You may not know unless you're from the are or a beer snob, but San Diego is one of the best and most exciting beer cities in the country. And in San Diego, nobody knows that better than residents of North County, home of the "Hops Highway."
The explosion of breweries in this part of San Diego has resulted in a fun beer festival season that will be in full swing soon, so right now is the time to make your plans to visit and score your Early Bird tickets. I've picked a few events you should attend this year:
Rhythm & Brews
For the fifth year in a row, the San Diego Brewer's Guild brings many of the nation’s most popular craft beers together with local musicians in a beautiful outdoor festival located in the historic Vista Village district. Over 60 breweries and live music... what more could you want?
- Date: Saturday, May 14
- Tickets: SDRhythmandBrews.com
San Diego Beer & Sake Festival
Head out to Harrah's and enjoy Japan Society's Mexican/Japanese/American fusion food and drinks... and maybe pull a slot machine handle or two. Guests will enjoy the dynamic sounds of San Diego Taiko, a Tuna Cutting Demonstration and a Cosplay Competition. Proceeds from the Beer & Sake Festival support educational and community outreach programs.
- Date: Friday, June 3
- Tickets: Japan-Society.org
San Diego International Beer Festival
This three-day festival is one of the best in the U.S., and we have it right here in our own backyard! There will be over 200 breweries from 11 countries represented. Non-drinking, General Admission, and VIP tickets are available. Last year's VIP menu included an International Charcuterie Station, Poutine Mega-Action Station, and Make-Your-Own Beer-y Dessert Station.
- Dates: Friday, June 17 - Sunday, June 19
- Tickets: SanDiegoBeerFestival.com
Stone 20th Anniversary Celebration & Beer Festival
Celebrate two decades of Stone Brewing leading the San Diego beer scene with several highly anticipated re-releases of a few crowd favorites, including the 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal stout and the 08.08.08 Vertical Epic ale. 100% of the ticket proceeds go to charities, so make plans for a fun night of altruistic beer drinking!
- Dates: Friday, August 19 - Saturday, August 20
- Tickets: StoneBrewing.com
Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest
This event is for the beer connoisseurs who like their hop drinks the way they like they're coffee (and, possibly their men)... STRONG! Pizza Port’s 20th Annual Festival has more than 80 beers on tap with an ABV higher than 8%. Various bottles of specialty beers will also be available. Bonus: Pizza Buddies ALL DAY! (Locals know the yummy doughy goodness of which I speak).
Dates and Tickets are not yet available, but it usually takes place the first weekend of December. I'll update as soon as we know!