girl in red shirt pouring beer into a taster glass at the GABF

GABF…Here we come!

GABF…Here we come!

Denver better be ready for a massive influx of of beer, beards and breweries, because this weekend marks one of the most exciting craft beer events of the year. The Great American Beer Festival, also known as GABF, is the ultimate craft beer weekend with more than 3,800 different beers being poured by 780 breweries and attendance expecting to top 60,000.

hundreds of beer festival attendees at the great american beer fest

Luckily, Denver is ready and waiting. Now that the festival is in its 10th year, it sells out within an hour of offering up tickets to the public and is buoyed by more than 200 local events leading up to this beer-soaked weekend. No ticket? No problem, because tons of people travel to Denver this weekend and enjoy events without tickets to the fest at all. Eater Denver recently outlined 10 must-attend events that don’t require a GABF tickets including high-end beer dinners, a barrel aged beer competition and an annual Beer Drinker of the Year contest where the winner can win free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewery. Joining all of our brewers and sales team this year are the winners of our first ever GABF giveaway, Toni and Terri! We couldn’t be more excited to share the experience with them and look to hear from them about their take on the fest in a future blog piece.

The Competition

GABF is not only the ultimate tasting experience for attendees, but it’s also one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the nation. The World Beer Cup is the only beer competition that holds a candle to the GABF here in the states, though it’s every other year and includes international breweries. A medal at GABF is a huge accomplishment for any brewery, yet San Diego breweries cleaned up at last year’s competition. We are so proud of our SD homies who took home a cool 14 medals last year and our North Park tasting room neighbor, Rip Current, even won Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year.


Our Beer Entries

Like all the breweries competing this year, TSB is hoping for a medal while also enjoying the opportunity to hang out with like-minded beer geeks. We sent off samples of our beers to be judged by their panel and will wait for the results at the awards ceremony on Saturday morning. We entered five beers into the competition; North Park Pale Ale, Smuggler’s Cove Agave Amber, Foreplay Belgian Blonde, Barrel Aged Dark Tsar and a special, American Brett Saison made with peaches, called Joe Pesch Brett. A lot goes into deciding which beer to send and what category to enter it in, but ultimately, we are really happy with the beers that we sent.


Good Vibes from Denver

We were recently featured in a write-up from the Denver Post as one of the Top Beer Picks from the Pacific Region. Here’s what they had to say…

On a recent weekend spent in the beer-Nirvana of San Diego, we hit the big names veterans like AleSmith, the beer-geek favorites like Societe, and the up-and-coming hot spots like Council Brewing, but the beer that left the most lasting impression on me was from a tiny neighborhood spot that I hadn’t heard of. After a couple days of pummeling my palate with IPAs, inky imperial stouts and acidic sour beers, it was the simple pils and a session IPA from Thorn Street Brewery that I remember most fondly. The latter brew was so sticky and dank it made my eyes water, and I couldn’t get enough.”

We will be live streaming the awards from TSB this Saturday at 10 am at the brewery. So, wish us luck this weekend, and look for our blog piece next week with the wrap-up from the festival.


Can’t-Miss October Events in San Diego

Can’t Miss October Events

While we always have a full calendar of events here at the brewery, we also spend a lot of time out and about in San Diego participating in events that support the local community. October is chocked full of outside events and so we thought we would share a few of our upcoming favorites, to make sure you can take full advantage of all the fun brewing this month.

Bier Oktoberfest


This ultimate Oktoberfest celebration is packed full of beer, food and fun events! Featuring 11 local, San Diego, breweries pouring all German style beers, live music, food from The Brew Project like Bavarian Pretzels and hand-crafted sausages. Also, they have packed this event full of fun contests like stein holding and beer chugging contests!

