How was the IPA created? If you guessed “Solving a British trade routes dilemma in the 1700s,” you deserve one on the house. George Hodgson was as innovative as they come in the 1700s. His problem: getting beer to India. It was too hot to brew there, so he needed a way to safely ship the golden liquid from Britain to India without it spoiling during the six-month journey. His solution: add hops to the pale ales he was transporting. As the name would give away, the drink would transform by the time it reached India to become the beloved India Pale Ale, or IPA.
Though it’s been around for almost 300 years, its popularity didn’t rise to mainstream success until the last decade. Created in 2011, the idea for National IPA Day was brewed in the minds of by industry members to celebrate the delicious adult beverage across the globe. Here are a few places along Hop Highway to cheers with your buddies in honor of the one and only IPA.
Stone Brewing – Escondido
It’s difficult to talk about San Diego beer without mentioning Stone Brewing. A popular brand across the county and world, Stone Brewing was established in 1996 in San Marcos by friends Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, and is headquartered in Escondido with other tasting room locations, including one in Oceanside. Their Escondido home also boasts a top restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, and with many IPAs to their name – from hazys to triples, and of course, their famous Stone IPA – IPAs are aplenty at Stone Brewing. Popular pick: Stone IPA
Eppig Brewing – Vista
This Vista brewhouse’s To Denver IPA won the 2020 European Beer Star Gold Medal and San Diego Beer News’ “West Coast IPA” gold award. Its brewery and bierhall has indoor and outdoor pet-friendly options with a rotating schedule of food trucks visiting its site. And don’t forget to try their brand new Just the Facts IPA, in collaboration with San Diego Beer News, coming to their brewery on Aug. 13. Popular pick: 10:45 to Denver
Bagby Beer Company – Oceanside
A family-business through and through, Bagby Beer Company is owned by San Diego-natives Jeff and Dande Bagby. Jeff has had experience working at breweries around the county and has been awarded brewer of the year three times in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by the Great American Beer Festival. Popular pick: Goober Crew
Pizza Port Brewing Co. – Carlsbad
What started off as a pair of siblings buying a pizza place and trying a new “home brewing” hobby, became one of San Diego’s most popular and impressive craft beer empires. The Pizza Port locations have collectively won over 91 medals and awards over the last 35 years, and they’re still going strong. Have we mentioned their pizza’s great too? Popular pick: Thruster triple IPA
Port Brewing Co. – San Marcos
A north county staple, Port Brewing Co., and their alter ego The Lost Abbey, have deep ties to the San Diego craft beer scene. Co-founded by Gina and Vince Marsaglia, the same founders and owners of Pizza Port, and Tomme Arthur, former brewmaster at Pizza Port, Port Brewing Co. is self-described as a spin-off of Pizza Port. “If you think TV shows, we’re the Fraiser to Pizza Port’s Cheers.” Though they share owners, Port Brewing Co. has its own brewers, direction and identity, and it’s here to party. Popular pick: Wipeout