I know I am only scratching the surface of where to drink in and around the San Diego area, but we found some pretty incredible breweries, bottle shops, and other places that I am so excited to share with you! And, since Toad&Co. was kind enough to inspire me to write this post, I wanted to do a brewery + outfit pairing! Check out my absolute favorite Toad&Co. suggestions, below.
We drove to California this past March, during our month in Arizona. We decided to visit my friends at HelloSociety Santa Monica, and then head to the San Diego/Escondido area. We only had about 5-6 days in California, but definitely made the most of it!
We knew there was a plethora of good beer in the San Diego area, so we decided to stay as close as we could, which would up being the Best Western in Escondido, CA. March Madness completely filled all of the hotels in the San Diego area, so Escondido was the closest and coolest place we could find at short notice. Funny enough, any time you mention "Escondido" to anyone in the area, they say, "You're going to visit Stone Brewing, right?".
Below, you will learn about the 4 breweries we visited, Stone Brewing, Toolbox Brewing, Modern Times, and Council Brewing.
At Stone Brewing, we were astounded by the immense scale of the tap room. The ceiling must go 2-3 stories up, and there are live plants and water features throughout the building. There is also a lovely outdoor area, where you can grab a drink and food with friends, or even let your kids run around in the gardens.
This pace was almost hard to find, because it's in a business park area, around nothing but office buildings. Also, the sign is rather small, so park near the hiking trail, and follow the intoxicating scent of hops through the bamboo garden walkway into either the store, brewery, or tap room(s).
And, if you don't wind up eating at Stone Brewing, we also ate at this incredibly wonderful restaurant called Spices Thai Cafe!
Since I promised you a list of Bottle Shops to visit (a.k.a. places to get insanely good, rare, and unique beer), here they are!
- Bottlecraft, Servall Liquors, Best Damn Beer Shop, Bine & Vine, Chip's Liquor, Holiday Wine & Spirits, Clemm's Bottle Shop, Fletcher Bottle Shop, Oak & Craft, and SO MANY MORE!!!
Toolbox Brewing Company is one of the most unique and special breweries we have ever visited. Their tap handles were made of tools (reminiscent of the San Diego Skyline), and the overall design of the place reminded me of an extremely clean mechanic's shop with lots of great merchandise to bring home with you. We had such a nice conversation with the brewery owner/founder, and learned so much about the local beer scene. They are making an effort to use their own experimental recipes, and I loved the Bog Sauce! Definitely stop by and take a look at all of those beautiful barrels!
At Modern Times Flavordome, located at 3000 Upas St. in San Diego, you will find some absolutely incredible beer and coffee! There is a second location as well. Their beer is superior to so many others, so if you are anywhere near this bar, please, please visit! If beer isn't your thing, you can always order a cold brew coffee, in a stemmed glass, like the one above, poured over ice.
Lamp shades hang from the ceiling of the tap room.
If you order a flight here, they serve it to you in the top of a wooden cigar box.
The best thing about Toad&Co clothing, is that it all looks incredibly polished, but is very, very comfortable! That is the exact sort of outfit I would recommend wearing to a brewery when it's nice and warm outside. Dresses are so versatile, and make sure you wear semi comfy shoes, because you never know where the day may take you when you're hunting for breweries to visit in the San Diego area!
Cold Brew Coffee, below, available if you don't want to get a beer - so smart!
Their tap list - I'm sure they've switched a few things up by this point :)
Mouth Watering Taps!
Several of the walls were completely covered in floppy discs! I guess their other location has a giant sticky note mural that features Michael Jackson + Bubbles.
Their bar was made of stacks and stacks of VHS tapes! So freaking cool! Definitely check out Modern Times if you get a chance, it's such a fun place.
Council Brewing greeted us with a gigantic wall of barrels - a very good sign, meaning they take lots of time to age their beers, as well as make lots of sour beers (yum)!!
The bartender was super nice and helpful, and did a great job managing the requests of everyone in the space. This brewery provides wide open space, ample seating, and a very relaxed environment. We tried several sour fruit beers, under their Beatitude line, and loved absolutely everything we had. I wish we could find their beer in Illinois.
A brighter dress is also a great option for a brewery visit in California! I would also recommend bringing a sweater or denim jacket as well, because so many of these breweries had their doors open at night, letting fresh air into the space - such a wonderful thing!
Such good beer! I love their fruit-based beers best.
Two of their special edition beers.
A flight of as many beers as you want! I think their glasses are adorable.
Where the magic happens...
Note** More photos will be added very soon! Stay Tuned :)