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San Diego Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
San Diego Brewing Co.San Diego Brewing Co.
BEER AVG
3.62/5
Based on:
37 Beers
165 Ratings
Place Score: 89
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: n/a
Taps: 50
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

10450 Friars Road #L
San Diego, California, 92120
United States
phone: (619) 284-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: xlperro

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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 34
Photo of Ucsbrandon
3.38/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Great beer selection, prices a bit high. Decent, but not great food, and decent service. In a strip mall and usually parking available.

Photo of spbennett13
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

San Diego BrewCo is one of my favorite places to go to grab a good beer and some good food. I haven't ran into anything on the menu that I haven't liked. The beer selection is pretty good, the occasionally have Pliny on tap. They have a good selection of house beers, nothing spectacular but good. Would be nice if the servers knew a little more about the beers, but if they don't have the answer they're more than happy to get it for you, very friendly staff though. Great place to go on a Saturday or Sunday to catch the game. Highly recommended!

Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Apparently this place is the reincarnation of Shakey's Pizza from the 60s with a 21st century beer list. Brick walls, little curtains on the street side, big and roomy. Reasonably quiet in the "family dining" side, and booming rock in the bar side.

A standard southern California selection of locals with no particular standouts. Four from Sierra Nevada that are less common. Belgians included Rodenbach Grand Cru, Delerium Tremens, and a Liefmann's. A few other Europeans-- who would have thought of this place for Marston's of Wolverhampton, Oyster Stout on nitro? Big beer board in the bar had all the facts, styles, and abvs. Only $4.50 for their own pints.

Menu looked slightly more interesting than some, but the Brewman's plate was kind of icky, aside from a good spicy sausage. Should have had the nachos. Barmaids were unfazed, our waitress was quite attentive. Not exactly beer fanatics, but tried to be helpful.

Photo of coolparrot
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Great selection of Beer here! The house Beers are very Tasty and Dean the brew-master's Hopnotic is one of my Favorite beers! The Service is excellent as the girls who work the Bar are Awesome and are very knowledgeable about their beer! I love that they post their current beers on tap on their website! The menu is decent but a little narrow on the selection but I really don't care. This is still one of my watering holes and will be for a long time to come! Great place for breakfast too before a game! Fun spot to tip some pints, hang with friends and watch some sports!

Photo of tjkinate
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I used to go here with my buddy who lived just down the street. Very good beer selection accompanied with pretty tasty food. You have to have their nachos, I know nachos aren't usually that crazy, but here they're AMAZING! My only complaint, which I admit isn't the establishments fault, is I hate half pints on high ABV beers! I just feel they are a waste. Back to the beer, they're personal brews are very good and always have a revolving stock of other great craft beers. Now that I'm not in California anymore, I really miss this place.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We rolled into this place on a Sunday during the early football games. The layout is decent, and there is a dividing wall between the table/booth seating and the bar area. The bar is a giant L-shape, and there is some open seating in the bar area, also. Great atmosphere. Kind of dark, but decent vibe.

Their own beers were pretty damn tasty, and they had a monster guest tap list. I actually had PtE on draft for the first time there. Impressive list. The bartender was very helpful, despite being busy with the NFL crowd. He took time out to answer questions my wife and I had about their beers (ABV, hop types, spent grain uses, etc.). Great service.

The food was pretty decent, too. My wife and I had sandwiches, and a pretty decent dessert, too. With everything included, the price was cheaper than most places in the San Diego area where we ordered much less. We definitely plan returning when in the area again.

Photo of armock
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere - it looks and feel like an old sports bar. Lots of tvs around the bar area and it just looks and feels like its been there for some time without being changed or cleaned very much.

Quality/Selection- they had five of their house beers on tap that were mostly average their Monster Mash was pretty damn good though. The rest of their forty or so taps seamed to be pretty good quality beers.

Service - I sat at the bar during my visit and the bartender was kind and helpful with my questions. She was also quick with getting my beer and food so I have no complaints there.

