Before Prohibition, there had been seven breweries in San Diego. After repeal, there were three. Now the county is home to about 160 licensed craft breweries - the most of any region in the United States.
Perhaps no other industry is “more San Diego” than craft brewing. San Diego County has been called "the Craft Beer Capital of America."
Based on 2016 sales volume, three San Diego County breweries - Stone, Green Flash, and Karl Strauss - rank among the 50 largest craft brewers in the United States. San Diego County brewers pioneered the specialty beer style known as Double India Pale Ale (Double IPA), sometimes called San Diego Pale Ale.
San Diego’s brewing industry accounts for almost 30% of all craft breweries in California. Known as the Craft Beer Capital of the U.S., San Diego had 128 total operating breweries as of June 2016. Most breweries are growing and expanding and expect to hire additional workers to meet their needs.
Its beer culture is a draw for tourism, particularly during major festivals such as San Diego Beer Week and the San Diego International Beer Competition. Beer festivals promoted the new styles and educated a new generation of beer drinkers.
Home brewing clubs can be an accessible avenue for immersing yourself in the culture and industry
These small and independent American craft brewers contributed $55.7 billion to the US Economy. San Diego County breweries like Stone Brewing Co., AleSmith Brewing Company and Ballast Point Brewing Company are consistently rated among the top breweries in the world.
One-third of all the breweries in the county are located in the North County, along the 60-mile stretch of Route 78 from Oceanside to Julian. Sometimes this route is called the "Hops Highway."
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