Coronado Brewing Company Brew Pub – Coronado, CA
Tours Offered: No
Food Service: Yes (Full service restaurant)
A Brief History
Coronado Brewing Company was founded in 1996, when brothers Rick and Ron Chapman opened their brewpub on Coronado island.
Believe it or not, the San Diego beer scene was somewhat barren back then, which made Coronado Brewing Company one of the early pioneers in the city’s young craft beer scene.
The company’s trademark image is a mermaid. How did they arrive at this mythical choice?
According to local folklore, mermaids once inhabited the waters surrounding Coronado island, and those enticing “sirens” sang beautiful songs to attract seafaring explorers away from the dangerous, jagged rocks of Point Loma and into the safe harbor of San Diego Bay.
Coronado Brewing Company’s early success was brought on through an assortment of West Coast style ales, and a growing demand to distribute their beer outside the walls of the brewpub. Their first sale was a keg, to the historic Hotel Del Coronado.
Coronado Brewing Company soon found their beer in San Diego markets, when the craft beer scene began to pick up steam. By 2003 they had become a local favorite, and also signed a deal with a craft distribution company giving them even more exposure.
As their popularity grew, so did their facility, which tripled production in 2006. The operation continued to grow, distributing outside California in 2010. Their expansion continued into 2012, when they opened a 22,000 square foot brewhouse in Tecolote Canyon.
More Pictures from Coronado Brewing Company
Our Visit to Coronado Brewing Company Brew Pub
Coronado Brewing Company’s Brew Pub is located on the eastern tip of Coronado island, near the edge of San Diego Harbor.
If you walk a few hundred feet down to the end of the road, you are rewarded with a very scenic view across the bay of downtown San Diego. Sorry, we tried to take a night time picture but it didn’t turn out.
The building itself is brick, and looks like it could have been a warehouse of some kind, before Coronado took over. An alternate version of their mermaid logo is painted onto the bricks above the doorway, with palm trees and greenery for a plantation style motif.
On the left side of the entrance, there was a small outside seating area, which was not being used in the cooler weather. Not like San Diego get’s that cold, but still. We definitely wanted to sit inside after waiting 30+ minutes on the bench outside for our table.
Inside, the tropical island decor theme continued, with more foliage — ferns and palms. The bar bi-sects the building, which is more wide than deep. Seating for the main restaurant area runs down the right hand side, with another section to the left of the bar.
The bar offers ample seating, and juts out to a point, forming two sections. The first was all Coronado Brewing Company beer, but more on that in a minute…
The second area looked to be all guest handles, with a good choice of fellow craft brewers. At this part of the bar, you can see the brewing equipment through a glass viewing area.
As far as Coronado Brewing Company beer goes, you can find their staples (distributed/bottled), along with quite a selection of tap-only exclusives. Just our luck, they had run dry on their collaboration with Cigar City, “The Last Spike”.
Not like their regular beers aren’t good, but after not having any Coronado Brewing beers for a few years, they have really stepped their game up in the specialty department. We really enjoyed their IPAs!
The food selection was great – just the kind of fare you want to see in a brew pub. When you have as hard of a time deciding on what to eat as we did, that’s a good problem to have. The final choices were BBQ Bacon Burger and Beer Braised Street Tacos.
FYI: like the sign says behind the bar, there is a 3 pint limit at Coronado Brewing Company.
Exclusives on Tap
Exclusive or experimental brews available on tap during our visit:
- Blue Bridge Coffee Stout: 3.5/5
A light-bodied stout with dark roasted coffee flavor.
- Idiot IPA: 4/5
A well-hopped IPA, with satisfying sweet pine finish.
- Kiwi Herman: 4/5
Quite similar to the beer above, and when they taste delicious, clones were welcome.
- Hoppy Daze: 4/5
Belgian style IPA. A little sparing on the hops, but Belgian yeast shined through.