Food - I got the Jalapeno cheese soup in a bread bowl and I must say that it was pretty bad ass. Nice and thick with some spice to it definitely worth trying.

Photo of womencantsail
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

T0rin0 and I stopped in here on the way back up to North County just to check it out and see what they had in terms of house beers.

The brewpub is your average sports bar type of place with TVs on the walls, dim lighting, and some arcade-type games. There were regular tables as well as some small tables in the bar area (where we chose to sit).

The waitress was very attentive, friendly, and quick. As usual, we simply ordered a sampler of all the house beers (and a couple of others). They had eight house beers on tap and probably about 40 other guest beers.

We ordered some appetizers as well, which were pretty standard pub food--nice and greasy, and came out quickly.

The beers themselves had some good offerings, some mediocre offerings, and a couple terrible offerings (I'm looking at you, Love Potion #9 and Oaked Black Eye Imperial Stout).

Overall, this place was alright. There house beers were okay, nothing to get too excited about, but they did have a nice selection of guest beers.

Photo of Roeters
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Stopped by while on vacation is the San Diego Area
A: It is a little sports barish inside, with tvs and arcade games around inside. Has a large L shaped bar in the one corner with taps all along the wall.
Q: had a sample of all of their beers that were on tap at the time all were very tasty and well put together.
S: Had a large selection of draughts, not sure if they had bottles, never inquired, had a large range of their own brews in many different styles
S: service was very good, the server was very attentive, and explained each of their beers
F: food was basic but good, had a burger and it was just that, the GF had a chicken club that looked good.

Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

When your cousin recommends a place, it may be a good idea to visit. Especially when its Colby. Walking in, the m.d.s. was straight ahead with the long blonde, inverted "S"-shaped bar with the FVs on display behind glass being the glass in back bar. The back bar was impressive with a load of taps that ran along the wall on both corners of the back bar. The bar area had island seating with stools and a small game room with electronic darts, foosball, Golden Tee (2), pinball, and a satellite jukebox. To the right of the entry was the restaurant area with a bunch of standard tables and chairs. Color chalkboards throughout.

Beers: Grantville Gold; S. D. Amber; Oldtown Nut Brown; Chocolatte Porter; Hopnotic! I Don't Give a Witte!

Guest taps: 40 plus 2 cask.

Photo of flexabull
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

First stop on my San Diego trip, not one I planned on going to either. Kind of stumbled upon it while looking for a bank.

In a strip mall. Kind of blah looking... but they do have plenty of parking which is a plus. Inside it was a little quiet, it was an early Saturday afternoon. Lots of tvs, and a few games to play. Looks like it could be a cool place to watch a game.

Quality was good. I had a pint of their Spring ESB, and it was tasty, and very sessionable.

Great selection of beer, only about 6 of their own, but another 30 something of high quality guest taps.

Service was fine. Felt a little slow even though there weren't a lot of other people in there, not bad at all though.

Didn't eat anything, and the prices seemed fair.

All in all? A nice place to check out, but not a place I'd go out of my way to visit.

Photo of dalion037
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This may be a brewpub but their guest brews are worth the visit. I wasn't too impressed with their brews. Thew had about eight available and a couple were worth a drink but not all that good. They had a couple brews that I could not describe even if I tried. The price for the sampler was too tempting not to order so I did try all their brews. I did not finish too many of them and kept ordering the guest brews. The food was okay. The wings were not edible as far as I'm concerned but some people like them.

This is a sports bar that brews beer so come watch a football game and a guest brew on tap.

Photo of magictrokini
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Decent place for local brews. Kind of a depressing atmosphere. Dark, cheesy decor that appears to belong outside. Gigantic beer menu, but most of it is beers you can get anywhere. There are the local and San Diego Brewing Co. beers that are sometimes only found here, for about 5 minutes. Food is average bar fare. Burgers, chicken, greasy finger foods. They try to make it a family place, but its just not that nice. Close to Admiral Baker so you can go after golfing. Mellow place, unless a Chargers or Padres game is on.

