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Modern Times Beer: Touring San Diego, California’s Craft Beer Scene

Explore the thriving craft beer scene in San Diego, California with a visit to Modern Times Beer. Take a tour of their brewery and learn about their delicious beers featuring unique ingredients.

Modern Times Beer: Touring San Diego, California’s Craft Beer Scene

Modern Times Beer is a craft brewery that has become synonymous with innovation and creativity in San Diego, California. Known for its boundary-pushing brews, culinary wizards, gifted beer-slingers and eye-catching can designs, Modern Times has earned a cult following among beer aficionados. The brewery's dedication to brewing exceptional beers is matched only by its commitment to sustainability and community engagement.

Here, we will guide you through everything about Modern Times Beer including its history, taprooms, popular beer styles, local ingredients, must-try beers, collaboration brews, reviews and signature events. Cheers to Modern Times Beer, where creativity knows no bounds and every pint tells a story!

History and Background of Modern Times Beer

The story of Modern Times Beer is one of passion, innovation and a relentless pursuit of crafting incomparable brews. Founded in 2013 by Jacob McKean, a former Stone Brewing employee, Modern Times quickly made its mark on the San Diego craft beer scene.

McKean, armed with a deep appreciation for quality beer and a vision for a brewery that would blend tradition with modern creativity, set out to create something truly unique with the inception of Modern Times. 

Modern Times Beer officially opened its doors in Point Loma, San Diego in 2013, with a focus on producing a diverse range of beers that challenged conventional styles and expanded the palates of beer enthusiasts. The brewery's early years were characterized by experimentation and a willingness to push boundaries, which resulted in a lineup of beers that defied expectations.

Since its establishment, the Modern Times multiverse has undergone significant expansion, including the start of an ever-growing barrel program, the opening of multiple new tasting room locations and even a coffee roastery in California. Anybody can purchase seasonal beers or monthly special releases in a variety of cities across the Western U.S., such as Oakland, Portland, Cheyenne, WY), Los Angeles, Colorado, Utah, Texas, Arizona (AZ), Hawaii, Alaska (AK) and Nevada.

modern times taproom

Tasting Room Locations and Hours of Operation

Modern Times Beer has strategically positioned its tasting room locations to provide enthusiasts with immersive experiences in diverse settings. All the tasting rooms allow children under 13 if they are supervised by their parents closely.

Currently, the beer business is operating three tasting rooms in Point Loma, North Park, and Encinitas.

1. Lomaland Fermentorium (Point Loma, San Diego)

Modern Times Beer’s 2,000-square-foot flagship location is where it all began. The Lomaland Fermentorium serves as a hub for Modern Times' brewing operations and features a vibrant tasting room where patrons can savor a wide range of beers in a welcoming atmosphere. The Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego tasting location offers a total of 32 taps, coffee, crowler fills, and luxury merchandise.

  • Capacity: Not Specified
  • Serves: 12 PM – 9 PM (Sun-Thurs)
  • Serves: 12 PM – 10 PM (Fri-Sat)
  • Location: 3725 Greenwood St., San Diego, CA 92110
  • Website: Point Loma

2. Flavordome (North Park, San Diego)

The Flavordome, located in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, is one of the popular tasting room destinations and creative powerhouses of Modern Times. Known for its eclectic design and lively atmosphere, the Flavordome offers a diverse selection of Modern Times brews in a setting that reflects the brewery's commitment to creativity. Additionally, it offers a curated selection of 20 taps and different flavors of Modern Times coffee to consumers.

  • Capacity: 100 People (Inside)
  • Serves: 12 PM – 9 PM (Sun-Thurs)
  • Serves: 12 PM – 11 PM (Fri-Sat)
  • Location: 3000 Upas_St (corner of 30th & Upas), San Diego, CA 92104
  • Website: North Park

3. Encinitas Tasting Room

Expanding beyond San Diego, Modern Times Beer has a presence in Encinitas with a dedicated tasting room as well. This location provides residents and visitors in the northern part of San Diego County the opportunity to enjoy Modern Times' unique beers (30 taps available) without venturing far from the coastal charm of Encinitas. One may also enjoy plant-based cuisine, coffee, and sundry merchandise shopping.

