Drive northwest of out San Diego, through some hills and trees for 20 minutes, and behold Mira Mesa. I’ve coined this place the city of beer. Why? Because there’s about 20 breweries within 4 miles of each other. That’s a generous distance I just gave too… I swear, there’s like 10 in this one industrial park center alone.
Anyway, we had no idea what a glorious place this was so we only planned a short evening trip here, primarily for Ballast Point. My recommendation would be to figure out the train thingy/take an Uber and make a night of it.
Cellar 3 is a Green Flash brewery technically another 30 minutes away in Poway, but for the sake of this nicely themed blog article will be in Mira Mesa with its other Green Flash location. They specialize in barrel-aged beers. Prepare for your mouth to pucker up!
Cellar 3 is not for the faint of heart. It’s quite the sour experience– a bit on the overwhelming side if I’m being honest. If you’re into that, this is totally your place. If not, be warned.
The beers are solid though. Obviously, it’s Green Flash. We tried:
- Cosmic Ristretto
- Natura Morta with Boysenberry
- Le Freak
- Nouveau Tarte
- Blanc Tarte Barrique
If you’re trying to keep to a Mira Mesa route, their Green Flash location is actually nearby. Check it out and tell me about it!
AleSmith Brewing Company
This place is in a large industrial space with a huge taproom and patio (and food!). The beers were really unique and the bartender was awesome. He recommended a bunch of great beers and was the first to inform us of how many breweries we were surrounded by. Thanks, sir!
It was one of my favorite breweries of the trip and I’d recommend checking it out. While there, we had:
- Caribbean Jerk Speedway
- Alesmith x Mikkeller Porter
- Mexican Popsicle
- Lemon Lime
These beers had a bunch of flavor, from orange/mango, to lemon/lime, to cinnamon/ginger. I love how malleable ales are! Is that what their name means? Hmmm….
Duck Foot Brewing Company
Duck Foot is a “gluten free” brewery which is awesome for anyone that can’t drink regular beer. I wasn’t a huge fan of their beers though and the place was on the smaller side. However, if you like spicy, they have a chile beer that will melt your face off. Seriously. So hot.
- The Rojoe
- Chocolate Hazelnut Porter
- The Looker
- The Contender IPA with Chiles
It’s not a brewery I’d recommend if you’re trying to slim down your list, however if you have a gluten intolerance or just want to check it out, then go for it.
Pure Project Brewing
.1 miles around the corner is Pure Project. This little place is so earthy, complete with a living wall! Luckily it wasn’t crowded when we went there, as I could see it being a bit tight with 20 people or so. The three beers I tried were THREEMILE, Romeo and Julius, and Evageline. THREEMILE, which is an imperial porter, was super tasty! Overall, I liked the nature vibe (so California) and the beers were good enough that I’d recommend. It’s hard to tell only trying three, so let me know if I steered you in the wrong direction.
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Half a mile around another corner is Ballast Point. I’m not sure why I was surprised by how large this facility is, but I was. The place was packed, especially by comparison to all the other breweries and considering it was a weeknight. I can’t imagine what a weekend would be like! Plan accordingly.
They have a huge bar area and plenty of table seating, almost like a restaurant. We got a spot at the bar to grab a bite and flight. They had a TON of beer on tap, including quite a number of Victory at Sea variations. We had:
- Victory at the Sea Fennel and Orange
- Victory at the Sea Salted Caramel
- Victory at the Sea Oreo Cookies
- Even Keel
- The Lone Shark
- Watermelon Dorado
I’d definitely recommend testing out the different flavors. It’s fun to compare the same beer different way.
And that’s the final chapter of my latest San Diego adventure! It’s a playground for beer drinkers and hopefully you can check it out soon. Definitely plan ahead as there’s a lot to do and limited time. But don’t worry– if you’re like me, you’ll be back there in no time!