10. San Diego Brewing
This is a good way to make enemies among your Southern California friends who love small brewers: Pick any
as a favorite. This town is flooded with great breweries including Alpine, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, AleSmith and Ballast Point and has great brewpubs such as Pizza Port and Stone Brewing's to choose from. Heck, Stone's is a sustainable beer that sells at Disney World and it somehow didn't make this list.
All that said, we can see where voters were going with this pick. The brewpub/sports bar took the name of a brewery that operated in town from 1896 to 1942, but is content to be a populist little spot in the shadow of the Chargers' home at Qualcomm Stadium. Its Infinitude IPA is mild by San Diego standards at 6.8 alcohol by volume, while its Grantville Gold (4.5% ABV), San Diego Amber (5.5% ABV) and Old Nut Brown (5.7% ABV) are milder brews meant to reel in sports fans still taking baby steps away from light lager and Gordon Biersch. It's an apps/burgers/sandwich/pizza place that isn't bowling anyone over with its culinary acumen, but should impress or at least surprise beer lovers with its 45 taps.
It's a bit of a spectrum -- with Coors Light, Guinness and Young's on one end and Russian River Damnation, Port Brewing Anniversary and Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA on the other -- but that means it has a bit of something for everybody. Whether you're bringing your Chargers-fan friend who never met a Belgian beer she didn't loathe or your beer snob buddy who vows to one day make his dentures lemon fresh by cleaning them in Leinenkugel, San Diego Brewing is some fine middle ground.