Where: Hard Rock Hotel – 207 5th Ave San Diego

When: 10/8/16, 12 pm- 6 pm

Tickets: $10-$45 (depending) Available here

Beers By the Bay


Coronado’s annual beer fest is a beautiful event featuring 15 local breweries, live music, wine and craft food. Enjoy the beautiful view of Downtown San Diego as you sip and eat your way throughout the afternoon. Drink for a good cause because this event benefits One More Wave, the Stephan J. Wampler Foundation as well as the Coronado Schools Foundation.

Where: Coronado Ferry Landing

When: 10/8/16, 1 pm- 6 pm

Tickets: $40-$50 Available here

EVA Awards at the Un-Gala


The second annual 2016 EVA Awards at the UN-Gala showcases the East Village community with comedian/emcee Mal Hall, awards, live entertainment, a silent auction and raffle, food sampling, beverages, and more. No suit or tie required and no chicken dinner. Find out who snags the EVA award for “Most Pet-friendly business,” “@EastVillageSD caught on Instagram” or “Social Media” champ!

Where: Fault Line Park, 1433 Island Avenue, East Village

When: 10/20/16, 5:30 pm

Tickets: $35 Available Here

Hallo-Wine Fest


A fun-filled afternoon festival with a fantastic array of boutique wines, hand-crafted beers, local spirits, and gourmet hors d’oeuvres to sample. Live entertainment, a silent auction, and fantastic wine and craft beer, complete the festivities. All proceeds raised will provide critical assistance to San Diego’s most vulnerable children and families through Home Start’s programs.

Where: A beautiful exclusive private estate in Marston Hills near Balboa Park

When: 10/22/16, 3 pm-6:30 pm

Tickets: $50-$75 Available Here

Ye ScallyWag Fest


This music festival, put on by 91X, not only offers craft beer, wine and food, but also the legendary NOFX, Bad Religion, Goldfinger, Against Me!, Real Big Fish, and Wakrat! This is one is going to go down in the record books so make sure and get your tickets so you don’t miss out. With part of the proceeds going to Fight ALD, it’s the perfect afternoon to get your let your inner pirate out!

Where: Waterfront Park, Downtown San Diego

When: 10/22/16, 12-3 pm beer and wine tasting with music until 7 pm

Tickets: $55-$199 Available Here



picture of two carnitas tacos with guacamole and pico de gallo

Carnitas’ Snack Shack: Pork Heaven in North Park

Carnitas’ Snack Shack: Pork Heaven in North Park

Few restaurants revel in pork-fueled-fare like North Park’s, Carnitas’ Snack Shack. This pork-centric spot has been featured in magazines and on TV shows, both locally and nationally. Owners, Hanis Cavin and Sara Stroud, opened the doors in 2011, in an unassuming area of West-North Park. Named after their beloved, pot-bellied pig, Carnitas, their restaurant had a loyal following pretty much as soon as they opened their doors. They feature menu items like their famous carnitas tacos, pork belly, and a killer of a pork sandwich (carnitas, schnitzel AND bacon!).

triple threat pork sandwich with bacon, carnitas and schnitzel and a side of corn salad

With their die-hard, devotion to quality, craft food, a line out their door is a regular site. Get there when they open to miss the line of devotees.

Today, there are three Carnitas’ Snack Shack locations offering up some truly inspiring and creative pork-themed dishes. Del Mar Highlands was graced with their pork-presence a few years ago. Recently, they just opened up another bustling spot on San Diego Harbor’s Embarcadero. The downtown location is especially exciting because it really hits the touristy spot in San Diego, and what better way to be introduced to San Diego cuisine than with Carnitas’ Snack Shack!

While beer is a natural pairing to such rich and savory food, Chef Hanis is always up for doing special events outside of the walls of his restaurants. In fact, we love working with all of the Carnitas’ people and couldn’t be more excited to have them for the upcoming Carnitas’ Snack Shack Beer Brunch! This Sunday, 11 am to 1:30 pm get ready for all of this pork-glory to rain down on TSB.

