The first part of this series will show travelers staying in downtown, Old Town, Mission Valley, the Gaslamp District or in hotels near the Convention Center how to use the San Diego Trolley to visit several local breweries.
From your location downtown/Gaslamp/Convention Center take any Orange Line or Blue Line train to the Old Town Transit Center. At the Old Town Transit Center, transfer to the Green Line and ride north and east to Mission Valley. For Mission Valley visitors we suggest beginning at the Morena/Linda Vista Green Line station that is a short drive from many Mission Valley hotels.
This unique trip will take you within short walks of four fabulous San Diego breweries. As you disembark from the Old Town Transit Center, the first brewery you will approach is Ballast Point Brewing Linda Vista. This “first” Ballast Point Brewing location is also known as the Home Brew Mart. After a short three-minute ride on the Green Line, you’ll want to get off at the first station – Morena/Linda Vista. Ballast Point Brewing Linda Vista is located approximately 1/3 mile north of the station (see map)—a very easy and safe walk. To learn more about Ballast Point Brewing check out their website at: www.ballastpoint.com or call them at: (619) 295-2337 (BEER). Their tasting counter is open from 11-7, Monday-Saturday.
After enjoying some tasting at Ballast Point, you may now return to the Morena/Linda Vista station and continue east on the Green Line. The next brewery, or in this case “brew pub”, is Gordon Biersch. This brewery/restaurant group operates roughly forty restaurants in sixteen states and Washington D.C. They also bottle beer for Trader Joe’s at their San Jose facility. To get to this Gordon Biersch brewery take the Green Line to either the Hazard Center (second stop after the Morena/Linda Vista station) or Mission Valley Center trolley station (3rd stop). You’ll arrive at these stops within five or seven minutes respectively. Gordon Biersch is located approximately ½ mile south (see map) of either station. For more information about Gordon Biersch, visit their website: http://www.gordonbiersch.com/restaurants/index.php?pg=location&sub=loc&location_id=17 . You may also contact them via telephone at: (619) 688-1120. Gordon Biersch is open until 1 am on Sun-Thurs and until 2 am on Fri and Sat.
If you are ready to continue east on your trip, return to the trolley station of your choice (Hazard Center or Mission Valley Center). The next stop you may wish to make will be for Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Company Mission Valley. You’ll only need to ride the Green Trolley a short distance to reach the Fenton Parkway station stop – your disembarking location for the ¼ mile jaunt (see map) northwest to Oggi’s. Contact info for Oggi’s - website: http://www.oggis.com/Locations/SanDiego.htm; phone: (619) 640-1072.
Returning to the Fenton Parkway trolley station, you are now able to access the fourth and final stop on this trolley trip, The Firehouse Brewing Co., which is located 1/3 mile north of the Mission San Diego trolley station (see map). This station is the 2nd station after Fenton Parkway and is reached in just three minutes. If you choose to visit all four of these breweries/brewpubs in one day, you may wish to make this your second stop of the day as they close early (7 pm, daily). Then stop for a visit/dinner at Oggi’s and/or Gordon Biersch on the return trip. Further information about the Firehouse Brewing Co. can be gathered at their website: www.firehousebrew.com, or by calling (805) 605-1416.
As you will see, the trolley is a great way to visit several excellent San Diego Breweries that feature some of San Diego’s select brews. It’s only a 30 minute ride from downtown (Santa Fe Depot) to the Mission San Diego trolley station. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy several short strolls totaling approximately three miles. These walks will offer you the opportunity to get to know San Diego from a different perspective. It will contribute to ridding yourself of some of those extra calories acquired after indulging in some superb food and drink treats!
To return to your point of origin Trolley station you’ll want to take the Green Line trolley to Old Town then switch to the Blue Line for the return. Keep in mind that the last ride from Old Town is at 12:15 am so you’ll want to arrive at the Old Town station in time for that last trolley. For more information about the trolley, visit their website: http://www.sdmts.com/trolley/Trolley.asp or call: (619) 595-4949.
James Omlid and Lee Corbett, San Diego is Brewing