North Park Brewery Crawl: San Diego Part Two

Tuesday started innocent enough. We gazed at sea lions around La Jolla Cove and hiked Torrey Pines State Reserve. Then we went to Baja Beach Cafe for dinner and got margs the size of our faces BEFORE our planned brewery crawl. Not exaggerating… See ↓

Baja Beach Cafe Review

Well I’ll admit, that was probably poor planning but the night went on. We took a hella expensive, long Uber ride from Pacific Beach to North Park (which is confusing because it didn’t look that far away) for our six stop tour.

Note to beer go-ers: Make sure you start your night early! Some of the breweries close earlier than others. We got to Mike Hess around 8pm and it took about 5 hours to make it through all of these.

Mike Hess Brewing

I loved the actual brewery space, but I found their beer to be average. If you’re in the North Park area, I’d definitely still recommend checking it out. It’s one of the better breweries of the night and the beer wasn’t bad by any means– just not the best I’ve had in Cali. And Cali makes good beer, so standards are high!

The space was cool. There were dogs. They had a beer Christmas tree.  And you can walk on over to the rest after! Also, I’m not sure if it was just a special that night, but our flights came with free glassware. We packaged those bad boys up and somehow squeezed them into our carry-on for the trip home. We tried the following:

Coffee Grazias (Cream Ale)

Cappucino Porter

Solis Occasus IPA

Habitus (Rye IPA)

Grazias (Cream Ale)

8 West (Pale Wheat)

North Park Beer Company

North Park Beer ReviewThis place was literally a two minute walk from Mike Hess. In comparison, I liked Mike Hess better for both beer and the space, but this is a walkable brewery crawl so why not hit them all up. We didn’t stay long, but we tried:

Golden Phenix (Golden Ale)

Granada (Belgian Pale Ale)

Covington Cream Ale

Clinker (California Common)

Rip Current Brewing Company

About 5 minutes north was Rip Current. This was probably my second favorite North Park brewery of the night. The atmosphere was obviously very bright and surfer-y, and they had an ADORABLE surf board flight. How can you not love it?

Best of all, thanks to Lupulin Lust we learned that hops are female and proceeded to reference anatomical parts while drinking our hoppy beer the rest of the night. Good laughs. So, the verdict on their beer:

Hazardous Hazelnut (Porter)

Vanilla Storm (Imperial Porter)

Lupulin Lust (DIPA)

Orange Honey Cream Ale

Marine Layer Hefeweizen

Belching Beaver Brewery

Another 5 minutes up the street was my favorite brewery of the night. They had outstanding beer and a lot of interesting choices.  If you’re like me, you’re probably like “what is that name”. Belching Beaver? I think I made fun of it until we got there, but this place is definitely a must-see. It wasn’t huge or the unique industrial space I typically go for, but the beer was just that good to blow the others away!

Belching Beaver ReviewIn order of preference, we had:

Hop Highway IPA

Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Brett Heart (IPA)

Here Comes Mango (IPA)

Beaver Buzz Stout

Phantom Bride IPA

Viva La Beaver (Stout)

Pumpkin Spice Milk Stout

Barn Brewery

This is yet another short 5 minute walk away. After a quick pit stop at Jack in the Box (past closing, thanks for serving us still sir) we grabbed 4 beers here but I somehow only managed to log 3.

Rooster Call IPA

Big Mo IPA

3 Brown Bears (Brown Ale)

The brewery had a cozy ambiance and kind of reminded me of a cabin. I guess it was going for a country feel with its beer names. It obviously had barn doors, but it also had a nice little fireplace to hang out by. The beers weren’t special (and perhaps my least favorite of the night) but the space was a refreshing change of pace in the Cali scene.

Barn Brewery Review

Poor House Brewing Company

This was the furthest away and about a ten minute walk from Barn Brewery. It definitely wasn’t your typical Cali brewery, more like a locals bar, and perhaps a tad questionable. I think the best word for this place is interesting. It’s one of those words that doesn’t imply good or bad, just… interesting. They did have a larger selection and I rated the beers fairly high, but I don’t have full confidence that my judgement wasn’t swayed at this point. I mean I did have a shot (yes, shot because it’s that strong) of beer called Panty Dropper at 18.5%. Rough.

Poor House ReviewAlong with that, we tried:

Dark Times (Stout)

New Zealand Slang (IPA)

Bitter Winter (IPA)

Dark & Damp (Stout)

The House IPA

Little Dubliner (Irish Dry)

Town Spectre (Brown Ale)

Needless to say, after that “shot” we needed to head back to the hotel. Responsible me Uber-ed us to the nearest CVS first to pick up Pedialyte and Hot Pockets. Saving the squad from a hangover. Not all superheroes wear capes 💁.

So the next time you’re in the mood for a little bar crawl, hit up the North Park brewery circuit and make sure to have your recovery goodies on hand. It was definitely a fun adventure– especially on a Tuesday.

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