstkuche gets their full liquor license.

    Here’s Eggleston’s beer update from last night:

    Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Maerzen – smoked beer from Bamberg – smells of bacon and sweet smoke – surprisingly clean finish

    Uerige Sticke – in the ‘alt’ style of Dusseldorf – a bit extra hop and malt – a nice option for those looking for pale ales. Both $10

    5018 York Boulevard, Highland Park, 323 255 9675

    Here’s today’s update from owner Ryan Ballinger:

    “The Guinness 250 year anniversary stout is on tap now, a more malty, bubbly version of the classic Guinness stout.”

    “For the creamy stout lovers, we put on North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial stout. With these oddly cloudy June days, you can’t go wrong with either of these bold beers. I’m having one now because you can only read about beer so long before you have to have some.”

    “Craftsman India Pale Ale is coming on cask today. I spoke to an Englishman about having a longer swan neck shipped here for the beer engine at the recommendation of a customer. It isn’t going to happen right away, but maybe by fall.”

    “There’s a couple new beers we’ll be adding soon, including a dunkel from Reutberg that tastes so good it could be candy.”


    Joshua Lurie

    Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

    Blog Comments

    is magic hat #9 only at those two places? would love to find someplace closer to central l.a. to enjoy it (but will drive if i have to!).

    This beer run-down is awesome (though you need to include Naja’s in Redondo Beach as well and mention that you can now get Vermont’s Magic Hat #9 — maybe the perfect summer beer — on tap both there and at Simmzy’s).


    Good calls, and thanks for the support. I mentioned Magic Hat #9 being at Simmzy’s on a previous Beer Blast. I listed Naja’s Place once, but would like to include it on a weekly basis.

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