There are over 50 breweries in San Diego County.
Check Web sites for tasting and tour hours.
Alesmith Brewing Company (9368 Cabot Drive, San Diego; 858-549-9888;alesmith.com) has a knack for dark and broody ales.
Hess Brewing Company (7955 Silverton Avenue, San Diego; 619-786-4377;hessbrewing.com), which plans to open a new tasting room in August, is a tiny craft brewery with a cultish following.
Karl Strauss Brewing Company (karlstrauss.com) is a longstanding craft brewery with multiple brewpubs and a growing collection of specialty ales. The distribution brewery is scheduled to open to the public later in 2012.
Stone Brewing Company and Stone World Bistro & Gardens (1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido; 760-294-7866; stonebrew.com) is a very large craft brewery with a huge lineup. The elaborately landscaped site frequently hosts themed beer festivals.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
Blind Lady Ale House (3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego; 619-255-2491;blindladyalehouse.com) features a well-edited tap list of two dozen beers.
Hamiltons Tavern (1521 30th Street, San Diego; 619-238-5460, hamiltonstavern.com) has 28 brews on tap, and a mix of local, international and domestic bottles.
Underbelly (750 West Fir Street, Suite 101, San Diego; 619-269-4626;godblessunderbelly.com) is a groovy, fresh-air ramen noodle counter in the heart of Little Italy. Two dozen beers are on tap, about half from the region.
Toronado (4026 30th Street, San Diego; 619-282-0456; www.toronadosd.com), the sibling to San Francisco’s iconic beer bar, offers a crisply curated tap list, and has a dizzying collection of bottles.