Photo of hopdog
2.4/5  rDev -38.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3

I'm going to have to really go against the grain on this one...

All I can say is this was a major let down. I was looking forward to their IPA or just any house beer. When I go there, there were only 4 house beers listed - 2 Ambers, a wheat, and a dubble. The board with their house beer on it was wiped clean. Whats up with that? Sure they had a crap load of guest beers, but as far as Im concerned, if you call yourself a brewpub, have some of your own stuff on tap. The beer menu on the table had 8 beers listed with some interesting stuff...just there to kick me when Im down. Bad enough experience with that, that Ill probably never go back...they couldnt even give me a sampler and had to fill in with a guest beer. You know its bad when the waitress tried to talk me out of ordering any of their house beers.

Photo of opwog
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This was a great lunch stop with red beans and rice, with bratwurst! They only had 4 of thier own beers on, which was dissapointing, as three of the styles were not ones that I cared about. Had the Dubbel Fantasy, which was nice. What I hadn't even expected was one of the more incredible tap selections of guest beers. For instance, I had given up on ever having a chance to try the SN Super 7, but sure enough they had it on tap. Along with more guest beers than I could have hoped to choose from at a brew pub. Large rooms, plenty of seating, oads of TVs to watch just about any game on. Over all, this is one of the best brew pubs that I have been to!

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Re-Rate OCT 2006. Finally made it back here after a long (seven or more year) hiatus. There has been one significant change that happened just a few months ago. They have a new Master Brewer named Dean Rouleau. When I finished eating (and drinking) he gave me a personal tour of their brew process, equipment, storage, capacity and most importantly what he was planning to do to improve the house brews. That was incredibly nice of him to take the time to show me around. He comes from time spent brewing at Stone and I think it was one of the Pizza Port locations. I tried what I believe is his first SDBC brew being tapped. It is a baltic porter called "monster mash." Really tasty. He seems pretty excited about an imperial stout he's designing for the Strong Ale Festival. My next trip back to SD will certainly include a visit to SDBC and see how Dean is doing and sample some of his creations.

Photo of torchednoodle
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I have been here a number of times over the years. In fact, this place used to be one of the only respites for true San Diego beer lovers, where you could go and get such prized gems as Boonville Amber on tap. Yes, that's probably going on ten years now, but Boonville on tap in San Diego was a prized gem back then, ok???!!

I will use my most recent visit this weekend as my measuring stick though.

I came in early Saturday and found great beers on tap, as per usual. I was just in the mood for a couple of beers and some lunch, but I had a Blind Pig and an Alpine Pure Hoppiness that just tasted incredibly fresh. I have had Pure Hoppiness before but for some reason this pint really stood out.

As before, I have eaten here many times in the past and it has always struck me as one of these places (like Trophy's or B.J.'s or a ton of other restaurants) that lean on Sysco products for their food. Not that there's anything wrong with Sysco at all, but if you've ever spent your student years working in a restaurant that serves it then you know how to spot Sysco food (the french fries are usually a dead giveaway).

Well this time I had a tuna melt, and it was outstanding. It was not fancy at all, just a tuna steak with a slice of cheddar cheese on two slices of buttered sourdough bread (served with Sysco pub fries), but it really was a great sandwich with complementary flavors. An awesome sandwich and a really great pair for two excellent hoppy beers, although I'm gonna take the pessimist view in light of previous experiences and say that this menu item experience isn't the norm. The rest of the menu is just decent sports bar grub, nothing more.

Bartender was great. There weren't many other people since it had just opened, but he was on top of it anyway. Lot's of TV's, with some NFL preseason and Olympics going on. This always has been a great place to come and watch Chargers games.

