Editor’s Note: We saw this post in the San Diego Free Press from our good buddy John, and thought “Damn. That’s some good information to have if you love craft beer and sunshine. With his permission we’re reposting it here, but you should also check out his work in the San Diego Free Press. Good Stuff.
 Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness

San Diego For Free: Brews & Views at Alcohol-Friendly Public Spaces in San Diego

A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free! We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.

By John P Anderson

Address: Many locations across the city

Date and Time: Varies but generally either 8 AM – 8 PM or 12 PM – 8 PM

Fourth of July Beer ReviewBest For: Beer drinkers, coping son-in-laws, well-behaved college students, responsible citizens and visitors of all stripes

San Diego is known for many things. Some prominent ones are sun, surf, an ideal climate, and beer. (If you enjoy reading about beer, read this article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that is the best list of top U.S. beer cities I’ve read.)

Once upon a time you could enjoy all of these things together but today we inhabit a safer, tamer, lamer, more responsible world and despite the love many San Diegans have for our local (and non-local) breweries it is not advised to consume their offerings whilst lounging on the golden sand of the Pacific. A ban on beach drinking was passed in San Diego a few years ago.

However, there do remain many public locations in the the city where you can enjoy both the sunshine and an IPA, hefeweizen, imperial chocolate espresso stout, russian imperial double stout, or other adult beverage of your choice. You can also do so without paying $4, $6, $8, or more per beverage. Score for those ballin’ on a budget or doing some mad thrift shopping!

Balboa Park Map re alc-areasLet’s start with Balboa Park – a popular destination for both locals and visitors. Drinking of alcohol is allowed in certain areas of the park:

  • Botanical Building East Lawn and West Lawn
  • House of Pacific Relations Lawn
  • International Lawn
  • Mall Lawn
  • Moreton Bay Fig Lawn
  • Pan American Plaza Lawn
  • Recital Hall Lawn

In these areas alcohol is permitted from 12 PM to 8 PM. Note also that glass is prohibited and that groups of more than 49 persons “must obtain a permit to hold or participate in any celebration, parade or special event”. Per the map included in the Municipal Code it appears that the Federal Building Lawn is also alcohol-friendly but the Balboa Park website does not include that location.

In addition to these sections of Balboa Park, consumption of alcoholic beverages is also allowed from 8 AM to 8 PM in the following locations per Appendix 56.54B of the San Diego Municipal Code.

  • Cabrillo Heights Neighborhood Park
  • Carmel Creek Neighborhood Park
  • Carmel Del Mar Neighborhood Park
  • Bill Cleator Neighborhood Park
  • Collier Neighborhood Park
  • East Clairemont Athletic Area
  • Gershwin Neighborhood Park
  • Lake Murray Community Park
  • Montezuma Neighborhood Park
  • Mount Acadia Neighborhood Park
  • Murray Ridge Neighborhood Park
  • Ocean Beach Rec Center Park
  • Olive Grove Community Park
  • Pioneer Park (Mission Hills)
  • Presidio Park
  • Rancho Bernardo Community Park
  • San Carlos Community Park
  • Serra Mesa Community Park
  • Solana Highland Neighborhood Park
  • Tecolote Community Park

two guys toasting a beer outsideLuckily for fans of San Diego beer, local breweries have recently started to embrace the aluminum side of packaging, making it much easier to enjoy a local beer at the above listed locations. Local breweries offering (or soon to offer) beer in cans include: Ballast Point, Hess, and Modern Times. Monkey Paw did a one-off canning experiment and may re-enter that scene again. Non-San Diego breweries that offer canned product available here include Oskar Blues (Colorado) and Maui Brewing (Hawai’i), among others.

If you enjoy beer, I hope you and your friends, family, and enemies find this information helpful and enjoy a sunny day this summer with one of your favorite ales or lagers. If you do, please remember to not be a jack-ass. Jack-assery, along with East and North City voters, make it no longer possible to enjoy a beer on the beach. Please respect those around you and yourself and enjoy your beer responsibly. Your loved ones will thank you for it.

Lightning Bolts of Awesomeness

Great post John & don’t forget to check out the San Diego Free Press.