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Blind Lady Ale House & Automatic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blind Lady Ale House & Automatic Brewing Co.Blind Lady Ale House & Automatic Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.63/5
Based on:
21 Beers
44 Ratings
Place Score: 94
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

3416 Adams Ave.
San Diego, California, 92116
United States
phone: (619) 555-1234

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Automatic Brewing Co. is a nano-brewery of sorts brewing in the back of Blind Lady Ale House.  http://automaticbrewingco.com 

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Stopped here with t0rin0 awhile back, but never got around to posting my review.

Don't really bother trying to park in their lot, just go down one of the side streets and find a place somewhere down there.

We walked in and looked at the beer list, and there wasn't really much going on. Perhaps we were led astray by the classification of this place as a "brewpub". There were no house beers on, but a few decent choices on-tap.

No food was ordered, but it looked like they made a fine pizza from the appearance and smell of them. But you definitely pay for them...

The people were nice and the service was quick, but I guess I was just overall let down due to the lack of house beers and the fairly high prices.

You're better off heading a few blocks down to someplace like Toronado.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I lived in the area when it opened 2 years ago but never checked it out until I moved and came back to visit.

The beer selection is pretty good but not as good as some other beer bars in the area.

This is more of a resturant vibe with a family atmoshpere. The interior is very beautiful with wood work.

The food was a little pricey and the menu is almost impossible to read. But man was it GREAT the two pizzas, bread, and olives were all sooo tasty!

Ill be back again for sure when Im in the area next.

Photo of gregshead
4.58/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

The atmosphere fits for a pizzeria/beer place. Not too loud but usually a pretty happening/busy place until about 10:30.

Quality of beer is awesome. I always feel like the bartenders are doing everything they can to serve me a good beer. I've seen them throw out beers they felt were too carbonated to serve the patron, etc

Service is where they really rock your socks off. They are super personal. The bartenders are very willing to talk about beers at great length but only if you want that. I've even had opportunities to chat with the owners and there are very knowledgeable and friendly. Makes it feel like your home bar where they know your name.

Selection is really well balanced. A little of a lot of different styles. Each of the selections are a good representations of those styles.

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Transcribed from extensive notes dated W, 22 July 2009.

Affectionately known as "The BLAH", it was on Adams Avenue, just up from the northwest corner of 34th Street and just a short walk from my cousin's pad. It was one of those long places that was probably two separate buildings at one point and then a wall was taken out. That would account for the Emergency Exit on the south end of the building and the main entry on the north end. The best way to think of the place was as a giant rectangle, oriented north/south for the long sides. The south wall was dominated by a large mosaic of a brown and white horse as well as a piece of vintage Hamms! advertising. The west wall had the inverted "L"-shaped, laminated wood bar with a break in its middle for staff access. The south end of the break was Standing Room Only and overlooked the bank of twenty-six rotating taps, overhung by two blackboards detailing the current selections. They also had one handpump, generally in use on Fridays. The north end of the bar overlooked the the hand-thrown pizza kitchen as well as the cooler which held the limited (eight) bottle selection. The north wall held a chalkboard listing food and wine as well as a mosaic of horses at the track leaving the starting gate. The seating area was an eclectic mix of long picnic-style tables, standard tables and chairs and some high tables and chairs, I dug the exposed brick north wall, the low-key lighting and the exposed ducting and I said so to the very enthusiastic owner when we spoke.

Food: Fourteen kinds of pizzas and I chose "Egg". Yum.

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I attended a Sensory Evaluation and tasting with the San Diego Beer Club featuring Peter Zien and Lee Chase(Owner of Blind Lady Ale House).

They had a great tap list and it was very impressive listening to Lee Chase talk about his direct draw tap system(he seemed very proud and after his explanation I understood why). this guy really knows his beer and I think it shows at Blind Lady ale House. It was the best Craft Beer establishment I've been to and the beer tasted wonderful.

The atmosphere was great, the bathrooms were clean, the servers seemed nice to me and the food was good too. What more could you ask for?

Photo of ryannaman
4.03/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in a few months back and have to say this place was definitely a good choice to stop! The big board had some awesome brews... went with a DFH beer of some sort... can't recall because of the drinking that took place the rest of the night. I have to say that the service of the place was dull for only about 25-30 people there. The bartender was in some sort of daze at that point... whatever wasn't in there to shoot the shit and talk beer with the staff... although some interaction would have been nice. The lighting was nice and low... the way I like it and the benches make it a unique environment. All in all a decent time was had... so I can't complain!

