Coastal Oceanside Brewery Guide

This beach community’s epicurean scene is growing rapidly, and that includes its cache of coast-adjacent breweries, brewpubs and tasting rooms

Over the past few years, the county’s northwesternmost municipality has undergone a transformation from quirky beachside burg to the next “it” community for developers, hoteliers, restaurateurs and more, all while maintaining its small-town appeal. Like the waves crashing against Oceanside Pier, the city’s craft-beer scene has swelled in kind. One can now visit five brewery-owned spots simply by taking a three-block jaunt down Mission Avenue, and soon, up-and-coming South O’side will be home to a trio of diverse brewing companies. Throw in some of the most buzzed-about new eateries in the county, a local edition of San Diego’s Bottlecraft and some other quality watering holes, and there have never been as many reasons to chart a course for Oceanside.

Of course, if you need one more reason, Visit Oceanside recently unveiled its O’side Sips Trail, a mobile-based passport program providing thirsty travelers with discounts at participating breweries, wineries, distilleries, bars, coffee shops and beverage purveyors, as well as various rewards for visiting them. On top of that, the City of Oceanside offers free transportation via gO’Side, an electric shuttle service traversing a three-mile expanse of Coast Highway between Oceanside Harbor and Vista Way from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. As evidenced by the map below, that stretch is home to a wealth of local breweries, brewpubs and tasting rooms.

Coastal Oceanside Brewery Guide


Craft Coast Beer & Tacos – Oceanside
275 Mission Ave.

Craft Coast Beer & Tacos Oceanside

This business has been a runaway success from day one thanks to its simultaneous celebration of two quintessentially San Diego specialties: SoCal-style beer and Baja-style Mexican food. Creating a concept combining brewery and taco stand models seems a no-brainer, but ex-Pizza Port brewer Blake Masoner was the first to do it when debuting Craft Coast at the foot of downtown Oceanside’s Pierside South apartment building in 2020. Designed as a flagship to be duplicated down the road, this simple yet well-appointed indoor-outdoor eatery is typically packed, but an efficient model and swift staff help ensure everyone gets served in a timely manner.

A finite yet flavorful menu of tacos, nachos and mulitas (a pair of cheese-stuffed corn tortillas) loaded with birria, al pastor, carne asada, pollo asado or grilled vegetables syncs with an assortment of house beers that’s heavy on lagers and hoppy ales. Bottom-fermented cores include refreshing Mexican-style lagers Agua Baja (clara) and the WBC bronze-winning Oscura (negra). West Coast pale ales and IPAs are plentiful, but always dry with just the right amount of bitterness, while New England-style IPAs are low on haze yet big on aroma. Not to be missed is Beería, a brown ale with a nutty nose and a touch of pepperiness in its finish that’s medaled at GABF and is perfect with any food item incorporating its namesake protein.

Craft Coast adds variety to its liquid offerings by tapping guest brews from other local breweries, many of which have teamed with Masoner to create collaboration beers over the years. Here then gone, those team efforts are worth seeking out.

Green Cheek Beer Co. Oceanside

Green Cheek Beer Co.
601 S Coast Hwy

In 2023, the married couple behind beloved brewpub, Bagby Beer Co., came to the difficult realization it was time to end their decade-long run on the Coast Highway. Wanting to hand over their passion project to like-minded brewers who would care for the two-story, indoor-outdoor fermented-beverage fortress they’d built from the ground up and usher it into a respectable next chapter, they turned to their friends from Green Cheek Beer Co. Not only did that uber-popular Orange-based business take the location over, applying their colorful, playful, cartoonish aesthetic, but they kept its previous owners onboard, allowing Jeff Bagby to continue his award-winning work in the brewhouse of his own devising.

