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O'Brien's

Not Rated.
O'Brien'sO'Brien's
BA SCORE
97
world-class

146 Ratings
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Taps: 20
Bottles: 85
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4646 Convoy St
San Diego, California, 92111-2315
United States
phone: (858) 715-1745

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @obrienspubsd

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: xlperro)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -8.9%

drewone, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of afi4lifer
5/5  rDev +13.9%

afi4lifer, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of heffIPAlover
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

heffIPAlover, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Sammy, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of md655321
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

md655321, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of jenray
4/5  rDev -8.9%

jenray, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of chippo33
2.5/5  rDev -43.1%

chippo33, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

belgbeerdrinker, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of radshoesbro
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%

O'Brien's is a staple of the San Diego beer community. If you haven't experienced a night here you really haven't experienced what it means to drink craft beer in San Diego. It's got a divey semi-sports bar kind of vibe, with an awesome beer selection. There are big comfortable chairs sitting at tables, a bar and a ton of plastic tables on the patio. They've got a few TV's inside and one on the outside. If you want to watch Monday Night Football, this is a great place to do it. The beer selection is always good, and they have the ability to get the harder to attain special releases. Unfortunately their service is never top notch. I can't count the number of times I've been there for a big to semi-big event and they've only got two people working the bar. That seems pretty ridiculous if you've got a line of 20+ people spilling out towards the parking lot. So, if you're there for a special event just order two pints and you'll be good. On a normal night it's nowhere near as bad.

radshoesbro, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of mecmd
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

mecmd, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of Drink_LocalSD
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Drink_LocalSD, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

BillRoth, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of JDJTEXAS
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%

This little place has a special place in many a Beer Geek's heart in San Diego. This is the first place I tried Pliny the Younger, This is the place that was the hangout for a birthday party or two, This is the place you go for amazing selections and sweet taps from local breweries. I love the food, the service rocks and theres so much diversity you are guaranteed to meet a person with a crazy story to tell. Keep it up!

JDJTEXAS, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of SSEngelbrecht
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%

Looking at the plastic chairs and tables outside, or the 70's lounge vibe inside, you might think that this is some crappy dive bar....You would be very, very wrong.

One look at the tap or bottle list immediately lets you know that this place is something special. They have great brewery features, they get some of the rarest beers (PtY anyone?)

The food is unbelievable, and I'm constantly amazed at what comes out of the kitchen. I haven't been there for a brewer's dinner, but they often do those to.

The employees all love working there and it shows in the quality of service and the knowledge of the servers.

I cannot complete this review without mentioning the proprietor, Tom. He is the driving force behind the awesomeness that is O'Brien's. He is connected with the brewing community, he puts bus trips together for beer events, he even organizes a group tour of breweries in Belgium annually.

This is a special place, and if you happen to be a soccer fan, they usually have a game on.

SSEngelbrecht, May 16, 2013
Photo of abcentfishing
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Love this place. The Girls and Tyson treat me like family' the beer selection is always yummy and the food is always to my liking. Especially the Lava cake during a stout event. They always seem to get beers that you don't see elsewhere but above all is the service. You take care of them and they take care of you and its nice to sit outside and have a nice cigar with you beer and beer chili..

abcentfishing, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%

I made my way to O'Brien's for the Russian River -tion night with some other BAs. The place was super packed so we sat on the patio and had to fight for chairs from other tables one by one. The beers are listed on a whiteboard right near the register as well as a printed bottle list that is quite extensive. Service was pretty average but due to the event it made sense. The selection of beers was great, especially for the Russian River event. They also had O'Brien's anniversary beers on tap from Alpine and Societe. I got a burger to soak up some of the beer and that was quite good. Prices are pretty reasonable in my opinion. Worth a stop for sure.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of jdheckman54
5/5  rDev +13.9%

San Diego is blessed to have at least one pub dedicated to one of life's most precious endeavors - serving phenomenal and quality craft brew. The selection of beer changes daily and there are routinely surprise casks on tap that will make you salivate long after you have left the pub. This is the place beer lovers dream of. There are few places like this on the planet and if you have any plans to visit San Diego make sure O'brien's is at the top of the list. Going to a brewery is one thing but being able to sample 10 different local brewery in one stop is truly a gift from the beer gods! Great Beer, Great People, Great Food!

jdheckman54, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of slander
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Oh, that’s what he meant by ‘green cushy chairs’, but I digress. Stupid, badly hungover mornfternoon, but feeling better with a little Ballast Point tasting room time in me (and breakfast didn’t hurt). Back in town, this strip mall of crazy, and parking, more so, hunted out (Thought we might scrap for that little piece of real estate where we dropped the car). And up there in the corner, the this...

