Bottled & Kegged: San Diego’s Craft Brew Culture

How San Diego became a nationwide leader in craft beer

April 06, 2013 – January 20, 2014

Bottled & Kegged: San Diego’s Craft Brew Culture explores the ebb and flow of beer production in the San Diego region over the years and answers the question: Why is San Diego becoming such a nationally renowned region for craft beer production and innovation?

Beginning with the region’s earliest inhabitants to the present day, the exhibit highlights events and individuals who built a brewing industry where once there was none, kept an industry alive during Prohibition, and managed to bring back what, at one time, was one of the region’s most robust enterprises.The exhibit features many hands-on interactive elements that help explain: the brewing process, how San Diego County brewers achieve such expansive flavor profiles, and the science behind matching beers with food.Bottled & Kegged has components that speaks to audiences of all ages and will educate even the most avid craft beer lover.

This exhibition is not included during SD County Residents’ FREE TUESDAY. Admission to Bottled & Kegged is half price the regular admission price during those days.


Interested in having images from San Diego’s brewing past in your home or office?

Click here to browse and order high-quality matted and framed photography from San Diego’s “hoppening” past!


Lead Sponsor:

Wells Fargo



Major Sponsor:

Stone Logo

Major Supporter:

UCSD Extension


With additional support from:

West Coaster

Higgs Fletcher


Brewing in San Diego, prior to Prohibition, was big business. After Prohibition’s repeal, San Diego again began producing large quantities, supplying 25 % of the beer produced in the state in the late 1940s before national conglomerates like Anheuser-Busch, Coors, and Miller pushed local brands out of the market.


In 1953, production ceased in the City of San Diego and beer would not be brewed commercially in the region again until 1987.With the help of some changes in statewide legistation, as well as a vibrant home brewing culture in the region, several local brewer/entrepreneurs–with a dedication to the craft of brewing and a passion for the pursuit of quality–started making beers that introduced residents to a whole new world of flavors.In time, the cumulative knowledge and expertise of brewers inspired even more creativity and innovation within the craft beer community.


The result has been a vast galaxy of craft beers in all varieties with wildly different flavors, tastes, and textures that have gained notoriety worldwide, with brewers earning awards on beer’s biggest stages.Today, San Diego is home to over 60 breweries and is one of the top-tier regions for quality craft beer production and a leader in craft brew tourism.Click here to learn more! Images: Home Brew Mart’s 15-barrel brewing system to be on display in the exhibit!