Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

5985 Santa Fe Street
San Diego, CA, 92109
United States


Year Established: 1989


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It all started back in the mid 1980s, when our fearless founders, Chris Cramer and Matt Rattner, graduated from college and moved to San Diego, Chris’ hometown. They set up shop in an apartment on Mission Beach, armed with newly minted degrees, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an appreciation for beer. Inspired by a brewpub Chris came upon while traveling through Australia, they wanted to open a microbrewery and reintroduce locally brewed handcrafted beer to San Diego, a concept banned by Prohibition in the 1930s. But there’s a fine line between a good idea and a crazy one. They needed to consult an authority on the subject. Enter Karl. As in Karl M. Strauss, Chris’ cousin and world renowned master brewer of over 50 years. He not only endorsed their idea, but he also lent his expertise to the venture. With “Uncle Karl” on board, they went about crunching numbers, working out logistics, and tasting different beers (strictly for research purposes, of course). If We Brew It, Will They Come? After a year of writing IOUs to friends and family, overcoming archaic liquor laws, and nailing down beer recipes, the clock struck beer-thirty. On February 1st, 1989, the night before Chris and Matt opened the doors of the first brewpub in San Diego in over 50 years, they wondered: “Will people come?” On opening day, locals lined up around the block on Columbia Street downtown to try the three original beers: Karl Strauss Amber Lager (Karl’s favorite), Gaslamp Gold, and Downtown after Dark. For most people, it was the first time they had ever tasted fresh beer. Not only did Chris and Matt run out of beer within weeks, but soon requests were flowing in from local bars and restaurants who wanted to serve Karl Strauss beer. The boys were on to something big. Employing the trusty “learn as you go” technique, Chris and Matt kept up with demand by quadrupling the 10 barrel brew system at the brewpub. They also set up a small distribution brewery in a nearby industrial park, which they outgrew in a matter of months. In 1996, they bought a greenhouse on Santa Fe Street in Pacific Beach and converted it into the main brewery we call home today. Share the Beer A lot has changed since those early days. We now brew over 30 beers a year, including 6 core beers and a host of specialty beers, and seasonals. Our distribution has expanded to include over 2,500 bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and grocery stores throughout Southern California. And we’ve opened five more Brewery Restaurants in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. One thing that hasn’t changed is the commitment to brew fresh, quality beer that our first Brew Master instilled in us. Karl’s love of life, respect for others, and passion for handcrafted beer serves as the foundation of our company to this day.

ID: 1034 Last updated 7 hours ago Added to database 21 years ago

Quick Stats






Most Drunk: None
Highest Rated: Karl Strauss 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout [3.650]
Most Reviewed: Karl Strauss Amber Lager [14]