While Green Cheek is best known for its variety of hop-forward beers, its far from a one-trick pony. New beers, ranging from traditional English ales and Berliner-style weisses to smoothie sours and pastry stouts are among their multiple weekly releases. Beyond beer, Green Cheek takes pride in its all-natural line of inventively flavored (lavender lemonade, anyone?) hard seltzers, as well as its canned cocktail and wine programs. The latter is used as the base for house sangria.

On the food front, Green Cheek’s menu is split into sections, including Shares (wings, loaded fries and tots), Meats (smash burger, sandwiches, fish tacos), Plants (salads, vegan takes on burgers and more), and the self-explanatory Pizza. Bonus: Beer nuts who also enjoy an inventive bar experience can double-dip at an enclave called Beaker’s located next to the brewhouse.

Heritage Brewing & Barbecue
2002 S Coast Hwy

Heritage Barbecue - Oceanside

In 2022, San Juan Capistrano Heritage Barbecue received Bibb Gourmand accolades from famed epicurean bible, the Michelin Guide. As it turns out, owner and pitmaster Daniel Castillo is as into brews as he is ‘cue, so when scouting San Diego spots in which to expand his acclaimed business, he targeted–and acquiredthe brewpub formerly operated by Municipal Beer (and Mason Ale Works before that). Not only that, but he secured two veterans from Pizza Port‘s Carlsbad Village brewpub, Mike and AJ Aubuchon. The latter serves as Heritage Brewing & Barbecue‘s general manager while the former is putting his many years of hop-harnessing to use amid the enticing aroma of adeptly smoked carnivore fare.

Much like Aubuchon’s tap list at his previous post, Heritage’s beer list is hop-heavy, with West Coast and hazy IPAs alike, but also hopped-up pilsners of varying heritage (Czech, German, Italian). A variety of lagers that pair well with the brewpub’s traditional and modern barbecue (smoked brisket burger, anyone?) are also on tap along with a handful of amber-to-dark ales.

In addition to Heritage’s house brews (and those of guest breweries), come Sunday Heritage serves up Michelada’s made using the house Mexican lager, Smile Now, Cry Later.

Pro Tip: Cross-drinkers looking for cocktails would do well to check out Heritage’s in-house speakeasy, Ladies Love Outlaws.

Northern Pine Brewing / The Lodge
326 N Horne St.

Northern Pine Brewing

A wall adorned with the motto “let’s get lost” invites patrons of this brewery to go down the craft-beer rabbit hole as its founders Aaron Otega and Bobby Parsons did when they discovered the joys of homebrewing. That journey led them and fellow co-founder Anne Ortega to acquire a six-barrel brewing system fabricated on an episode of the Discovery Channel program Monster Garage as the cornerstone of their pro-brewing interest. They have since upgraded their equipment so they can more readily pump out a vast catalog of oft-rotating beers while also supplying a satellite tasting room at Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s Sky Deck.

Spanning the color spectrum, Northern Pine’s beer menu offers something for just about every palate, from the lemony Turning Point cream ale, to the toasty Walker Lake amber and spicy, nutty rye-infused porter, Rye, God, Rye. With flavors of white-wine grapes, jasmine and passionfruit, Saized and Confused saison is a favorite among regulars, as is Golden Horizons, a West Coast IPA that gets its dank, orangey essence from Citra and Amarillo hops. Northern Pine also offers hazy and the occasionally fruited IPA, and thanks to the aforementioned technical reconfigurations, lagers figure to be a bigger part of the beer program moving forward.

With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating plus attractive interior design heavily accented by, what else, wood (a live-edge bar with a stacked-log backsplash), Northern Pine looks just like a restaurant, but it’s a brewery and taproom with a kitchen and walk-up counter for The Lodge, a culinary concept specialized in “good mountain food” that includes fluffy biscuits, fried chicken, poutine, burgers and a variety of stick-to-your-ribs, beer-friendly grub.

