Döner kebabs are a popular fast-food treat throughout the Middle East, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, but they have yet to establish a firm presence in America. That’s why when JC Hill discovered them in Australia, he decided to bring them back to San Diego, and along with Alex Pierson and chef Will Harris, he opened California Kebab.
Almost exactly one year ago, California Kebab began brewing its own beers through its own “nano” brewery, Amplified Ale Works.
Electrocution IPA: A San Diego style IPA, this beer features tropical fruit and pine from heavy dry hopping.
Leggy Blond: A sessionable Belgian-style pale ale with notes of clove, spice and bubblegum and a silky mouthfeel from the addition of wheat. Perfect for lighter fare and warm weather.
Pig Nose Pale Ale: An extra pale ale dry hopped with cascade and meridian hops. Also features a toasty malt character that balances a moderate bitterness.
Rare Form: A layered, rich Belgian-style dark strong ale. Served in an 8-ounce snifter, it starts out with black cherries, dark raisins and fig, then transforms into burnt caramel and brown sugar.
California Kebab pours other breweries as well, so check the website to see what’s on tap.
4150 Mission Blvd., #208, (858) 270-5222, cali-kebab.com
SD Tap Room
With a dizzying array of beers on tap, SD Tap Room is the epicenter for any Pacific Beach beer lover.
The offerings range from good local standbys, like IPAs from both Green Flash and Stone to the more obscure, both local and imports, that are difficult to find on tap elsewhere. However, be sure to check the website for what’s being poured — and even then, don’t be surprised if what you were hankering for might be empty by the time you get there. If you don’t see what you want, however, there is an option to request a beer through the pub’s website.
SD Tap Room offers a range of events, including those coming up for San Diego Beer Week. For a full list of upcoming happenings, check the website.
Customers flock to SD Tap Room for more than beer. The food — ranging from stone-baked pizzas to burgers and steaks to mac ’n’ cheese (two flavor options: beer or lobster) — draws in crowds as much as the taps and TV screens do.
1269 Garnet Ave., (858) 274-1010, sdtaproom.com
Born in Solana Beach in the late 1980s, Pizza Port wasn’t originally intended to be a brewpub. Owner Vince Marsaglia began dabbling with home brewing in the restaurant’s storage space, but it soon became more than just a hobby and Pizza Port introduced its first brews to the public in 1992.
The brews quickly became local favorites and, by 2010, the restaurant boasted four locations, including one in Ocean Beach.
A few favorite brews:
Skidmark Brown: Marris Otter base malt and English hops
Newbreak Pale Ale: The house pale ale, it’s brewed with a mix of American and English hops and grain.
OB Chronic: An amber ale brewed year round with English malt and American hops.
1956 Bacon St., (619) 224-4700, pizzaport.com
Featuring a wide selection of innovative and unique pub fare — like duck-fat fries, pork-belly hush puppies, short-rib sliders and a chicken-bacon sandwich — for brunch, lunch and dinner, Sessions Public truly offers something you can’t find elsewhere. The restaurant really focuses on beer, though it has an impressive list of wine and spirits, as well. It features 20 beers on tap every day, a list of which is update on the website daily. Check out the frequent specials and happy hours, like the Sunday brunch bottomless mim-osas or the beer Wednesday, which 2-for-1 select draft beers all night.
4204 Voltaire St., (619) 756-7715, sessionspublic.com
Newport Pizza & Ale House
Featuring 21 taps and at least 100 bottles, Newport Pizza & Ale House lives up to its name. With top-notch pizza, which has won several local awards, as well as calzones, breadsticks and cheese sticks, and a variety of salads, the pub is the perfect place for a slice and a pint.
The beer list features a variety of brews, including locals like Coronado Brewing Co. and Green Flash Brewing Co., as well as those hailing from other parts of California like Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Co. and Eureka’s Lost Coast Brewery and imports like Belgium’s Brou-werij Bavik. Bottles run the gamut of local microbreweries to imports from across the world.
Newport Pizza hosts events and specials, and offers a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.
5050 Newport Ave., (619) 224-4540, obpizzashop.com