Photo of Norsebrew
4/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I hit this place after a stop a Toronado. We walked there and it probably took 15 minutes. This place is more like restaurant with a great tap list. The beer selection was very balanced and had alot of gems from local San Diego area breweries. The atmosphere is open with a great Hamms beer wall art. The place of packed on a Thursday night at 9pm. The pizza was very tasty. This is a great place to go if you want a good mix of food and beer. If beer is all you are after, I would try Toronado, Hamilton's Tavern, or Small Bar in the area.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Cool pizza place that had an odd smell, but had a very good selection of craft beer. We found several high abv dessert beers that were great with our dessert (pizza looked good but did not try it).

Server was very friendly and assisted us politely with our beer choices (sat at the bar). Nice, spacious seating area with high ceilings. So many of the San Diego beer bars make you feel cramped or Clausterphobic but not this place.

Good location not too far of a drive from Toronado so I'll probably hit them again on my next visit, most likely for the pizza of course. Parking was a challenge.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.16/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

we'd heard of the 30th street gauntlet but, whilst at alesmith, were informed that we had to make the trek here to see some new tricks. the place was fairly packed, pizzas looked delicious, and the tap selection was very nice. plenty of things from all the local guys, much deliciousness, including the new alesmith decadence. ran into one of the brewers from alesmith whom we'd met earlier in the day, enjoyed a decadence with him, talked of silly beer things, and the future of the place, got to meet one of the owners, who seemed a very nice woman. they were in the process of getting what looked like a two barrel setup ready for future happy fun time. a wonderful mix of family and sexy, gearing up for a friday night in lovely san diago.

Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Went here during SD Beer Week '09. Lots of great stuff on tap, although it was a bummer that a lot of the better kegs kicked before I got there (around 10pm). The place is also ridiculously small, but they keep it from getting too packed by not letting too many people in. The downside of that is that you might have to wait in line outside. I had to wait, and even my "Don't you know who I am???" trick didn't work on the guy at the door.

Finally I got in and liked what I saw. Solid atmosphere and decor. Great beers on tap: AleSmith, Port/Lost Abbey, Alpine, Russian River, etc. I ordered an AleSmith Nautical Nut Brown and a Lost Abbey Devotion Ale, which were only about $4 apiece if I remember correctly. Also had a pizza, which was above average but not great. Service is decent, but be prepared to wait in fairly long lines sometimes to order.

The crowd is a fun one. Next to us was a pack of cougs in their mid-30's, who my buddy once removed (i.e. a buddy of my buddy who is not necessarily a buddy of mine) spent most of the night hitting on. Having a serious girlfriend myself, I wasn't able to partake in this cougar hunt. Bummer.

I see now that this place is brewing their own beer, and the one listed has an A-. Nice. I'll have to come back sometime and try it.

Photo of Floydster
3.59/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

We stopped here on an early Saturday afternoon, located on the east side of the 805 Freeway, surprised a place like this was in this neighborhood, walked in and saw a bistro-like atmosphere, bar directly in front of me, saw they used proper glassware immediately, clean and brand new, liked the way this place was set up although it was quite small, heard the pizza was good but was not hungry since we went right after lunch, took a while to get a bartender's attention, not many people were working but that was expected since business was slow, I ordered Automatic, their only house made beer at the moment but they were out, seemed like they had not had it for a long time too, I got a Dogfish Head Punkin instead and paid close to what I would get a four pack for at the store, not much interesting stuff on tap but it is all craft or Belgian, probably will only go back to this place once they start brewing, which is based on a pending license I believe, or when they have special events because I have heard some cool local beers show up at those, would definitely stop by if I was down there this weekend for San Diego Beer Week, still worth checking out regardless

Photo of DavidInSanDiego
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Let me talk about the service, first of all. Every time I've been to the BLAH, the service has been top-notch. Everyone in there genuinely cares about what they doing, and that you are enjoying yourself in their establishment. The couple of times where there's been an issue, they are quick to offer a beer or appetizer to make things "better." But there's almost never an issue. The beer is fantastic, the food just as good.

