Inland Oceanside Brewery Guide

O’side’s beachfront breweries are only half the story...a wealth of brewery-touring options abound within the city’s eastern expanses

When most people think of Oceanside, images of the Pacific Ocean, piers, beachgoers and rides down the 101 come to mind, and rightfully so. The city’s coastal expanses are lovely and have undergone quite an evolutionary transformation over the past several years. As evidenced by our San Diego Sudscapes piece on coastal O’side, it’s home to a wealth of breweries, brewpubs and tasting rooms, but to stop there without venturing inland would mean missing out on even more epic beermaking operations. From a large, decade-young production brewery to an upstart operation sited in a winery and not just one, but two breweries named for the city they call home, the east side of O’side has a great deal to offer thirsty brewery tourists. Join us as we take you on a quick tour of the locals-only portion of the county’s northwesternmost corner.

Inland Oceanside Brewery Map


Belching Beaver Brewery
1334 Rocky Point Dr.

Belching Beaver Brewery

Ten years ago, few would have expected a small brewery in a Vista industrial-park suite to blossom into one of the county’s largest brewing companies…except those helming that quirkily named interest. They had big aspirations from the start and have been able to realize them by being early adopters of the satellite tasting room model, opting to buy rather than lease their facilities, harnessing the power of both hops and peanut butter, and maintaining a creative, collaborative relationship with the alt-rock band, Deftones. The above allowed Belching Beaver to move its headquarters to Oceanside several years in, where it’s since steadily expanded both its manufacturing capabilities and an oasis-like tasting room equipped with a sail-shaded, Astroturfed front patio.

While perhaps best known for its wildly popular Peanut Butter Milk Stout, the Beav’ presents quality across styles. Proof comes in the form of multiple wins at Great American Beer Festival companion competition, the Alpha King Challenge, recognizing excellence in the crafting of potently hoppy beers. That IPA prowess comes through care of the papaya, cantaloupe and grapefruit notes in West Coast model No Worries, as well as the orange expression in mimosa-like New Englander, Hazers Gonna Haze. A recently introduced series of terpene-infused IPAs further diversify Belching Beaver’s stock, as do fruited beers such as Here Comes Mango IPA, and boldly acidic releases from Belching Beaver’s considerable barrel-aging program.

Fixating on the aforementioned Deftones collabs? Many people do…and not just because they’re fans of the band. Far more than some blindly licensed money-grab, the releases in this series—which includes ten beers ranging from a Mexican-style lager and pilsner to hazy and double-dry-hopped IPAs—stand on their own merit.

Black Plague Brewing
2550 Jason Ct

Black Plague Brewing

Originally conceived by pro skateboarder Jordan Hoffart and business partner Jarred Doss, this brewery and tasting room at the end of an industrial cul-de-sac sports a black-and-white, semi-goth aesthetic. Despite its many references to death—including selfie-ready coffins as well as plague-doctor and grim-reaper cartoon characters—it’s a lively, even playful place with a positive vibe. While Hoffart’ and high-profile skate-industry friends like Tony Hawk and Nyjah Huston provide allure for the woodpushing segment of Black Plague’s fan base, quality beer is what has made it one of the more well-regarded brewing operations in San Diego’s North County.

Black Plague’s sudsy stock leans heavy into hops. Award-winning West Coast IPA, Hell in the Cellar, conveys citrus and stone-fruit aromas derived from Chinook, Citra and Mosaic hops, while tropical fruit flavors (mango, papaya, passionfruit) pour forth from tributary hazy Nyjah. Equally honorific Tony Hawps IPA (and its “Reloaded” counterpart, which is hopped with a different set of varietals) gets as much attention for its non-punny namesake as its essence of mango, guava, orange and grapefruit, but it’s not all about hops here. Oracle of Time pilsner is a crystal-clear Bohemian brewer’s beer, Medusa imperial milk stout shifts from molasses to coffee in a single sip, and the In My Darkest Sour series of kettle-sours is big on fruit flavor and low on pucker factor.

Black Plague offers dark respite from the SoCal sunshine seven days a week, but those looking for live music would do well to show up on Friday and Saturday evenings when the tasting room’s stage is occupied by local musicians, save for one Saturday per month that’s set aside for UFC watch parties.

Horus Aged Ales
Not Open to the Public

Horus Aged Ales

Though it’s not equipped with its own brewhouse or a tasting room, seldom sells beer to accounts and is largely unknown to most San Diegans, Horus Aged Ales is one of the most popular beer interests in the country. Even more well known among industry contemporaries and nth-level beer fans is owner Kyle Harrop (pictured above, photo credit: @thebeertrekker) who has collaborated with big-name breweries across the U.S. since founding his business in 2015 behind an alternative model that allows him to sell almost every drop of his locally produced barrel-aged sours, stouts and barleywines to registered members of Horus’ private club. Those beers are funneled into Horus’ inventory of hand-selected, hard-to-procure used spirit and wine barrels. Much of that maturing stock is lent further flavor care of often-exotic ingredients, including small-batch coffees from around the world. Horus’ barrel warehouse only opens on days designated for club-member beer pickups, so there’s no need to chart a course there, but it’s a solid Oceanside beer interest worth noting.

