It was going to happen—it was just a matter of time. I have written a book. Not surprisingly, it is a guide to all of the breweries, brewpubs, brewery-restaurants, and other tasting venues in San Diego County. It will also come as no shock to frequent readers that the San Diego Beer News Complete Guide to San Diego Breweries is a critical guide to these facilities.
Like most written works covering San Diego’s rich and diverse brewing scene, the guide celebrates the fine operations that have led to this county being viewed the world over as one of, if not the best craft beer region in the world. But unlike most books, mine does not read like an advertorial wherein only the positives of each venue are discussed.
San Diego Beer News Complete Guide to San Diego Breweries
by Brandon Hernández
The San Diego Beer News Complete Guide to San Diego Breweries is just that—complete. All of its 70-plus operating brewhouses and more are included and synopsized honestly so that those using the guide have a realistic idea of what they will encounter before visiting each venue so they can make educated decisions on where to spend their time and money. The guide employs a three-category numeric rating system based on beer quality, service and setting, allowing readers to select what is most important to them in a craft beer experience and plan their itineraries accordingly.
Of course, no one person can serve as the definitive voice for every business of any type in San Diego. Realizing this, I employed a panel of industry insiders, bar and restaurant owners, craft beer quality assurance personnel, Cicerones (the beer world equivalent of the wine industry’s sommeliers), and other knowledgeable individuals when compiling the ratings for the guide.
This is my project, and as the author, I took it extremely seriously. But in the end, this guide isn’t about me. It’s about the people using it to find the best local craft beer experience possible as well as the businesses aiming to provide an experience. Through my extensive work writing about the San Diego brewing scene and immersion in the industry, I am uniquely qualified to bring this resource to consumers and ensure that the ratings provided are reliable and more than one person’s starry-eyed love letter or, conversely, their sour grapes. Bottom line, the guide will be something you can trust.
Expect something factual versus flowery. This is not my attempt to win a Pulitzer. As such, the guide is short on hyperbole and long on information. In addition to ratings and descriptions of each venue, the guide covers contact information, days of operation, styles of beers produced, seating and food options, and a wealth of other vital information. Think of it as something of a Zagat guide for San Diego craft beer. Pretty pictures are sacrificed for factual text and viable data, and nobody can buy their way in, nor are they asked to. The only way to score well in this book is to make exceptional beer, provide terrific service, and/or provide an amazing space in which to sample one's liquid wares. Period.
It’s my sincere honor and pleasure to bring this labor of love to the audience I love, and I am excited to share the book with craft beer-adoring locals and visitors alike. The book is in the process of being finalized and will be made available via Amazon.com in time for San Diego Beer Week, which begins on November 1 and carries through to November 10. Thank you to all of the experts who assisted in this project as well as the hard-working brewing company personnel and beer enthusiast audience whose support made the San Diego Beer News Complete Guide to San Diego Breweries both a necessity and a reality.