AleSmith was founded in 1995 and was inspired by handcrafted European ales. In 1998, they won their first award with the scandalously named "Horny Devil Ale."
However, the awards didn't stop there. AleSmith has received critical acclaim for many of its beers and was named Small Brewing Company and Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. AleSmith currently has the crown as the top brewery in the world and the number one California brewery based on customer reviews on RateBeer.com.
In 2015, AleSmith moved to its current location in Miramar, which is only two blocks away from the original brewery. The new space includes the largest beer tasting room in San Diego.
AleSmith (like many of the other breweries on our list) is located north of Downtown San Diego. It's in the same area as the main Ballast Point Brewery, so you can easily visit them in the same afternoon.
The AleSmith brewery is over 100,000 square feet and is the second largest brewery in San Diego.
Tours are less common than many other breweries. You only have the chance to tour the facilities on the weekend. Tours are offered Friday at 6pm or Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 4pm. The 45-minute tour covers the entire brewing and bottling process. The tour also includes any of the year-round AleSmith brews. AleSmith asks that you check in to your tour at least 15 minutes early.
The giant tasting room opens at 11am daily, and closes between 9–11pm, depending on the night.
Cover photo by Fred Crandon on Unsplash