Oceanside Ale Works
1800 Ord Way

Oceanside Ale Works

In 2006, retired high-school teacher Mark Purciel did something that, at that point in the history of the local beer scene, wasn’t as common as it is today…open a brewery. He did so in a tiny industrial suite with zero visibility from nearby Oceanside Boulevard. Though out of sight, it was soon a top-of-mind spot for locals looking for a good time fueled by local beer. Dubbed Oceanside Ale Works (OAW), the business buzzed from the Friday whistle-blow until last call on Sundays, enough that by 2012 it was time to find a larger home with great production capacity. Purciel packed up the business and moved into a new two-story facility with more public space for his droves of weekenders to enjoy, all the while keeping the small, organic neighborhood vibe he and his fans so adored.

In 2018, an ownership dispute left OAW dormant, but in 2021, Purciel gained full control of his passion project and picked up where he left off, reopening and rereleasing the beers that had been such a hit the first time around. Chief among the fan favorites was The Dude, a double IPA that took gold at the San Diego International Beer Festival. Other long-lost libations include staples Buccaneer Blonde, San Luis Rey Red and Pier View Pale Ale. Purciel also has an assortment of barrel-aged sours in the works, many of which are rested on locally harvested fruit.

Despite growing, moving, shuttering and reopening, OAW remains exactly what it was when Purciel first established it: an easygoing, affordable spot for people to convene over beers and let the good times roll.

Oceanside Brewing
312 Via del Norte

Oceanside Brewing

It would be easy to mistake Oceanside Brewing Company (OBC) as a neighborhood bar. Not only has owner Tomas Bryant cobbled together a tasting room with a retro color palette, overlapping accents of art, hip-hop and surf cultures, plus callbacks to his business’ namesake city, but he goes to great lengths to ensure there’s almost always something special going on at his spot. From trivia nights and comedy shows to frequent live-music performances and fundraisers for area charities and non-profits, Bryant keeps OBC and its big back patio packed with crowds that are largely made up of locals and longtime regulars. Oh yeah, there’s beer, too…and lots of it.

The contents of OBC’s whopping 22 taps are diverse, ever-changing and emblematic of Bryant’s adventurous nature where brewing is concerned. He’ll brew any style regardless of season or salability, experiment with interesting (often locally procured) ingredients or twist a style to the extent it becomes its own creation. Case in point, Soke, a “Japanese” barleywine brewed with rice and rosemary-eucalyptus honey that’s herbal and uniquely delicious, and a cucumber-mint spa-water blonde ale called Be Cool. Easygoing cream ale Pillow Talk is the base for some of OBC’s many fruited ales, but traditional styles like Mas Krug German-style lager, Trip Check West Coast IPA and a bubble-gummy Belgian-style tripel called Hat Trick share space with the more out-there offerings.

Bryant also brews event-specific beers. To date, such creations have helped raised awareness and funds for the Oceanside Fire Department and local lifeguards. It’s the hyper-regional type of giving back one would expect—and hope for—from an interest bearing a community’s name.

Tipping Pint Brewing
Hangar 76, 3229 Roymar Rd

Tipping Pint Brewing

Adam Jester made a name for himself helming the well-worn, locally legendary brewhouse at Pizza Port’s original brewpub in Solana Beach, but when it came time to go into business for himself, he headed north to Oceanside. He was drawn there by an opportunity to share space within Carruth Cellars’ production winery, which has since been reimagined as Hangar 76, an indoor-outdoor public venue welcoming cross-drinkers looking for house-made wine, beer and live entertainment under one roof. Opened in early 2022, the project has been a straightaway dual-purpose success allowing Jester to express himself on his own terms through his solo project, Tipping Pint Brewing.

A self-professed hophead, Jester brews a variety of IPAs running the gamut from West Coast to hazy to imperial—and they are as good as one would expect from a Pizza Port expat—but he strives to provide enough variety so that beer fans of all types can find something they’ll enjoy. To that end, he offers a top-notch Mexican lager called Si Level, the lemon-limey Motueka-hopped Puna Pils, and Thanks Honey, a bee-nectar-laced blonde ale with earthy depth and restrained sweetness. And don’t sleep on Tipping Pint’s stouts. Crow Constellations imperial stout offers layered flavors of bittersweet and milk chocolate, and dry Irish-style stout Scoop is a nitrogenized benchmark brew with a light, almost espresso-like bitterness.

Working in such close proximity to a distinguished vinicultural operation, Jester expects to source used wine barrels in which to age some of his stronger ales, and he’s toying with the idea of creating hard seltzers flavored with different wine-grape varietals.

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