A note from the editor: Alyssa of @southernbeergirl is a good woman to know. Not only is she one of the few females at the helm of a brewery in the Mile High City (she’s currently Head Brewer at Denver’s Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery), but she’s an avid traveler and can recommend a beer for pretty much any occasion. Plus, she just really loves beer. Which is perfectly a-ok in our book. Alyssa recently stayed with us at Stay Alfred at AV8 Living in San Diego’s foodie haven, Little Italy, and she’s serving up her favorite places to eat and drink around the neighborhood - cheers!
I was so excited to be visiting the beautiful city of San Diego for the first time. I have heard so many great things about how great the food, atmosphere, scenery and especially the BEER is. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband and I arrived early on a Saturday morning to find such amazing weather. Just warm enough for no sweater and the breeze just right so you never get too hot.
I had been getting updates on my phone for my Stay Alfred travel apartment, and I knew check-in time was a little later than when we had arrived, so I Googled some breweries around our future travel apartment in the Little Italy neighborhood – this section is known for the amazing Italian food (I’ll touch more on that later), boutique shops, and a strong Italian influence.
One of the closest breweries was a spot called Bolt Brewing. Bolt had a nice, open taproom so we could sit and sip beers while watching people pass by and soak in everything. I was also happy they served brunch! I ordered the French toast with bacon and decided a great pairing would be this beer (pictured above) – “Hard Pressed Citrus” – a blonde ale brewed with orange, almost like orange juice.
After the super easy and private check-in at Stay Alfred at AV8 Living, I loved my travel apartment. It was wonderfully decorated and comfortable; the balcony was great and overlooked Little Italy. I even could glimpse Ballast Point Brewing Company from the view! Needless to say, I was excited to be staying here.
Later that night we decided to check out another brewery within walking distance of our new home-away-from-home - Mikkeller Brewing Co. They are known worldwide, with their original brewery being in Copenhagen, they’ve gained notoriety in the beer world and have set up a few taprooms and breweries in different countries. This was my first time to visit any of them, and I was ready to taste some creative beers! The bartenders happily greeted me, and I ended up settling on and Oaked Pilsner. Usually when you drink Pilsner you expect a very smooth and light beer, this was all of that but with an added punch of tannins from the oak they aged with the beer. It was delicious!
One thing I soon discovered in the heart of Little Italy was a restaurant called Monello. I chose to indulge at this particular swanky Italian joint because they happen to have a special dish with fresh made pasta, made with a light romesco, served out a massive parmesan cheese wheel tableside that they top with fresh basil and in house made ricotta cheese. I am a cheese lover, so this was a dream!
Out of all of these amazing options so close to our Stay Alfred travel apartment, I would have to say the best experience is hanging out with my friend Melis in her hometown. As a fellow craft beer enthusiast, I knew Melis and I would be able to have a ton of fun together and that she would be the best tour guide of San Diego. We visited some amazing breweries and restaurants together, including Green Flash, Pure Project Brewing and dinner at Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar - one of the best spots in Little Italy for seafood.
One thing she revealed is that San Diegans love them some BRUNCH. I decided to check out the very vegan Café Gratitude just a few blocks down from our travel apartment at Stay Alfred at AV8 Living. I loved the plant-based menu, local coffee roasts and selection of craft beer. It was such a bright, clean brunch spot. I ordered a light dish - avocado toast and a simple cup of black coffee, but for such a simple dish, it was artfully made and delicious.
I had the most amazing time in San Diego, and I truly know it will not be the last time I pay a visit. My trip was made so much better by the fact that all of these amazing spots were within walking distance of our Stay Alfred travel apartment. I was so sad to leave, but inspired, full, and packed with great memories.
Until next time San Diego!
Alyssa aka @SouthernBeerGirl