  • Capacity: Not Specified
  • Serves: 12 PM – 9 PM (Sun-Thurs, Tuesday Off)
  • Serves: 12 PM – 10 PM (Fri-Sat)
  • Location: 470 S. Coast Highway, 101 Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Website: The Far West Lounge

limited-release modern times dark beers

Award-Winning Signature Beer Styles of Modern Times Beer

Modern Times Beer has gained acclaim for its innovative and diverse approach to brewing, which has resulted in a portfolio full of face-meltingly delicious beer styles. Here are some of the signature beer styles alongside hybrid styles associated with the company:

1. Hop-Forward IPAs

Modern Times is well-known for its hop-forward India Pale Ales (IPAs) that showcase a variety of hop profiles. These beers often feature bold and saturated hop flavor with variations that include hazy IPA, über-tropical IPA, session IPA, double IPA or West Coast-style IPA, all of which are filled to the brim with hop aromas and flavors.

2. Stouts

The brewery is celebrated for its traditional, aroma-driven and experimental stouts. These stouts include variations like imperial stouts, coffee stouts and barrel-aged stouts to offer a depth of flavors from roasted malt, coffee and chocolate notes.

3. Sours & Wild Ales

Modern Times has long been on the forefront of experimentation with sour and wild ales, producing beers that provide tart, funky refreshment. The brewers have created Berliner weisses, sour IPAs and mixed-fermentation ales that showcase their creativity in this segment.

4. Barrel-Aged Beers

The barrel program at Modern Times Beer contributes to the creation of unique and complex beers for fans. The brewery's inventory of barrel-aged beers includes high-abv barrel-aged stouts (like a bourbon barrel-aged coffee stout) and sours, all of which have been carefully aged in a variety of barrels to impart distinct flavors.

5. Fruit-Forward & Experimental Beers

Modern Times often experiments with different fruits and adjuncts to create beers that push the boundaries of traditional styles. Fruit-forward IPAs with a very fruity hop character, fruit-infused sours, and other innovative concoctions are part of the brewery's wide repertoire.

6. Coffee Beers

With its own coffee roasters, Modern Times incorporates coffee aroma and flavor into many of its beers. Whether it's a coffee stout, coffee-infused IPA, or other coffee-driven styles, the brewery has become known for its skillful integration of coffee flavors.

Local Ingredients/Beer Ingredients

Modern Times Beer is known for sourcing high-quality ingredients locally to produce appealing beer flavors. While specific ingredient choices can vary based on beer styles and seasonal offerings, here are some general categories of ingredients used by Modern Times:

1. Hops

Modern Times showcases a variety of hop-forward beers and the brewery uses a diverse range of American hops and international varieties of some of the dankest hops including Simcoe hops, Sultana hops, Centennial hops, Amarillo hops, Ekuanot, Mosaic, Tettnang, Saaz, Galaxy, Chinook, Strata, Nelson, El Dorado, Vic Secret and Citra. These hops contribute different aromas and flavors to their IPAs and other hop-centric styles.

2. Malt

The brewery's unobtrusive malt character is a crucial component in Modern Times beers that help provide unique elements to the color, flavor and body of the beer. Modern Times sources a variety of malted grains including Rolled Oats, Two-Row, White Wheat, Pilsner Malted and Flaked Wheat, Munich Barley, Crystal 60 and Cara Vienne to achieve the desired characteristics in its diverse beer lineup.

3. Yeast

Yeast plays a critical role in fermentation and Modern Times uses a variety of yeast such as Estery Juice yeast to produce different beer styles. The choice of yeast impacts the beer's aroma and mouthfeel.

4. Coffee

Modern Times Brewery uses high-quality Ethiopian and Sumatran coffee beans to create unique coffee-infused stouts and porters.

5. Adjuncts

Modern Times Beer often experiments with various adjuncts such as fruits (guava, pineapple, heavy dose of passion fruit, tropical fruit, stone fruit, pink grapefruit, papaya, peach, luscious notes of coconut, vibrant notes of mango, heavy dose of sour cherries, etc.), spices, and other flavorings. These additions contribute to the complexity and uniqueness of its beer offerings.

6. Barrel-Aging Ingredients

For their barrel-aged beers, Modern Times utilizes a variety of barrels (e.g., whiskey, wine, or brandy barrels) to impart distinct flavors to the beer. The aging process allows the beer to take on characteristics from the wood and any previous contents of the barrels.

7. Water

Water is a crucial component in brewing, and Modern Times pays attention to water quality to ensure it meets the specific requirements for each beer style.

modern times orderville ipa

Must-Try Beers from Modern Times

Modern Times Beer is known for producing a huge number of popular craft beers in the United States. While availability may vary based on location and season, here are some "must-try" beers from Modern Times that have garnered attention and praise:

1. Fortunate Islands

This is one of Modern Times' flagship beers, a hoppy and refreshing wheat beer with citrusy and tropical fruit notes. It is a great choice for those who enjoy a lighter and easy-drinking beer with a tropical character.

