Coronado Brewing, One of San Diego’s First Craft Breweries

Coronado Brewing, One of San Diego’s First Craft Breweries
Coronado Brewing Company
170 Orange Avenue | Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 437-4452

Brothers Ron and Rick Chapman founded Coronado Brewing Company in their hometown on Coronado Island in 1996. Back then, the San Diego “craft beer scene” was pretty non-existent, and most people were not ordering IPAs at their local bar.

Coronado Brewing Company began as a small brewpub serving up bold small-batch beers, including Islander IPA and Mermaid Red, two beers that helped to define “West Coast” beer styles.

Since opening in August 1996, the dining area at Coronado Brewing Company has expanded twice, and in 2006 they tripled the brewhouse capacity by installing twelve 20-barrel fermenters. Nineteen years after opening, Coronado currently has a 30-barrel brewhouse and is producing 40,000 barrels annually.


Coronado has three locations. The original brewpub is located at 170 Orange Avenue in Coronado, offering a menu of delicious food and an impressive lineup of Coronado brews.

The CBC Imperial Beach pub is located at 875 Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach. This pier-side location offers coastal views and a seaside vibe.

The Tasting Room is located at 1205 Knoxville Street in San Diego, directly across from the 20,000 square foot production brewery in San Diego’s Tecolote Canyon area, which opened in 2012. This location offers samplers of the entire line of beers, including special releases and cask offerings.

Coronado Brewing Company has been an award-winning brewery since 2007, winning several awards at the SD International Beer Competition and other competitions over the years.

Some other notable awards include a gold medal for Orange Ave Wit at the World Beer Championship in 2012, and the Black IPA, Black Sails won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013.

Cool birthday gifts

In April 2014, Coronado won Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster Award at the World Beer Cup during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Denver, Colorado. See a complete list of Coronado’s awards here.


We visited the original brewpub location on Coronado Island for lunch. The menu includes pub favorites like Brewhouse Nachos, Brewmaster Pretzel, and the tasty Loaded Tots (we highly recommend the Garlic Tots with roasted garlic, mozzarella, and parmesan).

There are many soup and salad options on the menu, or try one of the creative burger options like the Chipotle Veggie Burger, the Islander Burger (with grilled pineapple, ginger teriyaki sauce, and white cheddar cheese sauce), or the Boardwalk Burger (cajun spiced burger with bacon, roasted peppers, caramelized onion, and crumbled blue cheese).

Other sandwich options include cheesesteaks, a grilled ribeye sandwich, and a swordfish sandwich. Tacos are made with grilled wahoo fish, cod fish, swordfish, cajun shrimp, carnitas, or grilled steak.

Entrees include wood-fired pizzas, calzones, and flatbreads and pasta dishes. Other options include steaks, surf n’ turf, swordfish, salmon, and chicken.


With 24 tap lines, there is sure to be something on tap for everyone at Coronado Brewing Company. The draft list during our visit included…

Core Series

  • Coronado Golden – 4.9% ABV California Pilsner gold in color, light-bodied, and delicately hopped with Cluster, German Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops. A crisp, clean and abundantly refreshing brew that’s ideal for everyday enjoyment.
  • Orange Avenue Wit – 5.2% ABV California Wit brewed with orange zest, coriander and orange blossom honey. This beer is refreshing and light-bodied with a citrus zing and hint of earthy spice.
  • Islander IPA – 7% ABV original India Pale Ale showing hometown pride. Centennial, Chinook and Columbus hops combine to provide an explosive burst of piney bitterness and luscious notes of apricot, grapefruit and mango.
  • Idiot IPA – 8.5% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale brewed with a generous blend of Nugget hops and the four Cs—Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus—bringing a myriad of tropical fruit flavors and a brawny, persistent bitterness.
  • Mermaid’s Red Ale – 5.7% ABV Amber Ale loaded with Cascade hops giving fresh floral aroma and sharp bitter notes, balanced by a solid kick of roasted malts and a rich, chocolaty finish with hints of clove and caramel.
  • Blue Ridge Coffee Stout – 5.4% ABV Coffee Stout brewed with dark roast coffee and cold brewed coffee added post fermentation.

From the Crown Series

  • Señor Saison – 6.5% ABV Saison brewed with agave nectar and jalapeño peppers. It combines a touch of spice with fruity esters derived from Belgian yeast.
  • Nineteenth Anniversary – 9% ABV Imperial IPA worthy of both paying homage to Coronado’s past and the new year of brewing that lays ahead. Brewed with Nugget, Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Green Bullet, and Galaxy hops.

From the Brewers Series

  • Barrelman’s Brown – 6% ABV Brown ale with a medium to full body and dark brown in color. A mild ale with a sweet chocolatey maltiness, a rich roasted character, and mild bitterness.
  • For Days – 5% ABV Session IPA that is hop forward with complex notes of lime, tropical fruits and dark citrus.
  • 435 Pale Ale – 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale that’s medium bodied and hop forward with a solid malt backbone and hoppy notes of pine and citrus.

Specialty Offerings

  • Bienvenido – 3.7% ABV Pale Lager
  • Salty Burro – 4.5% ABV American Light Lager
  • Jarrylo Gold – 5.4% ABV American Blonde Ale
  • Gose to Charity – 3.9% ABV Gose ($1 of every pint goes to charity)
  • Silver Strand Saison – 5.1% ABV Saison
  • Azacca Wheat – 5.1% ABV American Pale Wheat Ale

  • Berry the Hatchet – 4.6% ABV Wheat Beer with with red raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry
  • Fleet Week Pale Ale – 5% ABV American Pale Ale with a portion of each beer sold going directly to help the local military
  • Coronado Common – 5.2% ABV California Common
  • Shrunken Head – 4.5% ABV Session Red IPA


Beers can be purchased in 1 gallon and 2 liter growlers to go. Many beers are also available in 4-packs, 6-packs, or 22-ounce bottles.

The brewpub is open Sunday to Thursday 10:30 AM to 9 PM, and Friday and Saturday 10:30 AM to 10 PM. The Tasting Room is open everyday from 10:30 AM to 10 PM. The CBC Imperial Beach location is open Monday to Thursday 11 AM to 10 PM, Friday 11 AM to 10 PM, Saturday 8 AM to 10 PM, and Sunday 8 AM to 9 PM. Breakfast is served 8 AM to 11 AM.

For a delicious meal with tasty beers, I highly recommend visiting the Coronado Brewing Company Brew Pub. Be sure to take the time to explore Coronado Island, and enjoy the views of San Diego.

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