Disclaimer: Cameron is in no way responsible for the contribution, nor shares the opinion of this first introductory paragraph. I-Jill, take full responsibility.
Sunday Funday. For many of us, we work our asses off all week (eh, maybe that’s exaggerating things a bit) just to get to Friday. TGIF-am I right? But honestly, Friday is not even in my top 3 favorite days of the week. My third favorite day of the week is Monday (probably the unpopular opinion) because I get to sit and relax, have my wine and watch The Bachelor. (Note: this is a judgment free blog.) Right ahead of Monday is Tuesday. You guys, I really love tacos, and San Diego does Taco Tuesday RIGHT. But neither Monday nor Tuesday can live up to the absolute love and adoration I feel for Sunday. I quite literally live for Sunday Funday. I wanna wake up to the sunshine, brunch hard with bottomless mimosas, soak up those beach rays…and that’s all just before noon. Lets keep this beautiful day forever young, people. So this post is solely dedicated to the real MVP of San Diego Sunday Funday spots: Ocean Beach. (Basic white girl intro ends here.)
In all seriousness though, we could go on forever about not only the reasons we love OB, but why it truly is our go-to spot when considering beaches and booze while being extremely dog friendly. To start, Dog Beach in OB is as close to heaven on earth as you can get. As you reach the crest of the dune leading to the start of the beach, the only sight ahead of you is that of the happiest doggies running around, fetching balls, splashing around in the waves. Leashed or unleashed, these furry friends have got their tails waggin, tongues and ears flappin, just living to chase the next ball in sight. The simplest word to describe the entire vibe of the beach is merely happy. Science has proven that it’s actually impossible to be unhappy when you’re surrounded by sand, sun and puppies. And unless you’re Donald Trump you can’t dispute science, so there’s that.
While one could probably spend all day just at this glorious beach, there comes a time when you will get thirsty. Or at least sunburned. Lucky for all of us, OB is filled with a ridiculous number of really awesome places to grab a bite or a beer. So why just limit yourself to one? Bar crawls are a pretty popular drinking event that can be organized in just about any place consisting of multiple bars within walking distance of one another. OB ups the anti because in OB you don’t just bar crawl-you brewery crawl. Honestly, how many places can you name where you can walk to 7 different breweries/tasting rooms along the same strip? Being a beer blog, I think you can determine for yourself the direction of this remaining post. While each brewery/tasting room has its unique reasons for being awesome, we’d like to highlight 3 that are particularly awesome.
In no particular order, we’ll start with the groovy, 70’s inspired vibe of the Kilowatt tasting room. This place really is all about its lighting, and its beer of course, but that should go without saying. Everywhere you look, from the bar top to the black light lounge to the lava lamps, the place is funky and fun and inspired. They even have a life sized Light Brite board that anyone can play with and make their own designs. The entire tasting room is dog friendly, but we especially love their patio out front, boasting a crowd-favorite, life-sized Jenga game and wild wall mural.
Lets talk about the real reason we’re here though: the beer. Kilowatt’s tap set up is customized like no other. The tap handles are all the same holographic silver metal, however the top of the taps spell out Ocean Beach. Kinda cool. No matter what kind of beer drinker you are, or maybe even if you’re one of those weird people who don’t like that taste of beer (we wouldn’t be friends anyway) there is something at Kilowatt for you. Their selection really runs the gamut. You can start on the lighter side with a Blonde or Hefeweizen, maybe a Pale Ale, but honestly why would you when you have options like their Passionfruit Green Tea Ale or Coconut Chai Porter. Kilowatt’s sour and strong ale selection for us is really where it’s at. How many other places have you heard of doing a Gin Barrel Aged Triple or Red Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Wine…and doing it well. For this visit, we started with a full pint of their Mango Pale Ale and Passion Fruit Green Tea Ale (both faves of ours) and finished off our stay with a flight of their fruit sours; Green Apple, Pomegranate, Raspberry and Tangerine. They truly were all equally tart and refreshing that we couldn’t decide on a clear favorite; a problem we’re okay with having.
The next stop on our crawl was directly across the street at Helm’s Brewing. This nautically-themed tasting room does a great job of having a wide variety of beers on tap. If you’re feeling something malty, we highly recommend the Beeruccino or the Batten Down Brown. They always have a great selection and variety of IPAs as well, whether you’re looking for an east or west coast style, or a red or rye, Helm’s has got you covered. On this particular visit we both opted for IPAs; Jill a northeast style and Cam a more traditional west coast style. Neither disappointed. Another thing you can always be sure to find at Helm’s is some good, local art. It’s always fun to go in and check out the new show they have up bringing their walls to life. Above all, we really love Helm’s for their staff. We’ve been a handful of times, and every time the beertender running the bar on any given day has been awesome, full of good conversation and lots of love for little Scoey.
The final stop of the day on our brewery crawl was right down the street at Culture Brewing. The vibe of Culture is very modern-industrial, with concrete walls and exposed wood ceiling beams. The concrete walls are covered with a beer glass pattern in the style of tagging/graffiti. This appropriately matches the skater style videos and surfer vibe of OB in general. The real eye catcher though is the floor to ceiling glass keg/tank room in the back of the space. To the right of the keg room, you will see a wall of local wine barrels, again adding to the modern-industrial look. On Sunday mornings, you can even relax with some yoga (Hoppy Yoga) before enjoying a pint or two and Tuesdays are Taster Tuesday where you can sip on 3 tasters for $3. We’ve visited a few times around the holidays when they were hosting pop up shops with local vendors and their featured local artists are forever changing. What we’re trying to say is there’s always something going on and it’s always a good time.
On this particular day, we met up with a few friends and enjoyed a round (or four) seated at the dry-bar immediately facing the street. Needless to say, the end of the day was as hazy as our IPAs, but isn’t that exactly how a brewery crawl should end? With each brewery being so different, they truly all fit perfectly into the culture and scene that is Ocean Beach. With the being the end of our crawl on that particular day, the OB breweries don’t end there! Which is both exciting and dangerous. See what we mean when we say there’s no better place to Sunday Funday?