Beer | Style | ABV Score
2012 CBC Symposium San Diego Pale Ale
Imperial IPA| 10 %
3.225 (1)
Karl Strauss 1st National Bock
Bock| -
Karl Strauss 21st Anniversary Ale
Belgian Strong Ale| 10.2 %
3.357 (4)
Karl Strauss 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout| 9 %
3.650 (5)
Karl Strauss Amber Lager
Vienna / Amber Lager| 4.2 %
3.217 (14)
Karl Strauss Apricot Amber Lager
Fruit Lambic| -
Karl Strauss Balboa's Vintage Barleywine
American Barleywine| -
3.200 (1)
Karl Strauss Belgian Abbey Red
Belgian Ale| -
3.080 (2)
Karl Strauss Berliner Weiss
Berliner Weisse| -
Karl Strauss Big Barrel Double IPA
Imperial IPA| 9 %
3.550 (3)
Karl Strauss Big Brew Golden Ale
Blonde Ale| -
Karl Strauss Black's Beach Extra Dark
Schwarzbier| 4.7 %
3.150 (1)
Karl Strauss Blackball Belgian Style IPA
IPA| 8.5 %
3.180 (2)
Karl Strauss Boardwalk Black Rye
Rye Beer| 8 %
3.380 (2)
Karl Strauss Bock of America
Bock| 4.9 %
2.900 (1)
Karl Strauss Conquistador Dopplebock
Doppelbock| 8 %
Karl Strauss Cramer's Nordic Nectar
Fruit Lambic| -
Karl Strauss Cream Ale
Cream Ale| -
Karl Strauss Downtown After Dark Brown Ale
Brown Ale| 5.3 %
3.229 (4)
Karl Strauss Dry Hopped Brown Ale
Brown Ale| -
Karl Strauss Ed's Hoppy Birthday Brew
Bohemian / Czech Pilsener| 4.6 %
Karl Strauss Endless Summer Light
Light / Lite Lager| 3.4 %
3.100 (4)
Karl Strauss Extra Special Bitter
Extra Special Bitter| 5.6 %
Karl Strauss Flan-diddly-anders Red
Flanders Red| 5.5 %
3.340 (2)
Karl Strauss Fullsuit Belgian-Style Brown Ale
Brown Ale| 6.3 %
3.220 (2)
Karl Strauss Gaslamp Gold Ale
Blonde Ale| -
Karl Strauss Horton's Hootch
Doppelbock| 7.2 %
Karl Strauss Ice Koll Weissbier
Hefeweizen| -
Karl Strauss Jeff & Jers Hootch
Doppelbock| 8.3 %
Karl Strauss La Jolla Hefeweiss
Hefeweizen| -
3.000 (2)
Karl Strauss Light
Light / Lite Lager| -
Karl Strauss Maibock
Bock| -
Karl Strauss Marty's Bliss
Vienna / Amber Lager| -
Karl Strauss Marzen
Marzen / Oktoberfest| -
2.750 (1)
Karl Strauss Nasty Nate Sour Brown
Flanders Oude Bruin| 7.5 %
3.250 (1)
Karl Strauss Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal Stout| 5 %
3.400 (1)
Karl Strauss Off the Rails
Irish Ale| 8.5 %
3.160 (2)
Karl Strauss Oktoberfest
Marzen / Oktoberfest| 5 %
3.100 (4)
Karl Strauss Padre Porter
Porter| -
3.200 (1)
Karl Strauss Pale Ale
American Pale Ale| -
3.000 (5)
Karl Strauss Parrot in a Palm Tree
Baltic Porter| 8.5 %
3.175 (1)
Karl Strauss Pilsener
Bohemian / Czech Pilsener| -
Karl Strauss Pintail Pale Ale
American Pale Ale| 5.3 %
3.175 (1)
Karl Strauss Porter of San Diego
Porter| -
2.875 (1)
Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale
Amber Ale| 5.8 %
3.418 (13)
Karl Strauss Russian Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout| 9 %
2.675 (1)
Karl Strauss San Diego Brewers Guild Uncommon
California Common / Steam| 5 %
3.225 (1)
Karl Strauss Scotch Ale
Scottish Ale| 6.7 %
2.950 (1)
Karl Strauss Star of India Pale Ale
IPA| 4.9 %
3.271 (4)
Karl Strauss Stargazer India Pale Ale
IPA| 4.9 %
3.109 (8)
Karl Strauss StrausStout
Stout| 4.7 %
3.075 (1)
Karl Strauss Summer Gold
Bohemian / Czech Pilsener| 5.6 %
3.120 (7)
Karl Strauss To The 9's Imperial IPA
Imperial IPA| 9.9 %
3.075 (1)
Karl Strauss Tower 10 IPA
IPA| 6.5 %
3.271 (4)
Karl Strauss Two Tortugas
Abbey Quadrupel| 11.1 %
3.275 (1)
Karl Strauss Whiskey Barrel Padre Porter
Porter| 6.5 %
3.250 (1)
Karl Strauss Whistler Imperial Pilsner
Imperial Pilsener| 7.5 %
3.284 (3)
Karl Strauss Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen
Hefeweizen| 5.1 %
3.180 (2)
Karl Strauss Woodie Gold
Bohemian / Czech Pilsener| 4.6 %
3.040 (2)
Karl Strauss Wreck Alley Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout| 9.5 %
3.360 (2)

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120 Reviews 3.41 Average 3.4 Median

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