The Beer Aliens visited Coronado Brewing’s tasting room in San Diego, CA to investigate the location, sample the beers offered and interrogate some of the locals. Upon arrival, we commented to each other that the building was quite large. Parking is available on the street but be sure to avoid the other business’ parking lots. There is also a beer bottle shaped bike rack out front.
Stepping through the front door, the building opens up and you are drawn inside by the inviting layout. To the right is the brewhouse sitting on a raised concrete floor. To the left is the bar area with its slatted wood ceiling, ample seating, gift shop area and the extensive tap array. On our visit, a human named Gordon greeted us upon arrival and explained the various offerings as he prepared sampling flights of Coronado Brewing’s beers.
If you are used to small, intimate craft beer tasting rooms, Coronado Brewing’s tasting room may seem gigantic. However, it still has that “be a part of the brewery” feeling that craft beer fans enjoy without being so small that you feel like you are in the way. You can sit at the bar or at one of several tables. The bar has high definition TVs for watching those strange human games called sports. Next to the bar is a whiteboard with all the currently available beers clearly listed. Gordon also informed us of some special brews that were on tap and not listed, so be sure to ask what specials are on tap on your visit.
Like most San Diego craft beer tasting rooms, if you get hungry while you are at Coronado Brewing, there is usually a food truck available with human food. One thing we noticed missing at Coronado Brewing’s tasting room was snacks. Not that we Beer Aliens can eat human food, but we did notice the lack of pretzels, etc in little bowls like we have seen at some other tasting rooms. Note: The Coronado Brewing Brewpub offers a full fare of human food along with their beers. We will visit and write a review of the Brewpub soon.
Gordon then told us that Coronado Brewing had recently acquired the building next door and that they were expanding into that building. They will be moving their storage and barrel aging equipment to the new building which will free up a lot of space in the tasting room. Coronado Brewing will be adding a second bar to the tasting room in the future and they are planning on holding more events in the tasting room. Be sure to stay tuned to BeerAlien.com for progress on the new building, changes to the tasting room and Coronado Brewing events .
The seating area has the Coronado Brewing gift shop wrapped around it. There are various styles of shirts and hats available as well as pint glass candles, beer soap, chapstick and other goodies. Each item is clearly marked with prices. There are enough choices in their gift shop area to please even the most discerning craft beer fan.
There are two bathrooms available, one for each gender of human. The men’s room was clean. The women’s room remained unexplored. Very soon after landing on Earth, we discovered that if you appear to be a human male, you must never go into a bathroom labeled as Women’s. Perhaps one day we will share that story, but for now, let us return to the review of Coronado Brewing’s tasting room.
Our flights consisted of five samples and they came with a Coronado Brewing postcard where Gordon had written down the names of each beer. Providing a reference for the beers in the flight is crucial so that we didn’t have to remember which beer was which. This is especially helpful once you discover a beer that you want to purchase bottles of for taking home. There is a well stocked cooler onsite with singles, four packs, sick packs and cases available for purchase.
While we were visiting, we had a surprise visit from Shawn DeWitt, one of the co-founders of Coronado Brewing. He was meeting with representatives of their Japanese distributor. Yes, that’s right, Coronado Brewing beer is available in Japan.
We briefly abducted Shawn while the Japanese team was distracted with their beers. We discussed the expansion of the Coronado Brewing tasting room, balancing time with family and work, their special beer Kiwi Herman and even vikings and lingonberries. Shawn was very animated about everything and we could tell his passion for his job is extreme. In all of our interrogations of humans, we have found that humans working in craft breweries seem to love their jobs more than humans that do not.
Oh and that special beer, Kiwi Herman that we mentioned? It is an IPA brewed with New Zealand hops. This beer is well worth the visit alone. Other stand out beers are Islander IPA, Mermaid’s Red Ale and Blue Ridge Coffee Stout. Some of the special brews that were available that we loved were El Borracho Brown, Stupid Stout, Wet Willie and Island Fever.
Overall, the Beer Aliens were extremely impressed with Coronado Brewing’s tasting room. From the inviting layout to the friendly staff to the fantastic beer, this was an enjoyable visit and we plan on frequent future visits.
Coronado Brewing’s tasting room:
1205 Knoxville St
San Diego, CA 92110
Sun-Thurs: 11am – 9pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – 9:30pm
Happy Hour M-F: 1-6pm
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