The Haze Craze is here to stay and is just going to grow bigger in the coming months. While a few Los Angeles area breweries have been getting a lot of attention for the style, I want to focus this post on where you can find the haze in San Diego. I will continue to update this poss throughout the years as this information changes rapidly.
Last Updated: 7-25-19
The breweries in this post are not in any particular order. Higher or lower numbers do not reflect the quality of the beer.
1) Modern Times Brewing
(Sports Arena and North Park)
The brewery is doing monthly can releases you can pre-order online or buy direct from the source starting the release day party. Most of these beers show up on tap at the tasting room prior to release so you can figure out which ones you like best. Word on the street is the Modern Times hazy IPA cans hit the sweet spot after two weeks. Their latest release, Luna Park has hit the sweet spot of soft hazy beer with tons of fruit.
With the opening of Portland Oregon, DTLA, and other new spots for Modern Times, some of the specialty releases have been selling out more quickly. More importantly, Modern Times has also gotten more consistent recently with their thick creamy mouthfeel. This has brought me back to buying their cans more regularly.
2) Pure Project
(Miramar and soon Bankers Hill and Carlsbad)
Pure Project releases small batches of hazy beers at their tasting room on tap and does small batch can releases. The quality of Pure Project cans has improved even further in late 2018 and now 2019. Beers are now available in distribution more often and cans don’t sell out as quickly. Recent hazy releases show they have dialed in the mouthfeel of the hazy beers finally giving it the thick body that drew me to the style in the first place.
Note that my brother recently started working at Pure Project but I still give the beers as critical an eye as any other local brewery.
3) Mikkeller San Diego
(Miramar and Little Italy)
Mikkeller is doing regular small batch can releases and have already announced that they expect to do a number of hazy releases throughout the year. Hazy releases in 2017 have been impressive so far and Mikkeller is the first to add a regular hazy beer for distribution. Pay close attention to their description of each beer as they sometimes add things like lactose or honey to the IPAs. Mikkeller recommends drinking the beers within the first two weeks after purchase.
I haven’t noticed any similar dialing in of the style with Mikkeller as I have with others above.
4) Fall Brewing Company
Fall has been doing limited can releases of unfiltered IPAs for a while. I did not find the early variants of the beers to be hazy. Thankfully, over time they have figured out how to release these as hazy beers. I tasted one called “This is not my beautiful wife” at the tasting room in March of 2019 and it was fantastic. I look forward to trying other new hazy IPAs from them in the future.
5) Novo Brazil Brewing
Though much further south than most beer drinkers venture, Novo Brazil makes some impressive hazy IPAs. They have already had a few can releases in 2017 and some of them even found limited distribution outside the brewery.
6) Abnormal Beer Company
Abnormal has released an astounding number of IPAs over the short time they have been open. In 2016 they released New Money, their hazy IPA and it disappeared quickly from every bar that had it on tap. Abnormal’s hazy IPAs tend to be high on the hop acidity for those who enjoy that style.
Abnormal has been fairly hit and miss throughout 2019 with their various can releases. They now have their own canning line and are putting a ton of beers out into distribution.
7) Resident Brewing
(Downtown San Diego)
Resident released a hazy galaxy hop IPA in 2016 and followed it with other delicious hazy offerings. So far they have only been available on tap. A crowler machine was installed recently at the brewery, making it easier to take home this delicious beer. Because of their popularity they have done more limited crowler releases rather than having them available all the time.
Resident has recently in March of 2019 started doing can releases along with their crowler releases. The first beer for this release was their Chasing Citra, just in time for opening day. While the 4 packs are great, it is still worth seeking out crowler releases at the tasting room if you are in the area.
8) Burgeon Beer Company
This small brewery barely had a grand opening but already when I visited they had some excellent hazy IPAs. Burgeon has been sending their hazy IPAs into distribution more regularly along with their core lineup of IPAs. You can now find their beers fairly regularly in major liquor stores around San Diego for most of 2019 and on. The beers are also commonly found on draft around town.
9) Half Door Brewing
(Downtown San Diego)
Despite opening in the style of a traditional Irish Pub, Half Door hasn’t wasted any time experimenting with other styles. Half door makes some of the best hazy beer in San Diego though you must go to the tasting room to order it as they do not offer growlers. It is worth making a trip to try what they have to offer.
Though Half Door has not yet started to release cans, they have started filling growlers and crowlers out of the brewery as of early 2019.
10) Burning Beard
Burning Beard is known mostly for their traditionally balanced IPAs but they have been experimenting with hazy IPAs and they released a couple of small batch hazy IPAs in 2016 that were quite popular. With how delicious their core IPAs are, you can’t go wrong with anything from them.
Since my original post, Burning Beard released a highly impressive hazy double IPA at their 2nd Anniversary party in March of 2018. The beer mellowed nicely and was delicious, tropical and soft when I filled a growler with it almost 3 weeks later. If they continue to make hazy IPAs like this, they will soon become known for the style.
Recent updates to the post, March 29, 2019:
Council Brewing, ChuckAlek, and Toolbox have been removed from the post entirely now to recognize that they are no longer open. Fall Brewing has been added to the list.
Honorable mentions –
Gravity Heights opened recently and straight out the door had the hazy beers in the range one would expect.
North Park Brewing company has stepped up the consistency of their hazy beers lately as well, even occasionally canning some of them.