From the southern fried chicken restaurant Side Street Merchants, to the San Diego Pretzel Shop, to the recent addition of a Matcha-only café called Holy Matcha, North Park is no stranger to shops and restaurants that specialize in niche products. Thankfully, this appreciation for specialty goods holds true for North Park beers as well. Read on for three artisan North Park breweries that the San Diego Growing Bitter team loves.
1. Mike Hess Brewing
Mike Hess Brewing’s production and tasting location in North Park has a striking exterior. Because of its open layout, passersby can check out the outdoor patio, Hess employees working the 30bbl. brew system, and frequenters enjoying a flight and round of Jenga, all from the sidewalk. Gently lit year-round with strings of
twinkle lights on the ceilings and accented with modern wood furniture and featured art from local artists, Hess has a chill vibe that encourages customers to stay and relax. Furthered by its small selection of delicious brews, including a Grapefruit Solis IPA that rivals Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin and the award-winning Claritas, which won best German Style Kölsch in the 2016 World Beer Cup competition, Hess is a top choice for North Park beer.
2. Modern Times
Of these three breweries, the atmosphere inside Modern Times is the best fit for its North Park location, AKA the Flavordome. From the hundreds of re-purposed lampshades lining the ceiling, to the old book pages used as wallpaper, to the floppy discs arranged on the wall, Modern Times has a truly unique look. The only thing more intriguing than the décor inside this Modern Times location are some of their delightful and interesting beers. From the Spice Box, an American-style porter accented with mulling spices and brandy-smoked hickory, to the Black House oatmeal-stout nitro, infused with coffee, cocoa, and coconut, Modern Times has a knack for identifying and combining unexpected flavors for taste-y results.
3. Thorn St. Brewery
Hidden in the southern side of North Park, Thorn St. Brewery is wedged between BBQ favorite, Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado, and Coronado Spice & Tea. While Thorn is a bit off the beaten path, North Park residents know that this corner is a great place to grab a drink without fighting the crowds. Best known for its creative combinations, most famously the OG HighPA, a cannabis-flavored Indian session ale, Thorn takes dank beer to the next (very literal) level. Plus, given its neighbors, Thorn St. regulars will argue that the best way to enjoy Thorn’s many brew choices is along side a dinner of fragrant and juicy ribs, pulled pork, or brisket, or a dessert of homemade ice cream from the spice shop.
Give us a shout if you know a North Park brewery that should have made the list, or click here to read more about top breweries in Rancho Bernardo.
-The Growing Bitter Team