The beer brunches here at TSB are famous for an abundance of delicious food as well as Hanis’ engaging presence, working and hanging for a beer with patrons.

This brunch is planned to have seven meat-tastic courses including:

  • Rib-eye and tomato, spinach Benedict
  • Bacon-chocolate pancakes with real maple syrup
  • Hash brown cakes
  • House-made breakfast sausage and bacon
  • Carnitas’ Machaca with fresh tortillas
  • Smoked pork loin with buttermilk mash potatoes
  • Roasted cauliflower “salad” (here’s your dose of veggies)

We don’t want you to miss out on the insanely delicious, Sunday brunch, so get your tickets today! Only $35 for all you can eat and two TSB beers of your choice!


Here’s a sneak peek at what the food looked like at a past beer brunch at TSB:

Picture of Carnitas' Snack Shack brunch plate including potatoes, pork loin, sausage and benedicts

Making Beer Dreams Come True: What’s On Draft Season Two


Some say that craft beer takes itself too seriously. The stereotype of bearded hipsters solemnly sipping on barrel aged Imperial Stout while quietly discussing its merits and follies is one that has fully permeated the craft beer industry. Luckily, there are two beer dudes who are are not only serious about the craft but are serious about having a great time too.

Tom Keliinoi and Aaron Mayer are two best friends who also love craft beer. Tom is a native San Diegan who worked for years in the entertainment industry in L.A. before moving back to San Diego and working for Acoustic Ales, where his bestie, Aaron, is head brewer.  They began working on their idea for a web series devoted to the love of craft beer which became, What’s On Draft.

What’s On Draft Season One brings viewers behind the scenes in some of San Diego’s hottest craft breweries. Tom and Aaron filmed segments with brewers and industry insiders talking about the beer, the brewery’s story as well as tastings of specific beers from the brewery. They take viewers behind the scenes and show parts of breweries that most patrons rarely see.

One of my favorite segments is at Alpine Beer Company. Tucked up in the mountains, an hour’s drive East of San Diego proper, Alpine Beer Co. makes some of the best beer in San Diego. Learning more about how this brewery operates as well as hearing funny insider stories makes for a highly enjoyable viewing that gives watchers a never before seen perspective on this small but influential brewery.

They also showcase some hilarious and topical short films like, Beards of Love, a satirical look at the ubiquity of beards in the brewing industry.

The cool thing about What’s On Draft is that these guys not only want to talk about craft beer, but they know the industry inside and out. That means that they know the right questions to ask in an interview, they are respected by brewery insiders and they understand the craft beer industry as a whole. But they aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves and craft beer, making their film shorts the perfect antidote to the perception that craft beer takes itself too seriously.

Now, Tom and Aaron are looking for funding for their second season and have a Kickstarter campaign up and running. They need your help to make the second season a reality and that means donating even a few $$ to their campaign. There are some really cool rewards set up for backers, so head over to their Kickstarter page and take a look.

On Saturday, June 25th, at 3 pm we will be holding a Viewing Party for What’s on Draft here at TSB. They will be showing segments and clips from their first season, holding a raffle with awesome prizes and hanging out, sharing a beer with you! We couldn’t be happier to support such a noble (and maybe a little self serving) cause so we hope you will join us to help them reach their goal and put out more craft beer videos.

For more information head on over to their Kickstarter page or their website!

Anna Brigham


ShoreRider Catches a Wave in La Jolla Shores

La Jolla just got a dose of summer…Opening this weekend is the newest beach hangout on the block, ShoreRider. This laid-back eatery sits just a couple of blocks from La Jolla Shores, features a sun-soaked patio and offers wine, craft beer and SoCal inspired beach fare. The vibe ShoreRider gives off is simple…everyday feels like summer.


Owners, Darren and Lauren Moore (from Confidential, Lincoln Room, Alibi Mission Gorge and La Puerta) and Dennis O’Connor (from Thorn Street Brewery and Home & Away) bring years of combined experience to this new project and recently answered some burning questions about their new spot.


