50 beers of the year

San Diego brews that left a lasting impression over the past 12 months.

Tart Saison, Council Brewing
  • Tart Saison, Council Brewing

With more than 100 brewhouses in San Diego, hundreds of new beers are produced throughout the county each year. I have the good fortune of sampling a great many of them, and the following is a list, broken down by style, of the 50 local brews that really stuck with me in 2014. Some simply represent the best tasting beers I had all year, while others win points for innovation or tackling lesser celebrated styles, and doing it with style, precision, and a quality deliverable. No matter the beer, be assured that I proudly stand behind the selection of them all and highly recommend each one. Cheers to those who produced them. San Diego is a better place because they’re here.

India Pale Ales & Hoppy Beers

  • 32 North Nautical Mile IPA
  • Alpine Bine & Vine 3rd Anniversary IPA
  • AleSmith Pale Ale 394
  • Amplified Smokin’ Kiwi Smoked IPA
  • Aztec Hop Serpent Double IPA
  • Aztec Simrilla IPA
  • Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale
  • Fall Spirit of 77 IPA
  • Karl Strauss Mosaic Session Ale
  • Mike Hess North Park IPA
  • Nickel Hopster Douchebag Double IPA
  • Pacific Octo Rye IPA
  • Pizza Port Big Deal with Passion Fruit
  • Pizza Port Citra-R-Ama
  • Rip Current Hop Wine Quadruple IPA
  • Societe The Bachelor: Sorachi Ace

Stouts & Brown Ales

  • AleSmith Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Speedway Stout
  • Bagby Upside Down Frown Brown
  • Ballast Point Rye Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea Coffee & Vanilla Imperial Porter
  • Belching Beaver Horchata Imperial Stout:
  • Chris Banker/Stone/Insurgente Xocoveza Mocha Stout
  • Coronado/Cigar City Jurata Baltic Porter
  • Council Pirate’s Breakfast Imperial Oatmeal Stout
  • Iron Fist Rum Barrel-Aged Dark Days Imperial Stout
  • Mikhail’s Odd (2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels)
  • Modern Times Monsters Park Imperial Stout
  • O’Sullivan Bros. Catholic Guilt Smoked Porter
  • Pizza Port 2014 Strong Ale Blend
  • Pizza Port May The Port Be With You Imperial Porter
  • Saint Archer Coffee Brown

Belgian-style Ales

  • Benchmark Table Beer
  • Council Tart Saison
  • Culture Sour Grape
  • The Lost Abbey Veritas 014 Ale
  • Mother Earth Triple Swag
  • Rip Current Double Point Break Dubbel
  • Societe The Gleaner Saison
  • Stone Bang Bang (Red Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels)
  • Toolbox Tart X
  • URBN St. Saison

Other Styles

  • AleSmith Decadence 2014 Wheat Wine
  • Bolt Pilsner
  • Fallbrook Java Hill Coffee Cream Ale
  • Green Flash Sour Blonde
  • Green Flash Treasure Chest Barrel-Aged Saison with Plums
  • Indian Joe Mango Sour
  • Intergalactic 1st Anniversary Black Barley Wine
  • Monkey Paw Javier! Javier! English Strong Ale
  • Monkey Paw/Nickel Wrathchild Smoked Doppel Weizenbock
  • New English Barleywine

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It's a great list. Thanks. Love than benchmark table beer is on the list. Loving that session beers are the next thing in SD...

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