Small small surprisingly small place. Straight wood bar to the left seating 8 on green leather stools, and a service corner up front. A center logo mirror on barback center over a row of 20 taps, and glassware shelved to the left with some giant chalice & tulip pieces, with more down below. Belgian Independence Day flaggings line above, and mug club mugs hooked running the length from a bar overhang in roofing shingle wood exterior. A collection of O’B shirts displayed up there, with an American flag on one end and a Houblon Chouffe banner on the other.

Crappy drop ceiling above chateauesque crossbeams lined with coasters, angled from the walls up (left over from the days of the old german deli once occupying this space), and holding baby spots and a few spinnys, too. Brackish flooring tiles, and green walls bar back, rear & side, pasted with brewery tins, signage, & mirrorage. Flats in 3 corners, and on the rear wall, too. Hey, the Yankees are on this early afternoon Saturday (‘cause they’re playing the dirty Angels). Light bar counter space to the rear with a few jerobaums on the end next to the dartboard, below drop wand single bulbs overhead. Seating riddle adbout, nearly a dozen tables in all. Recs along the perimeter and roundies in a row off the bar, nicely green cushy chaired up; I can nap here. Large windows up front and the forward side over the wraparound porch, with plastic tables & chairs, a dozen or so, offering views of more street parking. I’d rather chill inside.

Horizontal board over a kitchen peek-a-boo opening to the left of the bar listing taps and a few bottle specials, and pricing, by style color coded (local/craft, specialty, strong, Belgian, Euro), by pint & pitcher, so you don’t go in color blind for what’s what. 20 taps, nearly all of it regional California craft beer (Port Hop 15, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Ballast Point Sculpin, Firestone Walker Double Jack, Bear Republic Racer 5, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sudwerk Pilsner, Alpine Nelson IPA & McIlhenney’s Irish Red, Russian River Blind Pig & Redemption, Monkey Paw Oatmeal Pale Ale, Low & Slow Rauchbier, Downs Family Irish Stout, Sweet Georgia Brown, Mandrill IPA, & Rich Man’s IIPA), save the 2 random imports (Aecht Schlenkerla Fest Bier, Smithwick’s Kilkenny Irish Red). I drank an Alpine Nelson IPA, having missed it kicked at the Real Ale Festival, Carlsbad, just yesterday.

And a bottled list of 50+. Oh wait, it’s a front page and there is another. And more. The list runs from 1-251+ (1-60 Belgian ales, 61-75 Belgian fruit beer, 76-90 sours, 91-140 non Belgian imports, 141-250 domestic ales, 251+ mead), and includes large format, magnums, etc. (another 31+ more). Benchmark Orval runs a cool $8, but the Russian River & Lost Abbey selections; you know, some of this is quite pricey.

Killer goddamn tap list, and the food does look reeeally good but we’re in between those hours. Good house, fun, playful ‘tenders, and lots of regulars. And babies. I could do a lot of time here if I had a lot of time here. Very much so do dig.

slander, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%

Well, you'd never stumble upon this place, unless you were buying a car across the street or something. Fortunately we were seeking it out. O'Brien's is located in a nondescript strip center north of town. We stopped on our way back to town after stopping in at Green Flash.

There is a long bar inside the door on the left, with a bunch of table crammed in on the right. The oversized leather office chairs appear to have been reclaimed from the set of Glengarry Glen Ross. Comfortable enough but between the oversized chairs and wheels, moving around with a beer in hand can be an adventurous proposition. There is also an enclosed porch with some PVC tables and chairs.

Once you get a post though, this is a cool place to be. About 20 taps with great stuff. We were there during SDBW and the event of the day was Kern River. About 6 KR taps were flowing, and a bunch of other local delicious craft beers.

Service is very pleasant. As is true of so many places here, counter service only, with exactly one line for food, beer or food and beer. It can slow things down but the people are quite nice. I enjoyed our stop here.

