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Ten Best Breweries in San Diego


San Diego is known for its craft beer.  In fact, it’s been the “Craft Beer Capital” of the United States for years. There are over a hundred breweries in the San Diego area. Many of them have excellent reviews, which makes it difficult to choose which ones to visit. If you’re in the area and want to do some beer tasting, check out the local breweries on our list. These are our selection of the ten best breweries in San Diego.


Pure Project

Pure Project has an interesting history.  Their journey into craft brewing started in Costa Rica. Owners Jesse Pine and Matt Robar, friends from San Diego, started their brewery in the jungles of Costa Rica. The two had a vision of bringing craft beer to Costa Rica.

They wanted a brewery that used local, natural ingredients and also one that cared for the environment in the process. Pure Vida was born. It started in Costa Rica, but after a couple of years, they had an opportunity to bring their craft beer to San Diego. They took their original concept and brought it to San Diego.  It’s now one of the most popular breweries in San Diego.


Modern Times Beer

If you love coffee and craft beer, you will love Modern Times Beer. This San Diego brewery offers a unique selection of specialty beer with coffee-infused flavors.  If you are a coffee lover, this is a brewery you have to check out. Modern Times has several locations, tasting rooms, and a selection of Modern Time favorites that include Hoppy Tropical, Coffee Roasty, and Mazy Mozaic IPA.

AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Brewing Company is not just one of San Diego’s most popular breweries, they are also one of the best breweries in the world. In fact, they are ranked number 6 among over 33,000 breweries worldwide, according to AleSmith Brewing Company has a great selection of craft beer to select from. in addition to that, they are committed to delivering outstanding service to guests in their establishment, which is a key factor in their success.


Ballast Point Brewing

Ballast Point Brewing has been brewing craft beer in San Diego since 1992. As one of the older breweries in the area, they have developed a great reputation. They’re not just brewers, they are artists both in their beer making and their beer labels. 

The beer labels were designed by artist Paul Elder and he has been part of Ballast Point’s success. They are one of San Diego’s best breweries, and one of the best craft breweries in the country.


Mission Brewery

Established in 1913, Mission Brewery is one of San Diego’s oldest brewing companies. The business closed down during the first few years of Prohibition, But in 2007 owner Dan Selis brought the brand back to life and moved it to San Diego.

With just one location, it is one of the largest breweries in San Diego. All of their brews are canned and kegged on-site. They are one of the top craft breweries in San Diego and have won over 50 National and International awards for their craft beers.


Protector Brewery

Protector Brewery is one of the newer breweries in the area, but it has a great reputation for crafting organic beer.  In 2021, they were awarded the New York Internation Beer Competion’s award San Diego IPA Brewery of the Year.

Owner Sean Haggerty is a U.S. veteran and Navy Seal. He crafted his first beer while serving in Iraq. Since there was no beer available there, he decided to try making his own. After making his first batch, his passion just grew. This led to the creation of Protector Brewery in 2017. He named it “Protector Brewery” because, like his time as a Navy SEAL, he wants to protect – his country and the earth.


Societe Brewing Company

Founded in 2012, Societe Brewing Company was created around the idea that beer is beer brings people together.  That’s why it was named Societe, which means ‘society.’  This was inspired the name and what their brewing company is all about. 

This small independently owned brewery is best known for their IPAs, but they also produce other styles of beer. If you’re visiting, be sure to check out their Pupil IPA. If you’re looking for something lighter, try their Harlot Blonde Ale. It has a unique light, crisp floral flavor.

Border X Brewing

As one of San Diego’s first Latino-owned breweries, Border X offers some distinct culturally-inspired Latin American favors, such as Aqua de Jamaica and Abuelita’s Chocolate Stout. Founded in 2013, by David Favela, his brother, and two nephews, they wanted to incorporate their Mexican heritage into their brewery.  This brewery appeals to the Hispanic community in the area, but it’s also become a San Diego favorite.


Resident Brewing

Brewing beer started as a hobby for Resident Brewing founder Robert Masterson.  In 2013, he took home first place for his IPA. He won first and third place in 2014 in another competition. His family and friends saw his potential, so they encouraged him to start his own brewery. Resident Brewing started as a small idea, but investors recognized h’s potential and helped to launch Resident Brewing. It has become a local hit with its innovative and different brews.


Hopnonymous Brewing Company 

Hopnomyous Brewing Company was founded in 2018. They won the hearts of beer enthusiasts in San Diego County due to their unique craft beers and great customer service. In 2022, they took first place in the San Diego Beer News competition for customer service. Two of their craft beers also took third place.