Back to Gartner for Marketers Blog

Unofficial Craft Beer Guide to Marketing Symposium Xpo 2019

By Benjamin Bloom | April 02, 2019 | 0 Comments

MarketingMarketing Organization and OperationsMarketing Strategy and InnovationMarketing, Consumer, and B2B InsightsTechnology and Emerging Trends

Your bags are packed, you’re ready to go.  You’ve downloaded the Gartner Events app [iOS and Android] and created your own agenda with presentations from your favorite analysts.  Perhaps you’ll visit “The Future of Multichannel Marketing Is … You”  or “Move Over Giorgio: Why Your Next Creative Director Might Be an AI,”or my  session, “Why Your Loyalty Program Won’t Work and What to Do About It.”   The agenda is packed with actionable recommendations from our team across Gartner for Marketers, and we are thrilled to see you.

Last year was my first conference as an analyst, but I knew I could offer another piece of veteran advice–  a San Diego resident’s perspective on the craft beer scene.  I have updated my list for your enjoyment and look forward to your comments or questions (all distances calculated from the Marriott).

We’ll be downtown, so many of the main brewery locations will be out of comfortable range. However, a few new locations have opened downtown since my last set of recommendations, which should provide enough variety.

Updates for 2019:

Melvin Brewing in Gaslamp /Little Italty – 2017 GABF Brewer of the Year, based in Wyoming now has a taproom in San Diego.  My #1 recommendation has been producing outstanding beer for years and it is exciting to have them so close by! Closed on Mondays! [1 mile]

Mikkeller San Diego in Little Italy – While Mikkeller has been a San Diego favorite, it’s now closer than ever.  [1.5 miles]

Mike Hess North Park – After visiting this taproom recently, I have put it on the must-see list.  The taproom variety is strong, from their excellent Grapefruit Solis IPA to stouts and other treats. If you see cans around town, you’ll note their signature Open Mike cans [3.4 miles ]

Stone Brewing Company
Stone has 2 locations downtown, and one in the Airport!  If you plan to attend the Gartner Mixer at Stone Brewing Company, you are in for a treat.  The Liberty Station location is a brewery and excellent restaurant. When you include the patio, its 66000 ft^2 make it one of the largest restaurants in San Diego County.  Excellent draft list from the exclusive Liberty Station brews to featured craft breweries nationwide (you may need to duck into the main bar area for these delectable treats)  4.7 mi

Ballast Point
Another San Diego icon is Ballast Point.  The closest taproom is in Little Italy – there is a fun atmosphere and I recommend the pretzel bites with beer cheese (yep). 1.3mi

Modern Times
Modern Times is firing on all cylinders, opening taprooms up and down the West Coast, and brewing their own coffee to boot.  The Lomaland Fermentorium is an easy Uber from Stone Brewing Liberty Station. You’ll find new experiments from fruity saisons to hazy IPAs  – I  suggest a flight or two before you make a real selection.  Think “Williamsburg warehouse” for the vibe here- and their cafe serving their own coffee is on hand.  4.0 mi

Port Brewing
Pizza Port Ocean Beach – Port is the parent company of Port Brewing and Lost Abbey. This location has taps from both, experimental brews galore, and fun food from pizza to  salads. Mind the separate beer and food lines.  5.7 mi

Beer / Cocktail Bars

  • Excellent Draft selections, downtown: Bottlecraft 1.3 mi
  • Neighborhood icon – Green Flash named a beer after them: Hamilton’s Tavern 3.1 mi
  • Classic – solid Pizza and excellent tap list: Blind Lady Ale House 7.2mi
  • Panama 66 – If you visit Balboa Park check out this outdoor cafe run by the team that owns Blind Lady Ale House, Tiger Tiger , and Automattic Brewing [2.3 mi]

Gaslamp/Downtown Restaurants:

Bonus Points:

Green Flash – Tap room in Mira Mesa pours Green Flash as well as Alpine Brewing Co, usually a food truck outside.  My favorite tour in San Diego.  If you are up here, Alesmith, St. Archer, Mikkeller, and Ballast Point have taprooms in this hood.

PS: don’t miss –if you see these on the tap list, do try!

Societe Brewing Co.
Mason Aleworks
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co
El Segundo Brewing Co.
Bay City Brewing Co.

Leave a Comment