2. Orderville IPA

A juicy and hazy IPA that features flavors of tropical fruit fiesta, citrus, and pine. It is known for its smooth mouthfeel, balanced bitterness (per its IBU content) and its terrific aroma (an aroma so good, in fact, that the brewery bills it as a Fragrant IPA. This beer is a favorite among complex IPA enthusiasts.

3. Black House

An oatmeal coffee stout that combines roasted malt flavors with notes of coffee and chocolate. It’s creamy, rich and satisfying, fantastic for a buyer who enjoys dark and flavorful beers.

4. City of the Dead

This is Modern Times' take on a classic stout with a marvelous mix of elements such as coffee, cocoa and roasted malt. It's bold and complex with a smooth finish that makes it a standout choice for stout lovers.

5. Blazing World

This is an amber ale with a twist that features a blend of citrusy hops that add a unique and refreshing dimension to the brewery's core beers. It's well-balanced and flavorful with a slightly bitter finish that keeps you coming back for more.

6. Ice

A crisp and refreshing pilsner with a clean malt profile and a subtle hop character. It's suitable for those who enjoy a classic, no-frills beer that is easy to drink and pairs well with a variety of foods.

7. Devil's Teeth

This is Modern Times' take on a barrel-aged imperial stout, aged in bourbon barrels to impart rich flavors of vanilla, oak and caramel. It's bold and boozy with a smooth finish that makes it perfect for sipping on special occasions.

8. Lomaland Saison

Modern Times Beer's Lomaland Saison is a Belgian-style farmhouse ale that embodies the brewery's promise of quality. With a light, effervescent body, it features fruity and spicy yeast notes, complemented by a subtle hop character.

Reviews and Accolades

Modern Times Beer has garnered widespread acclaim, with critics and enthusiasts alike praising their innovative brews. Let’s explore some platforms through which the brewery has received glowing reviews for its quality and ability to deliver a truly exceptional drinking experience:

1. Untappd

  • Overall Rating: ⭐4.01
  • Total Ratings: 2,133,651
  • Number of Beers Rated: 1748

2. BeerAdvocate

  • Overall Rating: ⭐4.12
  • Total Ratings: 17,649
  • Number of Beers Rated: 513

3. Yelp

  • Overall Rating: ⭐4.10
  • Total Ratings: 728
  • Number of Beers Rated: N/A

Awards Won by Modern Times Beer

Modern Times Beer has received a plethora of awards, which solidify its position as one of the leading breweries in California. Noteworthy achievements include multiple gold medals at esteemed competitions like the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. Here is a list of awards won by the Brewery:

modern times collaborations and partnerships

Collaboration and Partnerships

Modern Times Beer always promotes collaborative initiatives and frequently joins forces with like-minded breweries and businesses. These partnerships result in unique and exciting brews that showcase a fusion of creative forces.

Notable collaborations include projects with renowned names in the craft beer scene as well as ventures with local establishments such as:

Signature Events / Community Involvement

Modern Times Beer actively engages with its community through signature events and initiatives. From beer releases and tap takeovers to innovative festivals, the brewery fosters a vibrant beer culture.

1. Special Releases

Modern Times beer release events epitomize a sophisticated blend of craft appreciation and community engagement. These meticulously curated occasions transcend traditional tastings to offer a platform where connoisseurs converge to celebrate innovation through the release of brand-new, limited-edition beers.

2. Podcast & Photography Events

Modern Times Beer extends its community engagement through signature podcast and photography events almost once a month in its tasting room locations. These professional gatherings provide a platform for insightful discussions on brewing and craft culture to foster connections.

3. Special Events & Gatherings

Modern Times Beer's tasting rooms offer an exquisite backdrop for a spectrum of special events from birthdays and anniversaries to social gatherings and family reunions. The meticulously designed spaces, coupled with top-tier service, ensure that each occasion is elevated into an unforgettable experience.


Modern Times Beer stands out as an indisputable go-to option both for beer novices and seasoned connoisseurs alike. With an impressive array of innovative and flavorful brews, numerous accolades and the promise of community engagement through signature events, the brewery consistently raises the bar in the craft beer landscape. Modern Times' dedication to quality, diversity and fostering a sense of shared celebration makes it a cornerstone of California's thriving beer culture. It provides a compelling and enriching experience for all who appreciate the artistry of craft brewing.