Top 3 Bartending Schools in San Diego

by Rob Doherty

When it’s 75 degrees and sunny in San Diego, it’s hard to spend the entire day stuck inside a cubicle. Luckily as a bartender, you don’t have to. You’ll have the best of both worlds: you can work at an outside bar during the day or work the nightshift and have your days free to the beach and the famous California weather. With three stellar bartending schools in San Diego, you’ll be trained in no time to pour drinks, close the bar, and everything in between.

San Diego Bartending School
6690 Mission Gorge Rd.
San Diego, CA 92120

40 hours
$495 (specials run for $299; military gets 10% discount)

When bars in San Diego want to hire bartenders, they go to San Diego Bartending School.

Bartending is more than just memorizing drink recipes. It’s also about having the right pouring and mixing skills, learning how to multi-task and giving top-notch customer service. San Diego Bartending School will teach you all that and more. During the two-week course, students learn over 200 drinks, bar terminology, speed, free pouring, and garnishes. On the business end of things, instructors teach students how to maximize their tips, how to give excellent customer service and how to serve responsibly to protect both the customer and the bar owner. They will even go over how to beef up your resume so you can make an excellent first impression on any bar manager. Having a hard time finding a job upon graduation? The school offers a Job Placement program which makes it easier for graduates to find a bartending job without bartending experience.

School of Spirits Bartending College
1311 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

30 hours

Want to take a bartending class that will teach you the ropes of working in the industry, but don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend doing so? The School of Spirits Bartending College occasionally runs specials that blow other San Diego bartending schools out of the water, in terms of price. For $159, students have access to a 30-hour course filled with everything you need to know to thrive as a bartender. Best of all, The School of Spirits lets you complete the class on your schedule. Classes are offered every week and you are able to mix and match your schedule, taking as much time as you need to complete the program. If after the thirty hours you aren’t satisfied, you can sign up for additional practice time until you feel you’re ready to get behind a real bar. Taught by actual bartenders, you will learn bar equipment, bar set up, sanitation, free pouring, alcohol awareness, and everything you could possibly want to know about beer, liquor, and wine. What’s even better is that the school partners with two restaurants in the city, which means that means that when they’re hiring bartenders, graduates of the college will be the first to know.

Mixology Bartending Academy
5138 Waring Rd.
San Diego, CA 92120

35 hours

Do you know how to make a Bay Breeze or a Fuzzy Navel? Worry not, Mixology Bartending Academy (MBA) has you covered. Along with drink recipes, MBA will teach you alcohol safety and awareness, bar set up, and knowledge on beer, wine, and liquor in a realistic bar setting. This thirty five hour class is only $299 and you can come back whenever you want for a refresher. Although no bartending school could guarantee employment, MBA has built many connections in the bar industry that students can leverage to find a job post-graduation. Restaurants and hotels alike know that when hiring from MBA, their newest bartender will be fast, efficient, and knowledgeable.

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