The beer selection isn't huge like Toronado, but it's sizeable and definitely full of QUALITY beers. You shouldn't be disappointed.

My wife and I just returned from Italy, where we avoided tourist traps and stuck with the small trattorias...looking for an authentic experience. Blind Lady is the closest thing in town to what we had over there. They do the Neopolitan style right(sans wood oven, which would definitely be a nice addition, if they can do it). In fact, in some cases, their pizza is better. This is REAL pizza, and it's damned good. They also offer very unique toppings and combinations, aside from the standards. If you're stuck on having Americanized pizza that doughy, has a lot of cheese, and is perhaps really greasy, this might not be your style. But it IS great, and it's the real deal.

Photo of magictrokini
3.15/5  rDev -25%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Love the vibe, very mellow, brick-and-wood interior. Cozy in terms of personal space. Had a video screen playing skateboarding at the time. Loud, don't expect to have a quiet conversation. Beer selection was small for an "Ale House." Sadly, it was dominated by Oktoberfest and other lagers at the time, and the Stone 13th was out. The pizza was weak. However, in the interests of full disclosure, I am a pizza snob. Prices were unimpressive, probably $2 more than anywhere else; well anywhere but Toronado SD. In short, this is not Pizza Port, so don't go there thinking it is a suitable alternative.

Photo of botham
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Blind Lady is a solid beer bar. dark wood and worn-in metal make up the basic aesthetics, along the line of an old warehouse. the place works off of a storefront strategy with the kitchen and bar at the back end and various seating out front. a supergraphic for Hamm's is on the left wall, placed over a wooden plank surface. the other walls were somewhat bare, with hand-written menus around the bar and kitchen and some random signage around as well. the bar itself doesn't have much seating at it, it is just used to order.

the quality and selection are great. though the focus is on pales and IPAs mostly, a couple malt gems do exist. beers are served in the proper glassware, clean, with very fresh taps (at least the four types that this BA had were fresh).

service was informative, knowledgeable, and excited about craft beer. the local beer scene seems to be an interest for the bar staff.

food was available, mainly pizza and some appetier-esque options.

overall this is a good place to enjoy a brew, although one can see it getting crazy on the weekend, due to the open nature of the design and the somwhat cramped layout of seating. the beers are fresh, the barkeeps are easy to talk to, and the overall mellow aura was excellent. cheers!

Photo of Trappissed
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

As others have mentioned, this is a nice alternative to a place like Toronado or Hamilton's. Although those places are excellent, Blind Lady is much more laid back and you can actually sit down comfortably to enjoy your beer. More spread out and not quite so claustrophobic. One downside is the beer selection is not as impressive, but they did have some decent choices. I had a Delirium and an Allagash Curieux.

There were also some Green Flash reps that night, but we got there kind of late, so I think we missed some of that fun. Beer prices were definitely fair, especially the Delirium. A couple bucks cheaper than you will find at "other" places. Bartenders could have been a little more knowledgeable, but its ok. I need to try the food next time. I kind of liked the line-type situation to order beer. Seems more organized and an easier way than your average bar.

Photo of csmiley
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Blind Lady is a small establishment that serves pizza and beer. Not hard to find but parking can be problematic once there. Looks like all parking is on the street. After walking in, there are two lines- one for beer and one for food. After getting a beer it's every man for himself in regards to seating. I stopped by on a Sunday afternoon so finding a a seat wasn't hard. Selection of taps is nice and included: Ballast Point, Green Flash, Alpine, Mission, and DuPont. Bottle selection was pretty thin but they at least had Consecration. One big letdown was no Blind Lady ales at the Blind Lady Ale House. Only guest taps available during m visit. Food (pizza) looked good but my party didn't partake. Overall vibe was laid back and the people there were nice. I would definitely stop by again for a brew.

Photo of radshoesbro
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

came in here on a late saturday afternoon to find it pretty busy, but not overly crowded. a good selection on tap, with some stuff that's a little more difficult to find around here. the staff seemed to be into beer, but i didn't really talk to them so i don't know of their knowledge. this isn't a bar at all, it's a walk up, order your beer and sit down type place. they've got pizza, and it looked pretty good, but i honestly doubt it's better than newport pizza.

for what they do (pizza & beer) the location is pretty good. it's nice not having to drive to ocean beach to get a good beer and a pizza. i'm going to have to try their pizza the next time i go.

i'll definitely go here again.

