Beer in San Diego? Heck yeah, San Diego has over 100 breweries. You knew that. I mean, everyone knows that! But if the only breweries you've visited have been the big names like Stone or Karl Strauss then come on a beer tasting safari with me and discover some cool little breweries in San Diego's North County.
Leave it to (Belching) Beaver
This is Belching Beaver Brewery in Vista. No, this doesn't look like a corporate joint like Rock Bottom Brewery or Gordon Biersch. And that's why I like it. A lot of the breweries in North County are housed in industrial parks and the guy behind the counter is usually the owner or beermeister. That's pretty cool. In fact, let me introduce you to Dave, one of the owners of Belching Beaver.
It might be a good time to mention that right in the same area is Iron Fist Brewing, Aztec Brewing, Indian Joe, Booze Brothers, and Lattitude 33. Mother Earth Brewing isn't too far away, either, so you can really make a day of this if you have the stamina. You can even get a cool Brewery Pass that gets you discounts at some of these. See, Local Wally is always looking out for you!
But wait a second, is that Mishmash Gourmet out in the parking lot? Whadda ya cooking?
This is anther thing I like about these smaller breweries. No corporate food, no frozen burger patties, no overpriced and overcooked "pub food", you can find some serious good eats, especially when it's Mishmash Gourmet.
Their "fish taco" is not what you might expect. It's seasoned tilapia on top of mango and arugula tossed with a zesty citrus vinaigrette stuffed into a crisp wonton on top of a bed of rice. $10 and definitely worth it.
And you have to get some fries, right? Especially when they have truffle parmesan fries. No wimpy serving, it's enough so you don't mind if your friend snakes a few. So take note, I have a beer, I have wonton tacos, I have fries, can it get any better?
Sure, you could sit inside but my favorite spot at Belching Beaver is under the oak trees on the back patio where there is often music on the weekend.
I'm a big fan of Jennifer Corday. Well, OK, I have only heard her once and that was this day but any singer who goes from The Carpenters to Joplin is A-OK in my book. Hey, how come I was the only one singing along to Top of the World????
So there you go, a few lost hours on a Sunday afternoon that, as Miss Landers from Leave it to Beaver would have said, I will never get back. But I am totally OK with that. Come visit Belching Beaver or any of the other Vista breweries this weekend and see what I mean. It's one of the Best Things to Do this Weekend in San Diego!