Taps: 20 / Bottles: 85
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 115 | Show All Ratings:
3.93/5 rDev -9.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I usually make a stop at O'Brien's when I'm down in San Diego. The selection is top-notch, with a lean toward local craft breweries. The fact that Alpine brews a beer for them (and an excellent one at that) is a testament to their great beer selection. The only real detraction is the vibe; it's got a dingy sports bar atmosphere, and if there's a game on you can count on there being a slew of loud obnoxious drunks at the bar. That aside, I've generally had a good time here. The food is solid as well, standard pub fare but enjoyable enough and reasonably priced.
11-04-2010 04:45:30 | More by largadeer
4.44/5 rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I did a three day brewery, brewpub, beer bar tour of San Diego which included a Saturday early afternoon stop at O'Brien's.
As a person who has absolutely no use for Irish bars, I was glad to see O'Brien's had nothing in common with the pedestrian beer selections of Irish American pubs.
The interior is small with comfy leather office chairs that I felt take up more room than necessary given the small size of the corner location with plenty of window and outdoor seating.
I sat at the bar and while I didn't chat anyone up, one could easily become friends with the other patrons.
It was Saturday and I was hoping to catch some college footall but instead they were showing a soccer match and there were mostly soccer fans inside. I had to hold myself to one beer because I accidentaly ordered a IIPA, Alpine Pure Hopiness, and wanted to limit myself because I was driving.
They had Russian River sours and plenty of beers on their bottle list.
10-18-2010 01:07:34 | More by Yetiman420
4.1/5 rDev -6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
This bar is one of my favorites in San Diego. It really is where the old school and new school beer community can hang out for good beer. If you ever wanted Pliny on tap or a fresh alpine beer, chances are you'll find it here.
The overall service is good, prompt and to the point. Sometimes I've seen even the most frequent patrons get a snappy attitude occasionally but that recently has slowed.
Beer events can get crowded but then again I have never seen so many Russian River rarities on tap anywhere else all at once.
For the most part, the taps are very active, but there are rare occasions they hit a lull and the beer list isn't what it normally is, so like the surf, check before you go!
09-19-2010 06:30:43 | More by buzbuzzer
3.95/5 rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Checked this place out in a quest for good beer bars close to where we live. Excellent selection of beers on tap and in bottles, and the staff seem fairly knowledgeable. I wish there was a bit more diversity with the beers though, as everything tends towards IPAs and other super-hoppy beers (but I guess this is San Diego, so...).
Food was very standard bar food fare - burgers, salads etc. Not really a place to come specifically for food, but it does its job. I did really enjoy the ample outdoor seating though. Overall, we will definitely be back, but I will have to order more stuff off their bottle list the next time...
09-12-2010 02:40:58 | More by Shouzen
4.43/5 rDev +1.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
I loved the atmosphere and demographics here. I fit in just fine - mid life, beer gut, out of style clothes, and a hoppy beer in my hand. Finally a great beer bar where most of the patrons are not Millennials!
Comfy chairs looked like they were right out of a bowling alley tavern, with a small dartboard area at the back. Seating area was tiny, but, well this is a tiny bar.
Service and food were rather average. No frills, no smiles, just sort of a "yeah what do you want?".
However, the tap list was among the best in San Diego. Over one HALF of the taps were IPA's or DIPA's. Unbelievable! Almost nothing for the person who likes reduced-flavor beers (maybe Duvel Green). No macros, no American wheats... just real beer.
04-02-2010 02:01:58 | More by yemenmocha
3.74/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
one of the more confusing spots on the journey. first off, i understand that even the suburbs, perhaps, especially the suburbs, need a place like this. its an irish sports bar with tremendous beer on tap and bottles? playing rugby on giant screens? sure! comfortable chairs (very comfortable, play that up) and decent, if slightly short, service. they did have ddgooze for takeout, but the $45 we didn't spend on it did come in handy at the tail end of the trip. see, americans can be fiscally responsible. apparently we just missed a north coast tasting, which would have been a happy funtime. regardless, a nice 20+ tap selection and comfortable chairs. we sank into them like a stripper into a lap.
03-13-2010 04:38:22 | More by olympuszymurgus
3.78/5 rDev -13.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
Very busy place that is in a shopping plaza in North San Diego. Seems like there is good parking there. I was there at 5pm on a Thursday and the place was packed. You have to go to the bar to order the beer as the waitresses that night were busy. Nice selection of Belgian and Germans as well as Cali-brews as well. Food menu is very beer friendly. I had the beer burger made with Russian River IPA. Drank Pliny the Elder. Very nice service, very local feel but maybe hard to find a seat at times if you want to eat.
03-05-2010 02:56:09 | More by jneiswender
4.04/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
visited on 24 Feb 2010:
Stopped by here in the middle of the afternoon. Not really my kind of place; but at least the game they had on was soccer. Tables with green office-style lounge chairs inside were arranged on the right as I entered, the bar was on the left. Overall, the atmosphere was pretty standard for a bar, nothing to complain about.
I sat outside, and the service was decent, mostly I went here for the selection and I was not disappointed. They had some Ballast Point, Avery, a handful of others on tap, and of course absolutely no big name breweries -- all craft. I had a Racer 5, but only after having my first Pliny the Younger.
Overall, while the establishment didn't wow me, their selection was wonderful and the service and prices were more than adequate.
02-25-2010 01:51:25 | More by ocmpoma
3.9/5 rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
First off, I don't like goddamn cigar smoke and there were way too many cigar smokers drinking beer outside on the patio. To be fair it is like that sometimes at the Falling Rock but fuck that. This place has an unbelievable tap and bottle list, I had Russian River IPA (not Blind Pig) and Alpine Duet which was delicious. The fried cordon bleu nuggets were amazing and a first for me. The cigar smoke on the patio was tough to stomach but if I was local I would probably stop by on a regular basis.
01-29-2010 05:39:19 | More by ArrogantB
4.78/5 rDev +9.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I have been going to Obriens pretty regularly, atleast more than any other place I go, and it has become a favorite place for me and my friends to go. If you want to go somewhere to get quality brews, especially hoppy ones then this is the place for you. Obrien's has an extensive bottle list, where I usually get my sour fix after a long night of drinking stouts or IPA's. The food is good, I usually get the beer battered fries or there sandwiches. What I love about this place is the outdoor patio. I rarely sit inside. It's good place to hang out with friends and be able to enjoy my beers w/ a cigar if I choose to. All the bartenders are great and the patrons are really friendly. Highly recommended, maybe the only down side is sometimes its hard to find parking inside the main lot.
01-08-2010 01:39:17 | More by steadydose
O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
96 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.