Taps: 20 / Bottles: 85
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
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!
08-03-2012 19:12:39 | More by jdheckman54
5/5 rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
I've been wanting to visit O'Brien's for a long time now. I figured I'd check it out before the wet hop festival. Finally checked out OB's for the first time tonight.
It was little bit hard to find amongst all the asian shops and plazas down convoy st.
Place was great. Awesome relaxed atmosphere. I loved the big seats and the big screen TV, I felt like I was kicking it in my livingroom.
Great local beer selection and a huge import bottle selection.
I enjoyed some IPA's Alpine's Pure Hoppiness, Russian River's Pliney the Elder and Alpine's Whale.
Food was pretty good, good sandwiches, great prices. I had the Cordon Bleu chicken sandwich, pretty tastey.
The help was friendly, and the place had a nice mature, relaxed atmosphere.
Since I live only 5 miles away, I'll be going back!
10-20-2005 04:10:21 | More by SteveO1231
5/5 rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
I will be comming here more often for sure, but the one time I was there was quite the experience. The atmosphere was great with a few other BA's there and many other lovers of beer in attendance. The place is small and intimate and Tom always comes around and is very social. The selection is definantly leaned towards the hoppy side which is fine by me. And the night I was there we had many Russian River beers on tap and Cask. And as a bonus we had a bottle of Cantillion opened for xlperro's b-day. All in all it was quite and experience and I can't wait to get back!
07-08-2004 10:59:26 | More by Dmann
4.95/5 rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $
A much needed update to my original BeerFly which is nigh on 2½ years old now. In short, OBriens is *THE* place to be in SoCal, period.
My latest of many visits over the years was for the OBriens 2nd Wet Hop Festival, that speaks volumes for the place in itself. The set up was laid back but attention to detail was impressive. It was busy at times, but the Service was absolutely top-notch, from all the servers, we even had table service when the servers were passing by, always asking how we were doing, anything else? Could not knock the quality, attitude and informed service one bit.
Aside from the 2nd Wet Hop Festival treats, the bottled Beer List itself has expanded slightly, not the greatest of numbers but a well thought out varied selection that will appeal to all. You can also buy One (for now) bottle to take-out too. But Draft is where it is at though, loadsa Hoppy Specials and the Beer Engine is still going strong with interesting Cask Ales at all times.
Since July 03 and my prior Review I had upped the Food mark. Its not Cordon Bleu but the Pub Grub is stunningly attractive, wholesome, home made and takes some beating. The legendary Burgers often come with hot spicy beer cheeses now and the legendary Garlic Fries come with a beer-battered option, leave your cholesterol monitor at home! All this at very reasonable prices too.
Finally, working backwards, Atmosphere Its a 5.0, for me at least. Great Beer Bars so often suffer from high prices or attitude, you will find neither here, where else could you sit next to a table that had Vinnie Cirluzo of Russian River, Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby of Pizza Port, Tom Nickel (ex?) Oggis as well as the guy who owns/runs the Toronado in SF ..all relaxing and having a good laugh and drinking Wet Hopped beers and erm, well, playing Connect 4. Egos are left at the door here, I really like that, and the comfy Green Chairs of course. This is a real Down to Earth Gem thoroughly wholesome, incredibly relaxing and a genuine unique treat. It is so easy to spend 10 hours in here and not even know it, I know I have done it several times.
Original Review: 4 - 4.5 - 4.0 - 5.0 - 4.0 >> 4.45
Revised Review: 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.5 >>
<DO NOT> leave SoCal or SD without visiting OBriens!!
Last Visit: 22nd / 23rd October 2005
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Sat right in the corner unit of a strip mall, the unassuming exterior of this small bar hides a Cave à Bières gem.
When we arrived, there were some people sat outside behind a small fenced terrace area at the front. Inside it is rather small, quite cozy and was busy when we arrived*. The bar is to the left as you walk in, & runs all the way down the left handside with 20 Taps set against the back wall. Seating is available on the right hand side. All the seats are very comfy green swivel armchair affairs with castors, a unique touch & highly appreciated. Lots of coasters, & some Bar Towels, adorn the false beams & a small 45 degree false tiled-roof that runs all around the real ceiling, which helps to give a pub feel.
The range is excellent. There are two Beer Lists, one for draft, & one for bottled. Draft beers include many local offerings with a solid focus on hoppy beers. The bottled list has a great selection of Belgium Beers, all served in the correct Glassware which is a welcome refined touch, still quite rare I find. I started with an Oud Beersel Gueuze, & finished with a Rochefort 6 - the latter quite a rarity given its bigger brothers' dominance.
But the best was yet to come, a lone black-handled Beer Engine, with a homemade pump clip fashioned from a reversed coaster with the words Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard written on it. Could it really be that this legend was right here!? It was! I recall that we had at least two pitchers on our Table, before it ran off. I had 2 pints, & the effects of the oak aging were clearly evident, the beast had refined edges with a little more complexity.
We also ended up sharing some fine beery snacks, which were great, especially the Baked Potato covered in some fiery cheese. *We also happened to drop on a Mikes Beer Cheese Tasting. Our luck was limitless it seemed. A plate of 3 mixed cheeses & crackers was summarily ordered. It proved to be a huge hit with the group. The Double Napalm Bastard cheese was awesome.
Quite simply - we were spoiled from start to finish. The service was very pleasant from the waitresses, & even the workaholic Tom Nickels himself at one point.
All this, as well as BA friends; 'xlperro', EyeChartBrew, chuck,
mzwolinski, & we even had the company of the lovely BeerWench for a while. What more could you ask for?
A cracking Beer Bar and my favorite bar of the whole days SD Pub Crawl. It was a real shame to leave it.
Last Visit: 12 July 03.
11-05-2005 17:34:36 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.9/5 rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I've wanted to come here for a while now, and finally made it. I'd been by there many times in the past, and always found it strange that it was located amongst the Korean restaurants and stores. Seems that there's a lot of regulars who come here.
There's nothing particularly exciting about the decor, but the place is clean and doesn't feel crowded. Very nice, friendly, and knowledgable employees.
Absolutely fantastic selection: both on tap and in the bottle (they have a beer menu too). Local beers, Belgian imports, and a wide range of other imports and domestic craft beers. All good quality stuff (some of which are hard to find), served at the appropriate temperature and in the proper glassware. Lots of nice looking things on the menu (starters, sandwiches, and burgers).
I had the turkey, brie & grilled onion sandwish (fantastic!) along with a Rochefort 10, and finished it off with a DFH Palo Santo. Totally reasonable prices too, for both the food and the beer. I look forward to coming back!
03-09-2008 01:44:14 | More by mithrascruor
O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
97 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.