The best beer towns in the US

San Diego

San DiegoHistory: 5
Breweries: 10
Bars: 9
Events: 8

With 30-plus breweries in the county and its own IPA category, San Diego’s a beacon on any beer explorer’s map. For a pint, hit up former firefighter Pat McIlhenney’s beer-centric restaurant, the Linkery, which offers brew-paired dinners, and Toronado, which boasts an exhaustive beer list.

A trip to San Diego isn’t complete without sampling the suds at Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, and Stone Brewing Co.

As for events, San Diego was chosen to host the 2012 World Beer Cup – the “Olympics of Beer” – and San Diego Beer Week draws crowds from all over to celebrate 10 days of tastings, pairings and live music. If you visit, don’t miss five San Diego bars mentioned in Draft mag’s top 100 American beer bars: Tiger! Tiger!, Small Bar, O’Brien’s American Pub, Blind Lady Ale House, and Hamilton’s Tavern.

Top draws: Alpine Ale, Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze.

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