Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 4
The crew at BeerSunFun knows that to find some of the most unique and best-tasting food and beer around San Diego, one has to seek out hole-in-the-wall establishments. Little did we know that we would find ourselves circling blocks and resorting to GPS to find this next brewery. Although it’s not exactly a hole-in-the-wall, if you’re not looking up (or looking for Wonder Bread), then you will probably miss this brewhouse. A few Google-map searches later, we stumbled upon Mission Brewery in downtown San Diego.
Mission Brewery occupies what was formerly a Wonder Bread factory warehouse just blocks away from Petco Park in downtown San Diego. Their tasting room is popular among suits in need of a watering hole after work and baseball fans who are looking to toss back a few beers before a Padres game. They have flat screens televisions so you can watch the Padres game even if you forget to make it in for first pitch, a shuffle board table, and a foosball table to keep patrons occupied and happy. However, when you brew your own beer, there isn’t much you have to do to keep people happy–just make sure you don’t run out of pint glasses.
Mission offers an award-winning arsenal of 7 craft beers on tap daily as well as a cask beer every Friday night. The Mission Hefeweizen, standing with a 5.3% ABV, will satisfy those looking for a light, refreshing summer beer. Straying away from the usual citrus notes Hefeweizens are associated with, the Mission Hefeweizen tantalizes the palate with a surprising banana flavor. Their popular Shipwrecked Double IPA offers the intense hop aroma usually associated with India Pale Ales balanced with a smooth finish. Toss back one too many of these 9.25% ABV IIPAs and it’s no surprise how Mission Brewery came up with the name. You may not have a ship, but you will probably find yourself wrecked. Be careful about purchasing a Shipwrecked growler; you will definitely want to have someone to share it with.
Breweries have long been known to offer beer growlers to guests so that they can enjoy their favorite brew at home after they leave. Mission Brewery offers growlers as well, however, if you’re not looking for a breakable glass container for your beer, they also offer a unique alternative that no other San Diego brewery has yet to distribute. Say hello to a tailgater’s best friend: beer-in-a-box. Given Mission Brewery’s location, just blocks away from Petco Park, and across the street from Petco’s tailgate parking lot, beer-in-a-box is an ingenious solution for those who are tired of drinking Coors Light cans or hiding their glass bottles from the ever-roaming security guards. If only Mission Brewery was selling beer-in-a-box before the beach alcohol ban… The 1-gallon boxes have the same shelf-life as a standard growler, which is typically up to 5 days.
In addition to beer-in-a-box, Mission Brewery also proudly sells belts and bullets in support of local veterans charities. Don’t worry, these bullets aren’t meant to be loaded into a shotgun. The bullets, re-purposed by Bullets 2 Bandages, are actually bottle openers. 15% of the proceeds from the sale of the bottle openers and bullet belts go to charities like Green Beach America. Green Beach is dedicated to providing housing for disabled veterans in San Diego.
Next time you find yourself looking for a place to tailgate before a Padres game or in the need of some great San Diego craft beer to drink in the tailgate lot, stop by the Wonder Bread factory and try Mission Brewery. You can tailgate, challenge your friends to shuffleboard, donate to charity, get a bottle opener made out of a real bullet, and take your favorite beer to go…in a box. You can even bring your pup- Mission Brewery is dog-friendly.