As the longest operating brewery in San Diego, Karl Strauss has quite the legacy in the burgeoning brewery scene of the city. It is often credited as the brewery that began the craft brew craze of San Diego County. Yet it’s not only locally recognized — the team continues to make some of the best beers in the country. Karl Strauss beers have won nearly 100 medals since 2009 alone, and has taken top honors as the best mid-size brewery at the Great American Beer Festival.
Their brewpub in downtown San Diego was the city’s first, opting for stronger handcrafted flavors against the light, mass-produced popular American beers. Today they’re making several different types of beers, including their popular San Diego-style IPA. The amber ales, pale ales, wheat ales, and stouts also receive high praise. As a founder of the San Diego brewing scene, it is recognized as an essential stop on any beer tour of the city.
The main tasting room is in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday from 2pm for tastings or sipping in their beer garden. There are five other brewery locations throughout the city of San Diego, and a few others spread out Southern California.