Photo of tpd975
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

WeeHeavySD took me here on my trip to San Diego.

Cool little bar with open seating. The place was packed but we did find a seat. You order first and seat yourself.

I ordered a pizza which was very good. Lots of flavor and toppings for a more than fair price. The beer is all on a chalk board with a nice number of selections.

Lots of San Diego gems along with some from elsewhere. Not the best beer selection in the world, but not one I would turn my nose up at.

Overall a cool bar with great food.... there is a pretty nice beer selection to boot.

Photo of kleffman
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Checked out The Blind Lady on a Friday night around 6:30. Was pouring rain, so I hoped it would keep the crowds down a bit. Wrong. However, with an outstanding beer selection it wasn't hard to stay occupied. Although there isn't much room to just stand a drink a beer, the layout is a bit awkward. You have to be a jackal to get a table, but eventually it will happen, and that's when I got to order some food. Got a couple pizzas and a caesar salad. Food was very good, and well worth it. Actually the prices are reasonable too. Beer prices are a bit steep for small pours, but I find it hard to complain too much about this place. Overall good, but I wish it wasn't a seat yourself style place like Pizza Port where it's just total mayhem finding a table. Oh well, I'll go back, worth the hassle.

Photo of torchednoodle
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here today for a belated birthday lunch with family. Decor is cool, there's a kickass giant Hamm's mural on one wall and next to it on the wall, some beat up old hardwood flooring planks (sounds weird but looks cool). You get in one line to order pizza and another to order beer, so no wait staff to speak of, not necessarily a bad thing.

Pizza is pretty good, thin crust. Delicious. We had the spinach pizza with a fried egg in the middle, and we all agreed it was one of the best pizzas we've had in a while. We also had a sausage pizza that was outstanding.

Awesome selection of beer. There's not only a lot of choices, but they're all primo options. We had Pliny the Younger (open a couple of weeks and Lee Chase already has access to PtY! awesome). The "direct draft" system seems to take a litle longer to pour, but if it means no lines to possibly intrude on beer flavor then that's a great thing. We were drinking PtY along with chewing a few bites of white anchovies from our Cesar salads, I'd have to say it was a pretty good unintentional pairing.

A couple of negatives though. First off, what kind of "family" pizza place, as they purport to be, doesn't serve soda?? While us guys were fine with beer, the ladies wanted some Diet Cokes, but the guy at the front said they don't serve soda. Huh? If we had actually brought kids, I could see that being a bigger issue, but the ladies just had sparkling water instead. If the lack of soda is intentional because of the "organic" nature of the restaurant, that's just as silly as a place not serving ketchup because they think you shouldn't be eating it, sorry Stone (although to be fair you just have to ask for ketchup at Stone and they'll bring it out, albeit reluctantly). So it's just beer and water, and I'm fine with beer, but non-beer drinkers and kids need options too. Poor form.

Second, the price/size ratio on the beers is clearly off, and I don't mean the Pliny the Younger, which due to the rareness I expect to be served in smaller servings for more $, but I mean the other beers on the menu. The glassware is awesome, but is clearly smaller than your average pint and more expensive to boot. That makes for a bad combination.

They certainly are not dealbreakers, but they are problems, at least in my eyes. Hopefully those kinks will be worked out the longer this place is open. All in all, a great experience though. May the Blind Lady live on in good health!

Photo of d0ggnate
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I got an opportunity to visit the recently opened Blind Lady this afternoon. Upon first entering I was very excited to see a nice open space. Off to the right was a chalkboard with current beer offerings. We stood in short line, place a pizza order, and then sat and waited.

As I sipped my Allagash Curieux, I admired their unique decorative style. The giant Hamm's sign on the west wall was cool. I then stared at all the great beer offered.

The food arrived and was great. Thin, crispy crust was incredible. The toppings were very fresh. I wanted to go for my next beer, but was in a rush. I'll be back often and I'm sure I'll get the chance to go up and down that beer list.

Overall, Blind Lady was impressive for only having been open just recently. I think they are a very welcomed addition to the beer rich 30th Street area.

Blind Lady Ale House & Automatic Brewing Co. in San Diego, CA
94 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.