Spanish for “beautiful view,” Chula Vista is a scenic suburb in the San Diego metropolitan area. Sandwiched between mountain foothills and San Diego Bay, it boasts incredible canyons, rolling hills, and a coastal landscape. Chula Vista is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with miles of beautiful trails, parks, and nature reserves throughout the city. And let’s not forget the waterfront that provides the ideal location for all kinds of water activities like kayaking and sailing.
The breweries that serve some of our favorite brews are Bay Bridge Brewing, Attitude Brewing, and Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company. The ones that also serve food with their artisanal brews are Chula Vista Brewery – East Lake and Novo Brazil Brewing. However, if you are looking for other breweries, check out our list of the Best California Breweries or better yet, the Best Breweries in America.
With so much to do and explore in Chula Vista, no one has time to search for a worthwhile brewery. Let our recommendations be your guide to help you find a fantastic place to get a refreshing drink and recharge.
Bay Bridge Brewing
Backyard brewing since 1996, Bay Bridge spent a decade tweaking and fine-tuning recipes and techniques before it opened for business in 2006, making it Chula Vista’s first brewery. It was essential to craft robust, flavorful, balanced beers, and this microbrewery took its time to create something unique. All the hard work paid off because Bay Bridge has some of the highest-rated craft beers in the region, and they have the awards to support it.
They have ten year-round blends and a couple of seasonal ones on rotation. The best of the bunch include the Wolf Canyon Wheat (an American-style wheat beer), Horchata Wheat (a light wheat beer with cinnamon and vanilla), Jamaica Jefe (a sour made with hibiscus flowers), and Rolling Hills Irish Red
(an Irish Red Ale built with roasted barley and crystal malts for a rich, complex flavor).
Attitude Brewery needs no introduction to San Diego country natives. With over-house beers and another 30 guest brews on tap, Attitude is overflowing with hoppy delight. Their award-winning beers are community favorites, and their taproom is a neighborhood hotspot.
At the top of the list is the OG Haze: Pineapple Express, a New England IPA that is an explosion of ripe pineapple and mango flavors with a pine finish. Another winner is the Legendary 24, a double IPA in memory of the legendary Laker Kobe Bryant. This beer is made of fruity flavors blended with a New Zealand hop combination that gives your mouth and nose a pleasant tingle. One more honorable mention is the OG Haze: Granddaddy Purple, another IPA but with a little something extra. This Hazy pale ale blend hops with cannabis for a punch of fruity, floral, and herbal flavor.
Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company
This is the place for all you punk rockers out there. This microbrewery has its brewing vats in the tasting room, so you can watch them make your beer while you drink it. The staff is always happy to give you an impromptu tour if you are interested in learning more. The main mural that covers the entire wall behind the bar is a masterpiece, reminiscent of school desk drawing and doodling. But Thr3e Punk is no slacker. Their high-quality artisan beers are meticulously made and honor the traditional blends that have stood the test of time.
Crowd pleasers include Needle In the Hey! (a West Coast-Style Double IPA), Kill the Pour (an American IPA) and La Flama Blanca ( a pale Mexican lager). There are also sours like Neurotic and pilsner like Dead Ramones that deserve a try. Order a flight and sample some of the best while the punk music blares. They also hold private events and live music.
This nano brewery was founded by three friends who decided to bring their love of beer and kombucha together to make hard kombucha. While technically not a beer, as beer is brewed with wheat, these drinks have an alcohol percentage high enough to be classified as beer. This ethically sustainable niche business is growing in popularity with its innovative blends.
They use organic fruits pressed in-house, avoiding added sugars and artificial flavoring altogether. Favorites include the Grapefruit Hibiscus Heather and Ginger Lime Rosehips.
Best Breweries in Chula Vista With Food
Along with flavorful artisanal craft beer, this city in southern California has delicious food to offer. With a Hispanic name, you know there is some fantastic Mexican cuisine along with other flavors from neighboring states.
Chula Vista Brewery – East Lake
Located 15 minutes from the operations facility, this brewpub showcases all the house beers and serves delicious Texas BBQ. Chula Vista Brewery’s 2,000 sq ft main dining room and tasting room has custom mural work done by local artists and a 500 sq ft outdoor patio. The 10-tap system has all the award-winning offerings, including their most popular Humble Double IPA, Hilltop IPA, and Guerita Blonde Ale.
They have partnered with Oak and Anchor BBQ, which runs the onsite kitchen and makes authentic wood-smoked Texas-style barbecue. There is no gas fueling the stoves and ovens. It’s all powered by wood, keeping it as traditional as possible. This 1000 sq ft permanent space allows the menu to keep expanding and features specials designed around the beers. If you are looking for a light meal, appetizers like deep-fried cauliflower and garlic fries are fun to munch while sipping refreshing beer. For a more hearty meal, try the Chicken Adobo or Shrimp Poboy Sandwich.
Novo Brazil Brewing
This California brewery exudes that Brazilian spirit and is extremely popular with the locals. So popular that they expanded from a 50-person taproom to a sprawling 12,000 sq ft brewpub in Otay Ranch Town Center Mall, with enough indoor and outdoor seating to fit 300 guests. Covered in South American accents, murals, and décor Novo is proud of its Brazilian heritage. Even the brewery vats have the Amazonian soul with rainforest animals painted on them.
The high-quality beers are some of the most sought-after in the region and have won many awards at World Beer Awards and World Beer Cup. There are four year-round beers, six seasonal as well, and four hard seltzers. Favorites include Mango Beer, Ipanema (a Citra double IPA), and Corvo Negro (a Russian imperial stout).
Their food menu pays further homage to its roots with appetizers, skewers, burgers, salads, and desserts, all with that Brazilian spice. Must-tries include Brazilian Sausage Skewer, Novo Burger, and “Brigadeeiro” Passion Pie.