HV

sholland119, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of tastyales
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%

Let me tell ya this place has got it all. Soccer great staff and best of all awesome freakin beer. Alpine on tap amazing the place is kind of tiny but im cool with that good bottle selection and awesome atmosphere. The place was pretty busy when i was there. With the beer selection they have i am impressed! Highly recommend. It was out of the way but the cab ride was well worth it . If you go check out the bottle list there are some hard to find unusual beers on the menu. Service was good staff new there beer and were on top of the service.

tastyales, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%

Visited this place specifically for Night of a Million Zillion speedways. The place is a bit out of the way from where I was staying and is in a strip mall and incredibly tiny inside. It looks like your typical dive bar all that is missing is the pool table. The place was packed just like I expected it to be and everyone there really appreciated beer so it made for a great atmosphere. The service was a tad bit lacking and everyone seemed to have a bit of an attitude until it died down a bit which I guess is understandable but nevertheless it's still their job. I would like to visit this place when it is not as busy to really get a better feel for the place. With that being said highly recommended place to stop in for a pint

DarthKostrizer, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of coolparrot
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%

Great spot to hang for a few pints and eat some Grub! The burger menu is the best and the garlic fries, BOMB! Love the different Beer events these guys host. I just recently found out about this place through an acquaintance who is regular. Now I'm quickly becoming a regular! Tom and Tyson are great guys and the vibe is really cool here. The only and I mean only Con is the Bar itself is a little small (I'm one of those guys that loves to sit AT the bar). But, if I get there early, no problemo! Highley recommended and I'll be back in the future for sure! This place ROCKS!

coolparrot, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%

Love this place. They always have lots of good San Diego locals on tap, as well as a solid bottle list. Definitely leans toward the hoppy bears, as their motto would indicate.

Prices for taps and bottles are eminently reasonable. Check their website or Facebook page for regular updates of the tap list.

Food is good but not out of this world. The tortas (like paninis) are tasty, and the sausages that come with the Brewer's Plate are out of this world good. The garlic fries are pretty heavy on the garlic, and the hamburgers are pretty standard. The good thing is, if you like Asian food, there are dozens of Asian restaurants nearby (like Tajima, which is across the street).

My only complaint is that they allow smoking on the outdoor patio. This would be more tolerable if they didn't allow cigar smoking as well.

Pet friendly, there are usually a dog or two roaming around outdoors. Overall, the staff are very friendly and O'Brien's has a great atmosphere. One of my favorite San Diego bars.

pmarlowe, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%

I moved to the San Diego area (La Jolla-UTC to be exact) about two months ago, and since then I've visited O'Brien's Pub on at least three different occasions. I've been very happy with my experiences there so far, and I plan on visiting much more in the coming years, especially given how close it is to my house.

While it doesn't offer many TV's, O'Brien's is known locally as one of the city's finest soccer pubs. When I first arrived in San Diego, local news stories about the US women's World Cup run were being broadcast from O'Brien's. While I haven't watched any soccer matches there yet, it seems like it'd be a fun thing to do in the near future. The interior of O'Brien's is decorated to look like an English sports pub: dim lighting, long wooden bar, firkin handles, a somewhat dungeon-like atmosphere, and walls coated in flags and pennants. They also have a large outdoor area (where I've sat each time thus far) that doesn't offer anything besides plastic patio furniture, which is all you need when it's 70 degrees and sunny outside. I love it!

When it comes to service, don't expect to be waited on. The waitresses deliver food dishes and bus tables, but don't take orders. Patrons must place their food and beer orders at the bar. The bartenders and waitresses are very friendly though, when my friend accidentally spilled her freshly ordered beer, a waitress replaced it free of charge.

And now for the most important part: the beer. Of the dozen or so beer bars I've visited since moving here, this may have the best local selection. You can almost always find two Alpine beers on-tap, and I've spotted one-off releases from Green Flash, Stone, and Ballast Point (e.g. Habañero Sculpin on cask). The beer selection also offers a wide variety of styles, including imperial stouts, barleywines, and sours (typically Flanders red or oud bruin). The bottle list is also very impressive and reasonably priced. Whatever your mood, you'll find the beer(s) you want.

The food menu consists of standard pub grub: burgers, sandwiches, wings, fries, etc. Everything I've had is very tasty and goes great a beer or two.

This may not make the itinerary for first-time visitors, but it's an absolute must if you're staying in San Diego for more than a few days.

ThreeWiseMen, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev -12.8%

Bar at the end of a strip mall type setting. Arrangement inside is kinda cluttered for what it is. Lots of soccer shit and pub stuff on the walls, seemed like a TGIFridays that went through an English vibe. Some horrible tuffman contest stuff (i.e. fat guys with boxing gloves on) on the television, I may have enjoyed some malnutritioned futbol instead.

Bar service occurs only at the corner of the bar, which can be beneficial, but creates kind of a cluster at the entrance. Selection was kinda lacking I thought for what they had on tap. Decent bottle list, leans Euro more than the tap list that leans ipa heavy. Was hoping for more Alpine beers on tap, ended up having the only one available, O'Brien's ipa, which was good, but not the equal of other Alpine ipas.

Draft prices are great.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 02, 2011
O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.