What was the concept behind ShoreRider?

Dennis, Darren & Lauren – The concept behind ShoreRider is to be an extension of the beach – casual and fun, where life is simple. We want people to bring their friends & family and have a day at the beach with us. Great food, cold beers, delicious wine, sangria, poke, local fish, a top-notch burger, and the list goes on. We do have a strict dress code though…you have to wear a smile.


What would you say is the design aesthetic of ShoreRider?

Dennis – I like to say “Paul Pinterest” designs all of my spaces. Thorn St, H&A, and the Rider are all born from a great team and ongoing collaboration efforts. No plan except an open mind, hard work and thorough execution. I think you need to start with a blank canvas and chip away at details as you go. Let the space speak to you. 


What drew you to La Jolla Shores?

Darren & Lauren – La Jolla Shores is beautiful.  The soul of La Jolla resides here. The people are amazing and the opportunity to be right off of the beach is great. We look forward to helping spread the word about the gem that is The Shores. We hope ShoreRider can bring some character and a unique element to the community here.


Dennis – I was born and raised in San Diego and spent a lot of time at the Shores. My dad, Patrick O’Connor, is a retired lifeguard and that was his beach from ’69 – ’77. I learned how to surf at The Shores as a kid, and this beach and the cove go back as far as my memories do. When the opportunity presented itself, the only answer was “f*ck ya!”


What do you want ShoreRider to be known for?

Dennis, Darren & Lauren – The most fun place in La Jolla Shores! ShoreRider is a community sandbox. Locals gets to enjoy their home with everyday pricing and tourists get a taste of what San Diego is really all about. We also want to thank our all-star friends/crew who helped bring ShoreRider to life:

Brittany Lang – BL Design

Pat Wilkening – RedCraft Customs –

Jimi ‘The Welder’

Daniel, Jose, the Pastor, and cousins

Jonathan Frank

Joe Ebner



So get your summer started and stop by ShoreRider! It’s kid and dog friendly (as long as they don’t pee on the floor) and has a full menu of beach-eats including poke, nachos, wraps, guacamole, fresh salads, handcrafted burgers and more. Check out their expansive menu here.


With so much heart and soul going into ShoreRider, it’s “shore” to be a summer-loving good time!




2168 Avenida De La Playa (199 steps from the beach)

La Jolla, CA





Open daily -11am – Close


Sake to Me: Not rice wine…rice beer!

Sake is an ancient, fermented beverage, known throughout the world as the perfect accompaniment to sushi and other Japanese fare. When asked about sake, most people will tell you it’s a “rice wine.” Well, most people happen to be wrong, because sake is not technically wine and, in fact, is much closer to beer. Simply put, wine is made by converting the sugars naturally found in grapes to alcohol through the process of fermentation. Beer is made by converting the starches found in grains into sugar, and then fermenting them into alcohol. Sake uses this same method of conversion, using rice that has been polished to remove the bran, instead of barley or wheat which is most often used in beer production.


There is a difference between how sake is made vs. how beer is made, however, and it has to do with an enzyme called, koji. Koji is a very special fungus used throughout asian cooking to ferment things like soy sauce, rice vinegars, fermented bean paste and alcoholic beverages. This enzyme allows the conversion from starch to sugar as well as the fermentation to happen in one step, rather than the two steps used when brewing beer.

So why does everyone call sake, rice wine? It has more to do with the countless different styles and types of sake than anything else. Also, many sake flavors are more similar to wine than beer because of their sugar content and taste. Overall alcohol content also plays a part in the perception of sake. There is a reason why those teeny-tiny cups are used to consume it. Whereas the average ABV of most beer is somewhere between 3%-10%, the average ABV on sake is much higher at 18%-20%. Wine ABVs are usually between 5%-16% so they are much closer in strength to sake.

