The Craft Beer Guide to the Best San Diego Bars

Bobby Dyer

Beer connoisseurs, it is time to tip your hats to the Mecca that the San Diego bar scene built for your enjoyment. Honoring both the plethora of local brews as well as featuring foreign and domestic arts, bars in San Diego have incredible selections and varieties to satisfy all beer palettes.
While almost any restaurant or bar serves up craft brews, here are our, as well as nationally recognized, favorites in the Craft Brew Capital.

Hamilton’s Tavern

Hamiltons Tavern San Diego
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A traditional alehouse in the heart of South Park, Hamilton’s focuses solely on offering the highest quality ales. As the oldest licensed location in San Diego, boasting 75 years of quality service, they take a different approach to the beer drinking experience, offering only 28 beers on tap, but over 200 bottled beers. Their goal is to emphasize traditional Belgian Craft Beers. And their craft is well recognized both locally and nationally topping numerous best bar lists.




Blind Lady Ale House

Blind Lady Alehoue San Diego
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Another frequent on the national best beer houses lists, the Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights décor sets the swanky mood with walls of vintage cans, retro beer murals and random kegs. Focused on perfecting the entire beer experience, they set the bar high for savoring beer, to the point that they even custom designed their tap system and pint glasses. Just for fun, check out their sister location Tiger! Tiger!



The Brew Project

The Brew Project San Diego
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A true tribute to the San Diego beer scene, the Brew Project in Mission Hills dedicated each of their thirty taps to local beers. Founded by two beer nerds, this is the perfect place for travelers to dive into all that defines the Craft Beer Capital.

Barrel Republic

Barrel Republic San Diego
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This revolutionary bar holds up to its slogan, “Freedom to Pour.” Championing as the first self serve bar with 44 different taps, Barrel Republic the place to sample away. Because they charge by ounce and not by pint, craft beer lovers have the freedom to explore, compare and enjoy the world of brews.


Draft Bar San Diego
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Combining the two best assets of San Diego, beer and the beach, the Draft in Mission Beach at the foot of the sand is as close as beer enthusiasts can get to enjoying both simultaneously, at least legally. With 69 brews on tap and over 50 bottled beers available, it won’t disappoint.



Toronado San Diego
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Following in the glory of the original infamous San Francisco establishment, Toronado in North Park is a laid back sanctuary to beer enthusiasts. They serve up 56 rotating quality drafts that their knowledgeable staff can easily help you navigate.


O'Briens Pub San Diego
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With a deep seeded passion for Belgian beers and rarities, O’Brien’s will delight even those skeptical about the craft beer scene. As your own personal beer scout, their 28 taps are always changing, pouring the best local and Belgian beers.

Small Bar

small bar San Diego
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A hidden gem in University Heights, Small Bar may live up to its name in dimensions, but there is nothing small about the atmosphere or their beer selection. With 38 craft brews on tap, including several local ones, you will be sure to find something you enjoy.

Slater’s 50/50

slaters 50/50 San Diego
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Alright, so technically the best burger joint around (how you can go wrong with burgers made 50% of bacon), Slater’s in Point Loma makes the cut with 110 beers on tap. Giving San Diego beer enthusiasts great local options, about 1/3 of the beers on tap are from the region.


So raise your glass and toast to good times, perfect weather and an abundance of fine beer establishments in San Diego.

Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.