Guide to North Park’s craft beer scene

Ricardo Soltero

As San Diego’s reputation continues to grow as a craft beer heavyweight, so has the number of microbreweries.

With large start-ups in Miramar and a boom in tasting rooms downtown and in Little Italy, the last couple of years have seen the number of breweries and tasting rooms double, making San Diego the go-to destination for craft beer enthusiasts.

Stone Brewery, Ballast Point and Green Flash are already ranked among the best breweries around the world. The microbrewery expansion in North Park features the next wave of breweries that will continue to enhance San Diego’s position on the craft beer map.

Here are some of the best local and not-so local breweries that have made their way to North Park.

North Park Brewing, 3038 University Ave.

This new brewery recently opened its tasting room in the heart of North Park. Its limited selection features a combination of hoppy and malty brews. The lineup includes collaborations with other local breweries, complementing its growing selection of ales and lagers.

Belching Beaver, 4223 30th St.

The Vista-born brewery showcases seven beers that range from blondes to stouts. The current core beers include the award-winning Beaver’s Milk, Peanut Butter Milk Stout and Damned Double IPA — all of which placed in the World Beer Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Mike Hess Brewing Company, 3812 Grim Ave.

With a selection of malty and hoppy creations and with more than 10 different types of beers on tap daily, the Mike Hess Brewing Company in North Park boasts a state-of-the-art tasting bar and on-site brewing facility. It is currently the 11th largest brewery in San Diego.

Thorn Street Brewery, 3176 Thorn St.

Offering a dozen or more styles of beer on tap, Thorn Street focuses on malt-forward beers. A slick combination of North American, British and Belgian styles, you will find anything ranging from IPA’s, lagers and stouts. A relatively small brewery, Thorn Street produces a large quantity and variety of brews thanks to its focus on experimentation.

Rip Current Brewing, 4101 30th St.

Rip Current is a San Marcos-based brewery with a satellite location in North Park. The brewery features an assortment of beers that tend to have a more robust flavor consisting of big hoppy, sweet and malty beers. Rip Current makes flavorful beer in the classic American-brewing style.

Modern Times Flavordome, 3000 Upas St.

Modern Times presents a handful of unique beers alongside its plentiful roster of core beers. The brewery offers 16 beers on tap at its North Park location and specializes in hybrid brews, multiple variations of their core beers and experimental pilot batches. Of note, each month the brewery releases a special, 22-ounce bottled beer that usually includes one-off batches only available at that time.