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Downtown Johnny Brown's

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

44 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
92
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
54
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
7.69%
 
 
Taps:
16
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
Downtown Johnny Brown'sDowntown Johnny Brown's
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1220 3rd Ave
San Diego, California, 92101-4102
United States

(619) 232-8414 | map
www.downtownjohnnybrowns.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 04-07-2006

View: Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 54
Photo of jim102864
3.39/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A small beer bar tucked away and hidden from view. This was pub two after stopping in at the Yard House. The primary problem with Johnny's is the temperature beer is served. You'd think by now these guys would know that bathing every bottle in ice and serving pints at sub zero temperatures is just wrong. I had to specifically tell the Brit (no less!) bar keep not to chill my glass. Yeah, they had Lost Abbey in a bottle but encapsulated in ice? What's wrong with this picture? I killed them on "quality" for that very reason. As to the beer selection, they did have a handful of bottles available some of which were good quality. Roughly 12 or so on tap most of which were also good quality. The atmosphere is relaxed and somewhat interesting. A somewhat above average place but given that this was the last beer bar I visited on this business trip, I can't help but think the availability of good pubs in San Diego is somewhat dissapointing. This place is worth the stop, but it's just not a jaw dropper.

 1,008 characters

Photo of Flyer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Hard to find, because it's not actually on 3rd Ave. -- you have to go behind the civic center building. It was worth a few minutes of hunting. Not a huge selection, but all were quality taps, including more than their fair share of big beers by Pizza Port/Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Stone, others. Mostly local (but San Diego has a great craft brewer scene, so that's okay) but I was pleasantly surprised to find Allagash Black. The bartenders were friendly, efficient, and reasonably knowledgable. One even comped me my second beer for no apparent reason other than shared love of great beer (and, possibly, the Clash). Food was basic bar fare, but my salmon burger was pretty good. The atmosphere is basic neighborhood bar. (One reviewer called it part sports bar, presumably because of lots of photos of ball players, but if you're looking for a lot of big screen tv's and conversation-free male bonding, you'll have to go elsewhere).

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Photo of epearson
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I hit this place up a few times. Always a good selection of beer on tap, although there were two taps wasted on fizzy yellow beers (budwieser, coors). But the rest of the lineup made up for it. Plently of local beers and some out of towner microbrews. Large space, pool table, shuffleboard and plenty of tv's. Kind of set back in its own little space between high risers in the commercial plaza which is pretty cool too. Standard bar menu that bodes well as long as there is some awesome beer, which there is.

When I have been there it seems to be a little bit older crowd who cleared out pretty early leaving only my crew along with the owner Todd and some other bartenders and a few others which was enjoyable.

They don't post it but they also get a selection of casks on thursday's but you would have to call and find out.

Its a good place to hang out for the night or start the night out before going elsewhere downtown.

 929 characters

Photo of DirtyBird
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Lively atmosphere, lots of TV's, shuffleboard, sports memorabilia, etc. - but we are really here about the beer, right?

Excellent selection of local beers! Every time I come in here they have several interesting and difficult to find locals. From several different visits I've had Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Alpine Bad Boy Double IPA, Speedway Stout, Stone Ruination, Pizza Port Poor Man IPA, Alpine Duet, Green Flash West Coast IPA, AleSmith YuleSmith, Pizza Port Seaside Stout, Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA, etc. They also often have beers from Bear Republic, Avery, Moonlight, Ommegang and other top-notch craft brewers.

The food is very good and a good value; Happy Hour offers tasty discounted appetizers that will fill you up and allow you drink more beer.

The bartenders are all very knowledgable and seem genuinely excited to be serving some of the best beers San Diego has to offer.

While often San Diego's best beer bars (O'Brien's, Liar's Club, Hamilton's, SD Brewing Co., Churchill's, etc) seem to get the same local seasonal and specialty beers, I like that you can go into any one of those places and get different selections at different times. For example, if Liar's Club poured all of their Sculpin in two days, check out Johnny Brown's or Churchill's to find it on tap a week or 2 later; not everybody taps these beers at the same time.

Anyways, Johnny Brown's seems to be THE beer bar in the downtown area. Skip Yardhouse, come here.

 1,471 characters

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Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego, CA
92 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.