The New York Times thinks you should visit San Diego this year. Our fair city is one of the 45 places the paper picks to see in 2012.

Of course, if you’re reading this, this might not be great advice. Chances are you visit San Diego every day. But you should probably know why the Gray Lady wants people to join you. After all, it’s always fun to be a tourist in your own city.

Here’s what the paper has to say:

14. San Diego

With breweries and brewpubs, a sunny heaven for suds lovers.

Even in times of tight budgets, finely crafted beer remains a relatively approachable luxury, and few American regions have more brewing momentum than San Diego County. Maybe it’s time, then, to think about building a beer safari in the land of sunshine, fish tacos and hopped-up American IPAs. Long established craft breweries like Karl Strauss Brewing Company and the cheeky Stone Brewing Company have mentored brewmasters and created demand for some seriously offbeat ales.

The area has long been a hotbed of garage-based hobbyists, so it’s no surprise that the region also has a tradition of dedicated home brewing. The result is a cluster of small breweries, like the tiny but soon-to-expand Hess Brewing.

And there are numerous opportunities for rigorous but never dour beer tastings, at staggeringly comprehensive shops like Bottlecraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room and Pizza Port Bottle Shop, as well as beer-obsessed taverns like Hamilton’s and O’Brien’s and restaurants like Local Habit. Those looking for full immersion can pack a stein for the fourth annual San Diego Beer Week in November.

They also throw in this slideshow.

So how did San Diego become so well known for beer? Glad you asked. I have the perfect explainer for you:

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

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