Often, when the sake is bottled, water is added to the brew to make it more palatable. Speaking of taste, one of the crucial factors to how sake tastes is in the amount of rice milled to make it. The more milled or “polished” the rice is, the more delicate and clear the flavor of the sake is. Polishing the rice takes time and therefore costs more man-hours when making certain types of sake, raising the their quality and price.

What does all of this have to do with beer? Well, sake and beer are perfect companions and here at Thorn Street Brewery we are super excited to be offering a Sake and Beer pairing coming up on April 10th. Saiko Sake and Sushi Bar in North Park collaborated with us to bring you three different sake and beer pairings. The complex flavor profiles of sakes vary just as much as beer flavors do, so the opportunity to pair the two is truly endless. Here are the pairings we have so far…

Relay IPA with Chrysanthemum Meadow
Castaway Coconut Porter with Cranes of Dewa Kimoto
Abbey Wall Belgian Style Dubbel with Tears of Dawn

There is also a very special sake bomb made by the mad-sake-scientists at Saiko called the Saiko Bomb. They somehow wrap Beautiful Lily Honjozo sake in a gelatin bubble and when you place it in the Tropic Daze IPA and drink it, the sake bursts in your mouth like a delicious piece of fruit. You need to be on the 50 person list to get one of these, but if people who reserved their bomb don’t show up within the first hour of the event, we are releasing them to the general public, so make sure to get on the waiting list when you get here! Here’s a link to the FB event for more info…Kampei!




The IPA Madness Finals Are Here!

The last two weeks of IPA Madness were definitely some tasty, beer-soaked Sundays. With 32 breweries competing to find out who has the best IPA in San Diego it was a lot of beer to get through. Luckily, we had some of the best tasters around (San Diegans) and they cast their vote and whittled down the field to the top 16.

Now, Home & Away will once again be hosting the IPA showdown and this Sunday, starting at noon, they will be getting through the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and then the final head to head match up to name the best IPA in San Diego!


As a recap, on the first weekend of competition, Karl Strauss won over Novo Brazil, Rip Current won over Rough Draft, Modern Times won over Iron Fist, Coronado Brewing won over Fall Brewing, Pizza Port beat Duck Foot Brewery, Belching Beaver beat Mission Brewery, Mother Earth won over Groundswell and finally, Green Flash beat out 32 North.

In the second week of the first round we had some surprising upsets that just go to show, big names don’t always make a better beer… O’Sullivan won out over Alesmith, Societe beat Jamul Brewing Co, Legacy Brewing Co.’s Hellfire IPA pulled off a win against Ballast Point’s Sculpin and Acoustic Ales’s Willow Wolf IPA pulled off a surprising win over craft brewery darling, Alpine Brewing Co.’s Duet.  Then Stone beat St. Archer, New English pulled out a win against Butcher’s Brewing, Port Brewing won over Bitter Bros and the most exciting of the wins (in our opinion) was our own Relay IPA beating out Latitude 33.  Here are the final match ups…


Can Thorn Street Brewery pull off a win against craft beer giant, Stone Brewing? We certainly think so, but of course we are biased so it will get thrown out to the masses to decide!

Now comes the final Sunday of exciting competition. Starting at noon and going until 4 pm, the last four rounds will be held. Each hour will feature head to head match ups and then move on to the next round, so make sure to get here at noon to begin the voting. Competing breweries were invited to set up tents with merch and more at H&A so expect to see lots of industry faces there. There will also be IPA and food specials, the best smoked pork tacos around, tons of games and of course, basketball.

Who will move on to the next rounds? Who will be the final brewery standing? Find out, this Sunday at IPA Madness!

IPA Madness: Who has the best IPA in San Diego?