I've never been blown away by the house beers in the past, but I really haven't tried them in the past couple years so I'll have to try them the next time I come in.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

San Diego Brewing is located off Friars Road which is not too far from I-15 in a strip mall. Parking is plentiful in front of the brewpub.

The interior is mostly sports bar-ish with high tables, TVs and such. The bar is located along the left read side of the establishment, and the L-shaped line of tap handles is easy to peruse from the bar. There are also a couple of chalk boards up that highlight the current drafts (along with some pretty good chalk art on one of them, featuring Hellboy on my visit).

The beer selection is fairly robust. SD has 6-8 of their own beers, plus a good regional representation from brewers like Alaskan, Port Brewing, Russian River, Callahan, Craftsman etc. They have around 40 total, and samples are available for all of them.

Service here was very good on a weekday afternoon. The bartender was very knowledgeable about both the house and guest beers, and was very prompt and friendly.

We did not try any food on our visit.

All in all, the combination of the generic name and location in a strip mall might make a person overlook this spot but that would be a mistake. This place is a very worthwhile visit in the San Diego area.

Photo of Stoneman78
3.93/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Finally made it SDBC, probably one of the very few SD beer places I had yet to visit since moving here. Like a lot of bar/restaurants, this brewpub is in a suburban strip mall with plenty of construction going on (think O'Brien's from last year) making parking a challenge. The main part of the restaurant is big and open with plenty of tables and TVs, nothing too special here. The bar too is a nice wide open area with stools around the perimeter and a series of large standing height tables. We went for an early happy hour and shared a table with another group of people.

The service was excellent, but then again there was not a lot of foot traffic. Very nice selection of house beers (Hopopotamus, Trophy Wife, etc) as well as guest beers (Pliny the Elder, Alesmith, Alpine, etc). We got several appetizers which were of standard pub/sports bar quality. The happy hour prices were quite reasonable, but I do think it jumps up after HH ends. All in all, a decent brewpub. I'm glad I went, but I doubt I will go there too often because of its location.

Photo of HalfFull
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This is the first brewpub I've ever been in where they charge more for their own brew than for a guest brew. Seems a bit counterproductive. Next time I'll just drink the guest brew, which was better anyway. I'll leave it at that...

Sierra Nevada Chico IPA over the Hopnotic IPA, or perhaps if Chico is not available, then perhaps Alesmith IPA over Hopnotic IPA.

Wait, this just in, Hopnotic is actually the Beer of the Month this Month(April), so perhaps the regular price is even higher, who knows?

Photo of mithrascruor
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A friendly and mellow atmosphere -- part of the place is more bar-like, while the other is more like a family restaurant. Quite a few TVs, but not intruding into the feel of the place, which is generally relaxed.

46 taps + 4 places for casks (though cask beer isn't always available) provides quite a nice selection. Generally quite good beers. House beers are generally the same as at Callahan's, but under different names. Food is nice, though nothing spectacular. Everything is nicely priced. Located in a quiet area, but quite nice to visit.

Photo of m1ked
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

We went here to watch the Charger-Pats game, so it was pretty packed. Luckily we nabbed a bar table, probably due to the fact we were there when the doors opened. The service was really good when the crowd was manageable. Once the bar and restaurant got packed, service obviously went downhill. I blame this not on the waitress, but on the management. Anyways, this place has like 30 taps, about 6 of their own brews at the time. The Hopnotic was blown, boo. But I didn't realize the wide variety they have on tap. As basic as Miller Lite, and unique as Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout. I had the Sierra Nevada ESB on tap here and really enjoyed it. You can get growlers and fills here $15 with $10 refills. The food was average bar fare. What is really good are their wings. They have many TVs (some flat screens, most not) , some pinball machines and a video jukebox. Check them out for a couple brews (Hopnotic!) and some wings.

