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Downtown Johnny Brown's

Not Rated.
Downtown Johnny Brown'sDowntown Johnny Brown's
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.07%
Taps: 16
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1220 3rd Ave
San Diego, California, 92101-4102
United States
phone: (619) 232-8414

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @dtjohnnybrowns

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: xlperro on 04-07-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Have been here couple of times and there is always something new. When they had the Abyss on tap we were happy to know that a bar so close to home had it. They had a few rare gems on tap that night. When we went again of course it was gone, but still hung out with friends who hadn't been there before. Was a super chill place with a good selection of beer on tap. The thing about this place is if you don't know where it's at you will never find it. It is hidden in a little square civc center. When you find it it's a silver bullet outside and a decent sized bar when you are in. Give this place a shot. Great local place.

FARGO619, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Hoppy2Bhere
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

I was in town for a conference and after one beer at the Yard House, I decided to try this place out, based on BA reviews. I was sooo happy I made the move. This is much more my style of bar--kicked back atmophere, better music, friendlier bartenders--and the beer was outstanding.

Not near as many taps as the Yardhouse, but they made up for it in quality and selection. I had Russian River IPA, Bear Republic APEX and Sierra Nevada Hoptimum and all were outstanding. They also had 4 different Green Flash beers and other local treats--probably 25 taps in all. Happy hour food prices are great as well. The bartender was incredibly knowledgeable about local beers and gave me several suggestions on where to find the best beer during my stay. I will DEFINITELY be back to Downtown Johnny Browns on my next visit.

Hoppy2Bhere, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%

Went in to try Pliny the Younger. I drove 45 minutes to have a 10 oz pour. At $5 a glass, it was worth it - both on quality and quantity. Not only was it an exceptional beer, but I have found a cool new place to go.

Not crowded at all, early Friday night. Incredible tap. They had Alpine Duet, Ballast Point Victory, among others. Too many to even try at one shot!

Bottles, they were even selling the Consecration for $30 - at a bar, that is a pretty good price. I paid $27 at a liquor store...

Will be back. Again and again!

srandycarter, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of BeerSinner
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%

I'm a bit biased since I've been a regular for 20+ years. I think it is the best "neighborhood" bar downtown, especially since the Gaslamp scene isn't for me. Always a good selection on tap, with a combo of top locals and other quality craft brews from around the country. I like the fact that I can go in and talk with the folks working there without it just being a zoo. Even at busy times, the people who work there will take the time to talk to you and make you feel welcome.
If you are in the downtown area, and want a great bar to relax and enjoy a good beer, then this is the spot. It is kind of hidden, but just look for the large Civic Theatre, and it is right in front in the plaza.

BeerSinner, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of DirtyBird
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%

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.

DirtyBird, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of yemenmocha
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%

Tough to find this place that is located on the west side of a tall building at the address you'll find yourself if using GPS navigation. Small, cute and tucked aside that building - cool.

Extremely slow night and the lone server was pouring for my wife and I, as well as just one other patron. Nelson IPA was the tap of choice and it was amazing, and the bartender was gracious to "buy" us a beer as well as chat about BA and the local bar scene. We didn't make it to Small Bar later that night where he was going to enjoy a few pints, but it was a good recommendation that we enjoyed on a later day.

Good rotating list of taps and bottle selection. This is a great place for a QUIET pint on a Sunday evening.

yemenmocha, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of aevarela
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%

I visited at lunch the day after their big anniversary party the last reviewer attended. With regards to his complaints: In general, I go to such beer events to drink good beer, not for the dining experience. Next time, eat somewhere else first, then show up ready to drink at the bar.
The selection was ridiculously good with about 20 taps. Many exotic, belgian style and big beers from the anniversary fest remained.
This is a laid back, casual place that offers a nice downtown alternative to the Shipyard.
My chicken chile sandwhich was excellent and the burgers that went past me looked great too.
Adam at the bar (SD brewer's guild member) was the perfect guide for the memorable, though all too brief tasting. I'll always remember my first Pure Hoppiness experience.

aevarela, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of redbird
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

We had a really fun time here. The place has a lot of room and a nice sized patio, but there were hardly any people there on a Friday night, so after we stopped into max capacity Hamilton's on Saturday night, we left to come back here knowing we'd have room to breathe. The main reason we came back was because the tap list was excellent. Around 15 taps with Abyss, Two Turtle Doves, Life & Limb, Yulesmith, etc. The second reason was because the bartenders were really fun to talk to. They were very eager to help us plan out our trip and talk about good beer. Next time we're back in town, we'll definitely be stopping by again.

As for finding it, be sure to look at google maps satellite view, the address alone gets you close but requires some searching.

redbird, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of Bwagner1122
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Bwagner1122, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of dwagner003
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

dwagner003, Mar 02, 2014
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Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego, CA
93 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.