San Diego has long been known for its sunny skies, expansive beaches and delicious fish tacos. However, in the last 20 years, it has also emerged as a craft beer Mecca with more than 120 breweries and counting. Not only that, but West Coast IPA, as a style, was pioneered and honed here in SoCal. OG breweries like Stone BrewingGreen Flash Brewing Company and Coronado Brewing Companypioneered the hop-heavy trend and now west coast IPAs are becoming world famous, thanks to San Diego craft breweries expanding into Europe. Although all IPAs are hoppy, west coast IPAs are known for being hop-forward while also light on the malt, with a hoppy nose and a blistering ABV.

Every San Diego brewery puts out their own IPA and most will tell you their’s is the best with many local breweries winning awards in all sorts of beer competitions both near and far. Most of these contests are judged by experts and as exciting as it is to hear that your favorite brewery won…it’s way more exciting to taste test the delicious craft beer and decide for yourself!

1496143_973073089449389_5241698617886522066_oGet ready for IPA Madness, kicking off this week at craft beer bar, Home & Away, in Old Town. This is the the ultimate IPA competition with 32 of the best breweries in San Diego going head to head to find out who has the best IPA in San Diego. This a bracket style competition where the people’s choice takes it all!

For the next three Sundays, from 1 pm to 6 pm, you will be able to head to H&A and cast your vote for what you think is the best IPA in town. This Sunday, 3/20, the first 16 breweries will compete and then next Sunday, 3/27, the last 16 breweries will go head to head. After that, the winners from the first round will go head to head on 4/3 with the finals happening that same day!

Here’s a look at the first round match-ups…


Breweries were seeded based on their date of opening. So the oldest breweries were seeded 1st and the youngest were seeded 8th, with a few last minute entries paired up not based on this metric. Thorn Street Brewery isn’t competing until 3/27, but you better believe we will there tasting on 3/20 too!

This is a blind taste test too, so you are sure to see a lot of local brewers and staff coming in to vote!

Any way you slice it, there are going to be some exciting, beer-soaked, Sundays coming up. We would love to see North Park Breweries prevail and, of course, hope that our own Relay IPA makes a strong showing on the 27th.

The real winners of this contest are all the lucky judges (that’s you!) who get to taste the best IPAs in San Diego, under one roof, over the next three weekends!

Where: Home & Away, 2222 San Diego Ave, San Diego 92110

When: 3/20, 3/27 and 4/3 from 1-6 pm

Who: See list of competing breweries below…


Karl Strauss Brewing Companys
NOVO Brazil Brewing CO.
Rough Draft Brewing Co.
Rip Current Brewing
Iron Fist Brewing San Diego
Modern Times Beer
Coronado Brewing Company
Fall Brewing Company
Pizza Port Brewing Co.
Duck Foot Brewing Company
Belching Beaver North Park
Mission Brewery
Mother Earth Brew Co.
Groundswell Brewing Company
Green Flash Brewing Co.
32 North Brewing Co.
AleSmith Brewing Company
O’Sullivan Bros. Brewing Co.
Jamul Brewing Co.
Societe Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Legacy Brewing Company
Alpine Beer Company
Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment
Stone Brewing
Saint Archer Brewing Company
Thorn St. Brewery
Latitude 33 Brewing Co.
New English Brewing
Butcher’s Brewing
Port Brewing Co / The Lost Abbey
Bitter Brothers Brewing Co.


An Afternoon Delight with Prepkitchen


Little Italy is a historic, San Diego neighborhood famous for its delicious Italian cuisine, fine art galleries and boho-chic shops. There is a plethora of fabulous restaurants in this culinarily-focused neighborhood, and we were incredibly lucky to collaborate with Prepkitchen, one of the few non-Italian restaurants in the district and a stand-out spot for artisanal, farm-to-table cuisine .

Recently, we got together with the staff of Catania, another restaurant alongside Prepkitchen in the Whisknladle Hospitality Group, to brew a beer here at Thorn Street Brewery that would pair well with the fresh seafood dishes they are known for. The resulting brew was the Children of the Thorn, hoppy American Wheat ale with 6% ABV.

