San Diego is currently one of the best craft beer cities in the country. Potentially the best. However, there wasn't much of a craft beer scene back in the 1980s. That all changed once Karl Strauss opened its doors in 1989.
The Brewery is named after Karl M. Strauss, a German immigrant who came to the United States in 1939. He then helped formulate the current recipe for Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is still popular today. After retirement at Pabst, he became a beer consultant and helped breweries master their craft. One such brewery was (unsurprisingly) Karl Strauss, where he served as brewmaster from the brewery's founding in 1989 until his passing in 2006.
Karl Strauss has grown considerably over the years and now has many locations across California. When in San Diego, you're going to want to go to the beer garden, which is located just north of Downtown San Diego. The beer garden is actually in a garden, and you can sip your beer next to a pond (complete with lilypads).
The beer garden is open from 4–9pm on Thursday and Friday and 12–6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Brewery tours are offered on Saturday and Sunday. You will be shown the entire brewing process as well as the history of the brewery, which was the first craft brewery in San Diego. The tour lasts approximately one hour.
Karl Strauss offers a number of tasty beers, with a particularly large selection of IPAs. Perhaps the most creatively named beer is the "Frank the Dank Double IPA," which clocks in 8.5% ABV. Give it a try and jumpstart your weekend.
Cover photo by Giovanna Gomes on Unsplash.