Toronado: San Diego, CA

Toronado. Duh! If you don’t know the name, it’s likely you don’t know much about the California beer scene.

A West Coast staple regardless of whether you’re at the original location in San Francisco, or the second location in San Diego. This is another gem in the North Park area of San Diego. There’s usually something from Russian River (Pliny a lot of times) and a great selection of other beers from around the country with a concentration around California beers.

It’s not as dive-ie as the San Francisco location and has actually recently gotten a facelift with the expansion into the surrounding storefront. The blue half-door stays the same as the other location though (you’ll know when you see it). Aside from the great beer selection, the food is also great. I’ll usually get the Pork Belly skewers which have always been amazing. An outdoor seating area is a great way to spend the night in the great San Diego weather. This is THE place to visit if you are into beer and visiting San Diego.

4026 30th St
San Diego, California

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Tiger! Tiger!: San Diego, CA


This is one of several favorite must-stop places in the North Park area of San Diego. This one is a beer bar that’s a bit different from most. This one sort of has a beer-garden type of feel with long picnic table seating. There are no waiters or waitresses..or actual bar seating. You order your beer at the counter, they bring it to you and you go back to your seat. It’s a bit different, but I like it. No need to flag someone down to try to get what you want and the beer line goes really quickly.

The tap list has been great all the times I’ve visited usually having some local California beers mixed up with some out of state goodies. There’s an outdoor seating area that closes at around 10PM, but there’s plenty of room inside to find a spot to sit. They also offer free bread at night which is a nice plus if you’re drinking it up for the the long haul.

3025 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104

Picture Credit to the Tiger!Tiger!

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Parker Pie: West Glover, VT

If you’ve taken the trip up to Hill Farmstead, why not go a little further North? Parker Pie is only 20 minutes from Hill Farmstead and a nice place to grab a pint, grab some pizza, do some beer shopping and relax outside. They consistently have great beers on tap and there has been regular sightings of Cantillon bottles for sale (in house consumption). The general store and small pizzeria is open during the day, the larger bar portion opens up at night and the outside deck is always open.

Parker Pie
161 County Rd
West Glover, VT 05875

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Lost Nation Brewing: Morristown, VT


If you’ve driven to Hill Farmstead from Waterbury, then chances are you’ve likely driven right past Lost Nation. Take a few minutes on your way up next time to stop here. The food is excellent, they have a large outdoor beer garden and offer a flight featuring all of their beers for a reasonable price. Although they do several different styles of beer, their flagship Gose is the way to go.

Lost Nation Brewing
87B Old Creamery Road
Morristown, VT 05661

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Craft Beer Cellar: Waterbury, VT

In an obviously good choice of locations, this craft beer store opened a location sandwiched between Prohibition Pig, Blackback and The Reservoir. This is basically a one stop shop for all things beer. They have an excellent selection of Vermont beers along with variety of others available from other parts of the world. They have a growler filling station with a tap list that changes regularly. They also sell home brewing equipment and supplies and have a constant fresh supply of hops and yeast. In addition, they sell different types of artisinal mustard, jelly and maple syrup for those that aren’t into beer. This is worth checking out – especially since it’s so convenient and located centrally in beer alley.

Craft Beer Cellar
3 Elm St
Waterbury, VT 05676

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Toronado: San Francisco, CA

An institution of the west coast craft beer world. This place has been a staple of the San Francisco craft beer scene for over 25 years. No frills, cash only, metal blasting and 30+ taps. Struck out on finding Russian River around the city? No need to look any further because it’s flowing here on the regular. Word class beer served without any pretentious attitudes that may go along with it. You won’t find any food, but can feel free to grab some tacos or pizza from one of the neighboring spots. Be prepared to throw some money in the juke box, grab a beer and bang your head. Worth visiting.

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La Trappe Cafe: San Francisco, CA

If you wound up going to Rouge Public House, then this is only a block away and is the only place where you should go for Belgian beers. Period. The outside is a little bit deceiving because after you walk through the front door, you’re pretty much in a kitchen. Don’t get worried though. Just head down the spiral staircase and you’re at the bar. The bar area is small and intimate with plenty of exposed brick and archways with some accents of brass. Bartenders here are patient and will typically be able to give you some great recommendations. However, they may require that you at least attempt to pronounce the beer you’re ordering. This place really gives off the vibe of an actual Belgian bar. You won’t find too much American craft beer here because the concentration is mostly Belgian where bottles of vintage Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen are common and flowing. Take your time while you’re here. Examine the extensive beer menu, grab some geuze and eat some mussels. Although the prices are a bit higher, it’s worth it to try at least one authentic lambic in a cozy atmosphere.

La Trappe Cafe
800 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94133

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