Ready to know more about San Diego?


The Far-Out Flavors of Craft Beer

Want to set yourself apart? Just add offbeat ingredients.

By Bruce Glassman

Lemongrass, agave, pumpkin, apples, lavender, guava, hazelnuts, apricots—the list sounds like a shopping spree at a local farmers market, but these are a few of the unusual ingredients being used by some of San Diego’s most creative brewers.

As the brewery landscape gets more crowded, many brewers are seeking out unique flavor combinations that will make them stand out among their peers. Some brewers like to add citrus components, such as oranges, limes, lemons, or grapefruit, while others go the spicy route by adding habanero, Serrano, jalapeño, chipotle, or even ghost peppers. Still others opt for even more offbeat flavors, such as maple, pine nuts, rosemary, and watermelon.

Most brewers will tell you these flavored beers are primarily meant to be fun: They push the limits of what craft beer can do. Many are experiments still in progress.

One of San Diego’s most successful boundary-pushing breweries is Ballast Point, which features a robust research and development lineup at its Little Italy location. The small-batch program is constantly changing, but it’s not uncommon to find great beers brewed with ginger, curry, honey, raspberries, and all sorts of peppers. Recently, the company created an Imperial Porter infused with coffee, vanilla, and bread pudding spices and a wheat beer brewed with Thai chiles, limes, and fresh ginger root.

There are hundreds of flavored beers available at any given time in San Diego, but a few notable ones are worth a special mention:


Twisted Manzanita

Apple Pie Ale

Nickel Beer Company

Green Tea IPA

Stone Brewing Co.

Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Belching Beaver Brewery

Habanero Sculpin

Ballast Point

Framboise de Amorosa

The Lost Abbey

Passion Fruit Sour

32 North Brewing Company

Indra Kunindra Stout

Ballast Point

Hibiscus Wheat



New English

Space Oasis Coconut Porter

Intergalactic Brewing Company

The Far-Out Flavors of Craft Beer

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA