I have dreamed of visiting Ballast Point Brewing ever since I tried their Victory at Sea.
I enjoyed Victory at Sea when it was still seasonal- and you could imagine my frustration when (at the time) I found out it was seasonal. Victory at Sea. Er meh gerd. It is one of the most beautiful stouts out there, and now I can get it all the time. So when I visited Ballast Point in San Diego, I was STOKED. I got to see the maker (lol).
The Miramar facility is the original spot for Ballast Point - it's just 20 minutes from La Joya. The outdoor seating area has a heated deck and gorgeous tables. I recommend getting a seat out there.
If you get a chance, do the tour. It's free & it's totally worth it if you like nerding out on beer.
Recently, Ballast Point was bought by Constellation- a massive company, so the operation has transformed from a craft beer spot to a large manufacturing facility. Regardless, the beer is still fantastic and Joseph Ramaglia (the GM of the Miramar facility) says that the culture hasn't changed much.
While walking through the facility, Joseph greeted the people operating the machinery by name, and you could tell there was a sense of community.
Did I mention I love Victory at Sea? Well I tried their Coconut VaS and it was everything I dreamed of and more. Like how can you make something that's already perfect even more awesome? They had a few other varietals of VoS (ie peppermint), but (trust me) try the coconut first because it's the bessssttt.
Even though Ballas Point isn't a little craft beer spot any more, their Grapefruit Sculpin (and Victory at Sea) are some of the best beers out there. I would highly recommend checking out Ballast Point.
Also, after you're done here, you should head over to Purra Birra, which is a small brewery that is walking distance from Ballast Point. They have a wide variety of unique beers.