Sure it’s a brewery, and it may get a little foamy on Fridays. But Tuesdays belong to the kids. Balloon artists wrangle shapes from their inflated canvases while kids eat for free, and parents sip signature and seasonal brews such as the Mermaid’s Red American Amber Ale.
The early 20th century birthed the first incarnation of Mission Brewery, in which California newsboys and other pre?Jazz Era scallywags tossed back their sudsy concoctions before Prohibition closed its doors. Despite its short tenure since its reestablishment in 2007, Mission Brewery has already snatched medals from the Great American Beer Festival and other competitions for its pantheon of brews. In its tasting room, patrons claim bottles or sample draft beers that include the Bavarian-style hefeweizen with hints of banana, clove, and pear; a russian imperial stout; or the Shipwrecked Double IPA, a strong concoction that, like walking on hot coals, benefits from a liberal use of hops. Located just a few blocks from the San Diego Padre's Petco Park, guests can enjoy tours through the rows of gleaming vats in the brewing chambers, which are housed in the historic Wonder Bread Building, rumored to be haunted by multicolored polka dots.
Tucked away on Cabot Drive off Miramar Road, this regional craft beer brewery has produced unique bottles of popular brew for almost two decades. Visitors make use of AleSmith Brewing Co.’s tasting room, which is standing room only with a few tables to gather around and compare the variety of beers. They specialize in American-style IPAs, having received national attention for these carefully crafted beers, while one of their most popular options is the award-winning Horny Devil, a citrus Belgian pale ale that combines fruity and spicy flavors, with a dry finish that goes down smoothly. Perhaps their best known is the Speedway Stout, a surprisingly drinkable stout that comes with a 12% ABV. Weekly tours of the working brew facility are also offered, allowing guests to peer behind the scenes of the brewing process, from barley and hops to beer in a glass.
Mike Hess Brewing’s original location is on Silverton Avenue in an industrial quarter of Miramar. The no-frills interior has an industrial attitude with large stainless steel tanks scattered throughout. The layout offers a unique vantage point, allowing guests to walk comfortably within the brewhouse and fermentation tanks. The craft brewery is recognized as one of the best in the city, and Mike Hess’s brewmasters are always passionate about their latest batch. Guests delight in trying standouts, such as the Grazias Vienna Cream Ale, a smooth beer featuring vanilla-like malts and slightly toasted flavors with a surprisingly dark finish. The space here is standing room only, and primarily offers tastings.
Communal picnic tables, industrial-era decor, and a massive backyard patio give Tiger!Tiger! the atmosphere of a beer garden. The beer list closely resembles that of sister bar Blind Lady, with the added bonus of craft beers served in pitchers.
Focused on the beers such as ales, porters, stouts, and IPAs, On The Tracks Brewery churns out handcrafted beers made in the Scottish and English style. Open weekdays at 4 p.m. and weekends at 1 p.m., the brewery opens its doors to the public, welcoming guests to try one of their house-brewed barley drinks at the tasting room. Try a flight of beer, sip samples, or bring along a pizza to enjoy with purchased pints.