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After touring a dozen breweries in the San Diego area, these five left me and my friend impressed:

• Ballast Point: As one of the largest breweries, this Miramar taproom has a lengthy beer menu. We enjoyed the Watermelon Dorado Double IPA and Sculpin IPA before a free tour (1-858-790-6901;

• Duck Foot: This smaller taproom had some unique, cleverly named beers, including the Slow Burn IPA with chilis (1-858-433-7916;

• Green Flash: Warm up under heat lamps with the Passion Fruit Kicker and order dinner at the brewery's food truck next to a beer garden (1-858-622-0085;

• Little Miss Brewing: Check out the sour Berliner weisse at this small brewery decked out with World War II posters and dartboard. (1-619-880-2752;

• Booze Brothers: We loved the Belgian wit at this cozy taproom with a great outdoor patio (1-760-295-0217;