Tomorrow is the kick off of Comic-Con here in San Diego.
This is a big deal.
Whether you a fan of the massive pop culture convention or not, this show is huge for the city of San Diego. This is a tax revenue machine. We need that around here because in case you didn’t know, the potholes are not going to fix themselves.
This will be my 9th year attending comic-con. Hopefully you are still reading after that admission.
I’ve never really been able to find the right word to express my feelings but it’s kinda neat to see downtown San Diego get overrun with nerdy events like zombies runs at Petco Park when most of the time I try to avoid the gas lamp area due to the high concentration of douche-baggery on the weekends.
So what does this have to do with beer?
A lot actually.
During my misspent youth I was very fortunate to make some amazing friends who happen to work in and around the comic book industry. Most of these people live on the east coast, most of them in New York, so this convention is one of the few times during the year where we can get together and catch up on what’s new in our lives. So I sure as hell am not going to waste that time drinking Miller Lite.
What I like to do with my friends in town is showcase the amazing local craft beer scene to an audience who is most likely not familiar with the majority of them. It also helps that some of these guys who work in the industry know how to down a few.
Sometimes navigating the bar scene in downtown San Diego is tricky. It’s night clubs and cocktails as far as the eye can see. This is where a lot of trendy bars are happy to charge you $7 for a Budweiser. But as the years have passed more and more bars are serving up the good stuff. So here are three of my favorite spots to hit up for good brews when downtown.
The Local – Located on 4th Avenue just above Broadway, this bar has gotten known for serving up killer craft beers and a menu of tasty delights to satisfy anyone. One of the best things about the location during comic-con from my point of view is that for most comic-con goers, crossing Broadway is sort of a unofficial border. Most folks will not want to haul all their schwag from the convention center to this spot unless their hotel is nearby. This is good to know if you are planning to be downtown and want to avoid the convention crowd. 15 taps to choose from, a nice variety on any given night with what is usually a fun easy-going crowd.
Knotty Barrel – 844 Market St, over 20 taps and something around 70 different bottles/cans to choose from make this spot where you are sure to find a brew that will please your palette. It’s listed as a gastropub, so there is food to be found within as well. I’ve not had the opportunity to eat here yet, but what I’ve seen and smelled sure seemed like it would be a nice complement to beers you are able to choose from. Market street is also a spot where the con crowd tends to thin out. Last year was my first visit to this spot and I was pleased to find a seat easily and get my drinking started good and proper.
Mission Brewery – 1441 L St. If your going to be downtown anyways, why not stop off someplace where you can get the beer fresh from the source? 7 different brews to taste and in my opinion it’s always fun to talk to the people who brew the beers themselves. Simple, easy, fun and while I’m not 100% sure of what kind of crowd will be there over the comic con weekend, I can at least say they have pretty good taste in beers.
I’m always hopeful to find new places with craft beer and I’ve been getting some good reports about a few other spots downtown as well. I hope that this weekend will give me a chance to check out a few places I’ve never been before. I’m looking at you Monkey Paw Brewing! Pretty sure I’ll manage to find some time between long lines at the convention and burying my nose looking for back-issues of Spider-Man. Maybe next year we can get a Ballast Point station set-up inside the convention? Too good to be true.
If you go to show, have fun and try to be patient with the lines and the general orgasm of chaos that ensues when people see free shit. If you are avoiding the show, do it in style and have a few tasty brews with friends. Especially your friends who don’t know their craft beers yet. With any luck I’ll send my friends back home on a quest to find great craft beers in their area for me to sample on my next trip to visit them.
Oh, and let me know where you think I should go this weekend. I always like a strong recommendation.