The San Diego Beer Week ran from November 2-11 this year. Much like Los Angeles Beer Week, San Diego Beer Week celebrates all things craft beer in San Diego. Home to many fine breweries, San Diego serves a vast assortment of craft beer all over the county, from bars to restaurants to gastropubs and more. With plenty of beer events occurring each day, San Diego Beer Week ensured that anyone interested in beer would get a piece of the ale. The festivities kicked off with a beer fest on Saturday, November 3rd, which I did not have a chance to attend. Instead, I spent a day in San Diego this past weekend to catch the tail end of the week.

My first stop of the day brought me to AleSmith Brewing. Notoriously known for brewing one of the world’s best stouts, AleSmith held a release party for their Barrel Aged Speedway Stout. This limited release stout went for $27 per bottle and sold out in minutes. Luckily, I managed to purchase some bottles, so I not only came here to pick up my bottles, but to also enjoy the varieties of Speedway that the brewery poured that day.

My picks: Vietnamese (coffee) Speedway, Nitro Speedway, Evil Dead Red on cask, Speedway on cask.

The staff also allowed guests to roam the brewery towards the back. They even turned on the machines so guests could watch the bottling process.

At the very back, foodtrucks served food, while the brewery staff served flights of Speedway variations, which I had to purchase no questions asked.

During my time at AleSmith, I spoke with some locals and asked about good food in the area. One guest had mentioned Urge Gastropub. Now I had already heard of Urge prior because of an event there with The Bruery and Societe Brewing, so naturally this suggestion only helped to push me more towards Urge. My dish of choice? The Duck L’Orange Burger:

Om nom nom indeed!

After my late lunch, I headed to the closest brewery: Green Flash Brewing.

As a fan of malty beers, I felt out of place at a brewery that specializes in hoppy beers. Still, I could not resist the chance to take a tour of this brewery.

And of course, what better way to wrap up San Diego Beer Week than with an anniversary ale?

Next, I traveled to Ballast Point, the next nearest brewery from Green Flash. Their main event for the week took place at their Home Brew Mart elsewhere, so heading to the brewery yielded less than stellar results, despite a large crowd at the brewery. Regardless, I never regret any visit to a brewery, no matter how brief.

As the sun set, I used my final minutes of daylight to locate Societe Brewing.

Infamously known as the child prodigy of The Bruery, Societe thrives on only top quality beers. They do not muck around with their beers – they get straight to the point with the flavor and strength. All week, guests could find Societe beers all over San Diego, as the brewery hit up many places to spread their good name and their good cheers.

Night fell, and I decided to seek a haven to snag another beer or two, along with some good eating. Based on a recommendation from a friend, my journey brought me to The Linkery in North Park. For the life of me, I could not decipher this place: a craft beer bar that specializes in sausages, lights dim to set the mood, and a live DJ. I sensed too many mixed messages as I entered and made a bee line for the bar. Coincidentally, I spotted two gentlemen from Societe at the bar as well. After a quick introduction and chat, I sat down to order a beer and food. I ended up ordering something called El Salchichero:

After such a long day of eating and drinking, I could not hold anymore in me, so I had to take half of this eye candy of a plate to go.

I still cannot believe that all these activities consumed my entire day. I had so much more to do, more places to visit, and much more food & beer to eat & drink. Right now I ask myself- do I want to wait until next year’s San Diego Beer Week to travel down here again and explore? Obviously no – having opened my eyes and my world to brand new places, I do not need a special occasion to go visiting all these places. If I want to try new and amazing things, then I shall do so. I want you to also keep an open mind and try new things. Get out there and explore. You should not need a special event or week to persuade you into delving into something new. You never know what you may find by opening your senses.

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