For the restaurant’s beer release, Chef Johanna Rockwell put together a delectable trio of fresh seafood bites to go with the crisp Wheat ale. The pairing was light and refreshing and consisted of ruby red ahi crudo, a Kumamoto oyster and a yellow tail ceviche.

74eba732-ed19-4934-99c0-1f1386c46718The ahi was epic in its freshness and clean flavor profile. The oyster was briny, yet mild in an oh-so-light foam to compliment it and the ceviche was bright and citrusy with lime and pineapple curing the yellow tail perfectly. The whole trio paired wonderfully with the beer. The citrus notes complemented the bites without overpowering them, and it also managed to go well with the wide range of flavors displayed in this tasting.

After the tantalizing trio, we decided to get a few more appetizers while we enjoyed the afternoon sun streaming through the open-air patio. Starting us off, the chili-lemon, head-on shrimp were impressive and savory…


The ginger and soy chicken wings were crunchy and spicy delights…


And a true surprise were their PK Tots and Tarragon Dip. These “tots” were a breaded and fried crisp, marriage of fontina cheese and polenta. The creamy inside juxtaposed nicely with the crunchy outside coating and when dipped in the accompanying tarragon sauce, it was both tasty and creative.


Another happy surprise was that since we were gathered during Prepkitchen’s happy hour, which is held daily from 3 pm to 5 pm, all of these tapas were only $5.55! They also have a large list of craft beers, specialty cocktails and wines for $5.55, making this a must-stop spot on any happy hour tour.

The next time you are looking for an afternoon delight, stop by Prepkitchen for bite and a drink. You won’t be disappointed!

Best Bets for San Diego Burger Week


Calling all burger lovers! If you are a burger aficionado, then this is your week here in San Diego. March 3rd-12th is San Diego City Beat’s Burger Week, where more than 50 restaurants and bars are offering up their best burgers for only $5! Additionally, restaurants offer a burger combo (add a beer or fries depending on the restaurant) for $10. With only a week to eat your way through San Diego’s best burgers, we thought we would make it simple for you and let you know our picks for the best places to go during San Diego Burger Week, 2016.

1. 57 Degrees 

This one makes our list because they are offering Wagyu beef for only $5! Is this even possible? We don’t know, but are willing to try it out to see what our tastebuds think. Not only that but they offer a local craft beer in their $10 combo!

1735 Hancock St., San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-5757
Neighborhood: Middletown

$5 Burger: The Middletown Burger – 8oz Wagyu Beef on a toasted brioche bun topped with blue cheese. Add Bacon for $2. Double the size for $5

$10 Combo: The Middletown Burger  + a Local Beer

2. The Brew Project


The Brew Project opened up recently in Hillcrest and has already become a popular spot for great beer and delicious food. Their Bomb-Ass burger is on the list because it has beer-battered onion rings and the combo comes with a decent beer. For some reason, many of the restaurants on the list put out their $10 combo with a domestic, big beer like Coors or Miller Lite. When the burger by itself is $5 and it’s $10 for the combo, is a crappy beer really worth $5?

3683 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 795-7890
Neighborhood: Hillcrest

$5 Burger: The Brew Project Bomb-Ass Burger! 8 oz Seasoned 80/20 Ground Beef, Beer Battered Onion Ring, Blue Crumbles, B.P. BBQ Sauce, Roasted Tomatoes, Diced Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, served on a Toasted Onion Roll

$10 Combo: The Brew Project Bomb-Ass Burger + Legally Red IPA

3. Carnitas’ Snack Shack
This pork centric spot makes the list because their ground pork burger is delicious and unique and, unlike some of the other participating restaurants, they really do give you a good deal on the $10 combo with fries and a soda.

