Tap Room: AleSmith

Craft Beer San Diego

Pouring a beer at the AleSmith taps

The Beer:  Year Round – X (Extra Pale Ale), Lil’ Devil (Belgian Pale Ale), Nautical Nut Brown (English-style Nut Brown), Anvil ESB (Extra Special Bitter), IPA (India Pale Ale), Horny Devil (Belgian Golden Strong), Grand Cru (Belgian Dark Strong), Wee Heavy (Strong Scotch Ale), Old Numbskull (American Barleywine), Speedway Stout (Russian Imperial w/ Coffee)

Seasonal – Summer Yulesmith (IIPA), Winter Yulesmith(Imperial Red Ale), Decadence (Anniversary Ale), My Bloody Valentine/Evil Dead Red (Hoppy Red Ale)  

The Facts:  

Hours: Thur-Fri 2-7, Sat 12-6 Age: 21+
Brewery Tours:  First Sat. (one tour only) call for reservation 
 4oz-$1.00 Growler Fills: 1/2gallon Glass-$7 (one time), Fill-$13-$19
# of Taps: 13 To Go Bottles: Yes 
Retail Kegs: Yes (e-mail [email protected] for availability) Guest Taps: No Food:Food Trucks (occasionally)  

Parking: front and rear lots  

Brewmaster: Peter Zien

Year Founded: 1995   

Twitter: @alesmithbrewing  

Required Drinking: Two words: Speedway Stout. Already one of the best beers in the world, drinking it in the tap room, it always seems to be a little more chocolaty with a little bit more coffee, simply awesome.  Other highlights include Wee Heavy, my favorite all time Scotch ale, and X, which can give your pallet a refreshingly hoppy rest as you make your way through the mammoth draft list (5 beers are 10%+ ABV).

Atmosphere: AleSmith is located in an industrial park, in an industrial neighborhood and is at best a little hidden from view.  The tap room is basically a large open concrete space with a huge cold box, a bottling line and a couple of tables where it’s possible to enjoy your tasters. To everyone I’ve ever taken here (and myself the first time), you quickly realize this place is about nothing else but the beer.

Overall Impression:  Always my favorite stop of the day when doing a little beer tasting in San Diego.  Amazing beer, friendly and knowledgeable staff, all for $1.50 a taster. If you can make it down on the last Saturday of the month and take the tour I would highly recommend it. Take a bottle of the Grand Cru home and drink it with your meal of choice, you wont be disappointed.  A word of warning, the tap room seems to be a favorite stop of the “San Diego Beer Tours” beer buses, so be prepared to run into a large crowded room of drunken tourgoers if you visit on a Saturday.

Beer at the Source is a user-friendly guide to tap rooms.

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