San Diego, Calif.
Craft beer lovers' Disneyland isn't in Anaheim. Stone still offers a free tour of its Escondido brewing facility and a look at how its Levitation low-alcohol session beer, Ruination IPA and high-octane Arrogant Bastard ales are made, but it's a sideshow compared with the offerings at its Stone World Bistro and Gardens.
Roughly 12,000 square feet of dining space get a floor-to-ceiling window onto the brewery and a one-acre garden of fruit trees, pine forest, flowering plants, brooks, koi ponds and fire features as its bookends. Where there isn't running water or flickering flame, there's a ton of bar-front seating lining the patio or tucked between stone formations.Even if this were the only brewery in town it'd be worth the trip, but San Diego and its mad beer geniuses Vince and Gina Marsaglia don't make it that easy. Their Pizza Port brewpubs, Port Brewing and Lost Abbey brew project weren't content to make some of the best beers a tourist can drink; they had to make their Lost Abbey Devotion, Hop 15 and Shark Attack Double Red Ale some of the best beer in the country. What this town does best, though, is straight hops. A visit to Green Flash, Alpine or Ballast Point should sends beer lovers away with enough Pure Hoppiness Double IPA, Green Flash Imperial IPA or Dorado Double IPA to leave them sufficiently bitter for the rest of the trip. Not just "my return flight's delayed" bitter, but "I just saw my ex sitting in first class with the lead of the movie I'm watching in coach" bitter.