2632 University Ave. North Park, CA 92104
(619) 294-PORK (7675)
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: The Extortion Burger:Fresh ground pork shoulder – pork belly / smoked onion-mushroom confit / house made pimento cheese

$10 Combo: The Extortion Burger + Fries + a Soda

4. Crazee Burger


Crazee Burger is crazy good. They have some of the most inventive burgers around and they also get points for offering two different burgers to choose from for the $5 deal.

3993 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 282-6044
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: Your choice between The Texas OR The Cajun Burger.
The Texas:  fresh ground angus burger topped with thick cut bacon, house made BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles
The Cajun Burger: fresh ground blackened angus burger topped with sauteed onions and a house made chipotle sauce, lettuce,  tomato,  onion and pickles.

$10 Combo: The Buffalo Burger: sweet and tender buffalo meat topped with a house made creamed horseradish sauce, lettuce,  tomato,  onion and pickles + an order of Crazee Fries that are tossed in parmesan cheese and our house blend of salt.

5. Red Wing Bar and Grill
Not only is the Red Wing the best San Diego bar for Karaoke seven nights a week, but they have quality food. Since their combo offer let’s people choose between any of their craft beers vs. swill, they get our vote!

4012 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 281-8700
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: Our “New Standard Burger” which is our basic delicious Angus Burger On a fresh Sadie Rose Bun.

$10 Combo:  Our New Standard Burger plus a 12 oz. Craft Beer.

6. Royale With Cheese (At Park & Rec)

New kid on the block, Royale With Cheese, is located in the back of Park & Rec, a hip, new bar in University Heights. The buzz on their burgers has been superior, so we had to add them to the list. Plus they pair the combo with a highly respectable Alesmith .394, so make sure to put this spot on your list.

4612 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 795-9700
Neighborhood: University Heights

$5 Burger: Royale with Cheese –  Wagyu beef patty, Gruyere, bacon, caramelized onion, Dijon, special sauce and pickle.

$10 Combo: A Royale with Cheese plus a pint of Alesmith .394

7. The Rabbit Hole
This is one of our favorite watering holes on Adams ave. Their burger is amazing and they get extra points for adding fries AND a beer to the $10 combo rather than just one or the other.

3377 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 255-4653
Neighborhood: Normal Heights

$5 Burger: Ground Chuck Norris – beef chuck patty, choice of cheese and house louie dressing.

$10 Combo: Ground Chuck Norris, Fries & Domestic Draft

8. Small Bar
This bar is located right next to Royale with Cheese so you may want to plan on a two-for when you visit this hood. Small Bar is known for their craft beer, strong drinks and killer food. Their brunch burger comes with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar and for the $10 combo you can get any local beer with it!

4628 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 795-7998
Neighborhood: University Heights

$5 Burger: Brunch Burger

$10 Combo: Brunch Burger and a pint of local beer

9. The South Park Abbey 

This one might be our favorite deals of the bunch! Not only is their burger tasty and juicy but for their $10 combo they are giving a basket of their seriously amazing, smoked-then-fried chicken wings. That’s one delicious deal!

1946 Fern St. San Diego, Ca. 92102
(619) 696-0096
Neighborhood: South Park

$5 Burger: Our Harris Ranch Beef Burger, ground in-house.

$10 Combo: The Burger and a Basket of SD’s Best Wings

10. Waypoint Public

The burger that Waypoint is offering is truly something to experience, but when they pair it with their crispy fries and a side of IPA triple cheese sauce, it’s out of this world.

3794 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 255-8778
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: 1/3 lb. Steak Burger, Mozzarella Cheese, Stout Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic Aioli, Lettuce, Bread & Cie Bun, WP Spicy Pickle Spear

$10 Combo: Our $5 burger special, Order of Hand Cut Kennebec Fries, and a side of IPA Triple Cheese Sauce

Sure you might not have time to make it all of these spots, but we hope we at least gave you a game plan to attack burger week. Drop by for a pint while in the hood, here at Thorn Street Brewery, and let us know which burgers were your favorites!