South O Brewing
Brewery Igniter, 1575 S Coast Hwy

South O Brewing

The inaugural tenants of local developer H.G. Fenton’s newest lease-to-brew Brewery Igniter facility (which is sited in a former beauty college) are residents of South Oceanside (hence the business’ moniker) looking to provide their neighbors with quality beer and a sense of place. The latter comes across through mounted photographs, beers named after local landmarks and a generally laidback vibe, all of which have proven appealing enough to beer-drinkers in and beyond the area that South O’s tasting room has gained a fast and fervent following.

South O’s beers are all gluten-reduced. Best-sellers include the straightforward St. Malo Pilsner, floral Loma Alta Mexican-style lager and Graves House, a West Coast IPA (named after a domicile used in the filming of Top Gun) with peach, apricot, orange and menthol notes. On the maltier side, Fire Mountain Vienna lager is toasty and caramely, citrusiness from Mandarina Bavaria hops enlighten Station 2 Red Ale, and Buccaneer Brown is nutty with a slight mintiness. But the most interesting of South O’s offerings is Tremont Turkish Delight, a porter brewed with rosewater to emulate the candy of the same name. Though added sparingly, that perfumy adjunct comes through in spades against a semisweet, chocolaty canvass. In a brewing culture where it feels like everything’s been done, this is delightfully out-there.

While South O does not have a kitchen, mobile food vendors occupy its parking lot seven days a week. So, too, do scores of classic autos during wildly popular car shows that take place from time to time.


Artifex Brewing on Freeman

Artifex Brewing on Freeman
2002 S Coast Hwy

Though based in San Clemente, Artifex Brewing was founded by San Diegans who long ventured to bring their beers to their hometown. That ambition was realized in 2023, when this indoor-outdoor tasting room debuted as part of South Oceanside’s Mercantile collective. The company’s IPAs, lagers and other SoCal-style beers are available along with food from neighboring business, Corner Pizza.

Booze Brothers Brewing Oceanside

Booze Brothers Brewing – Oceanside
606 Mission Ave.

In early 2020, Booze Brothers Brewing opened this patioed satellite with colorful can-art and custom skateboards lining the walls of its shotgun interior, and plenty of taps dispensing the Vista-based company’s wide-ranging family of beers. Those largely American-style ales can be enjoyed along with pizza, apps, salads and desserts from next-door neighbor Rosewood Kitchen.

Kilowatt Brewing Oceanside

Kilowatt Brewing – Oceanside Taproom & Provisions / The Space Pad
406 Mission Ave.

This outpost contains the colorful décor and hand-crafted games that are calling cards of Kearny Mesa’s Kilowatt Brewing, as well as a mirrored hallway leading to a one-of-a-kind interplanetary speakeasy serving barrel-aged beers and cocktails of the molecular-mixology ilk with poke creations from on-site op O’dogs and a heavy dose of thrilling synchronized light-and-sound exhibitions.

Shoots - Oceanside

Shoots Fish & Beer – Oceanside
Bottlecraft at Tremont Collective, 602 S Tremont St., Ste 101

This takeaway concept from pro-surfer Cheyne Magnuson and innovative chef-restaurateur Davin Waite serves a variety of pokes and seafood tacos along with a refreshing Japanese-style rice lager (which will soon have a non-alcoholic sister brew) produced in collaboration with AleSmith Brewing, and IPAs developed with Embolden Beer Co., all from a walk-up counter inside a combo bar and bottle-shop. The succinctly SoCal brand has been enough of a hit to spawn a second location in Carlsbad collective, The Cottages.

Stone Brewing Tap Room - Oceanside

Stone Brewing Tap Room – Oceanside
310 N Tremont St.

In 2012, Stone Brewing built this mostly outdoor coastal outpost, drawing on the award-winning stone-and-metal landscape architecture of the gardens at its Escondido home base. Here you’ll find a lengthy and everchanging list of beers culled from the company’s numerous breweries, all of which can be enjoyed while lounging in Adirondack chairs or gathering around a fire-lined communal stone table.

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