Top 16 San Diego Breweries for You and Your Dog
One of the best parts about living in San Diego is the fact that we’ve got some 115 (and counting) craft breweries within SD County borders, ranging in size from nationally-known big boys like Stone and Ballast Point down to hole in the wall — yet equally tasty — spots like Groundswell and Pure. With the city being very dog-friendly across the board, it’s no surprise that a lot of the best breweries in San Diego welcome dogs along with their two-legged patrons. Here’s a list of some of my favorites that I recommend whether you’re a local or a beer tourist looking for the best San Diego breweries to visit with your dog.
THE 16 BEST SAN DIEGO BREWERIES FOR YOU & YOUR DOG
Societe Brewing — Kearny Mesa
Known for their old world-style stouts and Belgian ales as well as several variations of lagers, pale ales, and west coast IPAs, Societe has an expansive tasting room with a small fenced-in patio area, and dogs (as well as kids) are welcome inside as well.
Helix Brewing — La Mesa
Indoor/outdoor brewery and taproom just around the corner from Bolt off the Spring Street exit from the 8. Cornhole area and plenty of table seating both inside and in the tree-lined patio.
B2BBeerDog keeping the Helix tasting room safe from squirrels
Mission Brewery — East Village
Located right next to Petco Park which makes it the perfect stop before or after a Padres game, Mission Brewery is housed in an old Wonder Bread factory leaving plenty of room for dogs to roam. They host Yappy Hour dog events once a month as well. Mission recently completed a taproom expansion into a neighboring unit so getting back downtown to check it out is on my to-do list. They sell some pretty cool bottle openers too, so be sure to ask about them…..
Ballast Point — Little Italy
I can’t speak with any certainty about their primary brewing locations at Scripps Ranch and Miramar since I haven’t been to either in awhile. But their India Street location minutes from Gaslamp and the SD Airport has a large patio area (partially covered) for you to enjoy the offerings from their kitchen and the 20+ taps that are active on any given day.
Green Flash Brewing — Mira Mesa
Big tasting room, regular brewery tours, and an outdoor area with plenty of seating. 20+ taps of Green Flash and Alpine beer to choose from, many of which you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll usually find a food truck or two pulled up on weekends. Dogs welcome inside and outside.
Second Chance Beer Co. — Rancho Bernardo
I just visited this spot for the first time about a month ago and (in addition to some great beers) their tasting room had plenty of room for dogs to run around as well as a kids play area. And a cornhole play area for grown-ups.
Bolt Brewery — La Mesa
Bolt’s outdoor beer garden (with some recently-added overhead cover) is co-located with their brewing facility near the Spring Street exit off the 8 in La Mesa. Dogs can roam around the picnic tables and open area and you can usually find tacos or quesadillas being sold from a tent next to their beer trailer. They’ve also got a taproom in Little Italy but at the moment I can’t recall if I saw dogs in attendance when I visited there.
Helm’s Brewing — Kearny Mesa
Small brewery tucked into a strip of light industrial buildings behind the Harley-Davidson shop off the 163 and Clairemont Mesa Blvd — there’s usually a food truck present on weekends and dogs are welcome inside.
Duck Foot Brewing — Miramar
Located in the brewery-rich area just north of MCAS Miramar, Duck Foot specialized in gluten-reduced and gluten-free beers. Don’t let that scare you off though…during my first visit there I didn’t realize anything was unusual about the beer until the bartender pointed out that fact to me.
Fall Brewing — North Park
Up and coming brewery on 30th Street in the craft beer oasis of North Park — on the weekends you’ll almost always find a food truck out front or you can walk 100ft to the left of the entrance and get some quality Hawaiian food at Chris’ Ono Grinds.
Pure Project — Miramar
Small tasting room but you’re likely to see several dogs in attendance, based on the fact that I saw roughly one dog for every four humans during my first trip there. Their Jolene Kentucky Common was unlike anything I can remember having lately, and their more standard offerings of coffee stouts, IPAs, and double IPAs were solid as well.
BNS Brewing — Santee
Their recently reopened tasting room is dog-friendly both inside and outside, and you’ll probably see the BNS chocolate lab making its rounds during your visit. Despite visiting this East County location on a toasty summer day it was nice and cool inside…and they offer free burgers on Sundays which was a bonus.
B2BBeerDog is not impressed with the tasty mosaic pale ale behind her
Groundswell Brewing — Mission Gorge
Tucked into a small strip of businesses near the intersection of Friars and Mission Gorge about a mile north of the 8, you probably won’t just stumble upon this taproom but if you find yourself in Mission Gorge/Mission Valley it’s definitely worth a visit. Not much to eat in the neighborhood so bring your own food or check to see if they’ve got a food truck there before you head over.
Benchmark Brewing — Mission Gorge
Another one you’re unlikely to stumble upon accidentally — about a quarter-mile north of the Home Depot off the 8 in Mission Gorge, and also (thankfully) only a mile or so from B2B Global Headquarters. No gimmicks here and nothing fancy about this tasting room so the focus is on the beer, which trends toward lower ABV stouts, IPAs, and Belgian ales, in addition to their River Rye and usually something small-batch on cask.
One of two Rhodesian Ridgebacks standing guard during my last visit to Benchmark
Bay City Brewing — Point Loma
Located within spitting distance of the 8 as it dumps you into Point Loma and Ocean Beach, they’ve got a large warehouse-style inside area with plenty of tables and their bar as well as an outside space with picnic tables, food tents, and a cornhole setup.
Coronado Brewing — Linda Vista
This warehouse right off the 5 and Morena Boulevard hosts Coronado’s main brewing facility as well as a large tasting room and gift shop. Plenty of high-top tables and picnic tables for enjoying your BYO food (or food from the trucks that are often out front) and dogs are welcome throughout the bar and tasting room.
The Rhodesian Ridgebacks at it again, but slightly less alert this time.
Honorable Mention (i.e. not a brewery)
Hamilton’s Tavern — South Park
They don’t actually brew here at Hamilton’s but they’ve got a tap list that rivals what you’ll find anywhere else in town and an extensive assortment of grilled cheese sandwiches…and the dog to human ratio is generally in the 1:1 range.