Photo of d0ggnate
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Original review:
I packed into SD Brew Co with my crew today to watch the Chargers vs. Patriots game and was happy to be surrounded with many screaming Bolts fans. We had staked out a bar table at about 930a and kept that spot alive throughout the game. It was nice to see such an offering of beer deliciousness! With about 30 taps, including house beers original to SD Brew Co, their beer menu provided something for everyone's separate tastes. We snacked on the usual bar fare, nachos, pizza, chicken. Others even took advantage of the Sunday morning breakfast served and dined on plates of eggs, bacon, breakfast burritos and the ever tantalizing Captain Crunch-covered french toast.

I wasn't too impressed with the service, but I will excuse that from my review due to the crowd present for the game. Beers were plentiful and the company was incredible. I found SD Brew Co a great place to enjoy a tasty beer with friends and will likely return to sample more of their house beers.

Updated review: I've returned to the SD Brew Co. and will have to amend my original review. This place it totally underrated, IMO. They've got a world class IIPA in Hopnotic. Along with some other great house brews, they always have something interesting and/or jaw dropping on tap. I always forget I live so close to this place, but I try to work it into rotation every so often.

Photo of dcough
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place was the surprise find of a recent beer trip to the San Diego area. With 50 taps including an excellent porter, brown, ipa and blueberry wheat brewed by the wonderful and gracious Dean Rouleau.

We ended up going here three times because of the great food, try Carnitas Plate. Very tasty and It can easily feed two people. The chicken in the Quesadilla was some of the best I have ever had. The couple that we went with really enjoyed the Jalapeno Beer Cheese soup. Order it with chips and salsa. It makes a great dip.

The staff was very helpful and prompt even though we went on football Sunday while the Chargers were playing. Great job Liberti!

The place also has many TVs, which they actually print out a each sunday to let you know where you need to sit to watch your favorite team. And during MNF they two gorgeous Charger Girls cheerleaders walking amongst the patrons.

The only thing they lacked was free wireless.

So, great beer, food, service and cheerleaders, what else can you ask for!

Photo of bfineman
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This brewpub isn’t much to look at - located in a strip mall, not a whole lot of seating, mostly a bar and a medium to small restaurant area. One feature is the Texas Hold Em’ machine where you can watch your competitors at remote bars via videoconferencing. Technology at work!

But I digress. Without further ado, let’s move on to the beer. SDBC has a great selection with around 50 beers, including seven house beers: El ‘Hefe’weizen, Grantsville Gold, Old Town Nut Brown, Choco-latte, Hopnotic, San Diego Amber, and Admiral Bakers Best. There’s also a seasonal IPA, which for my sampler replaced the Admiral.

I will begin with the lightest and move on to darkest. The lightest of the light was the Grantsville Gold. I had some hope for this beer though it didn’t have much of an aroma. The first sip had a promising start, as if there were flavor waiting to burst forth, but that burst never came - instead the flavor kind of gets distracted and meanders away. It was very smooth, I will give it that, but that’s about it.

El ‘Hefe’weizen is the next on the lightness scale. This beer was actually still very light, more so than I would expect from a Hefe. It was evident that this was a wheat beer, but only marginally so - the body and mouthfeel were watery, and there was no cloudyness or evidence of residual yeast. The aroma was weak but had a slight bit of cloves. The first sip had a tinge of bitterness, which developed slightly into hints of orange and vanilla but faded rapidly. Unfortunately, this was not one of the better Hefeweizens I’ve tasted.

Hopnotic IPA moves us a shade darker, though still a rich golden color. The aroma was floral with hints of orange, with the orange continuing well into the first sip. The flavor was one of aggressive hops, but well balanced by a sweet malt. The finish is quite hoppy, dry, and lasting. I am not a big fan of IPAs generally, but I actually found this beer to be quite enjoyable.

The seasonal IPA (whose name I’ve forgotten, unfortunately) was about the same color as the Hopnotic, and shared a similar balance of bitter, aggressive hops and sweet roasted malt. However, this beer had undertones of caramel and coffee, which I did not expect to find in an IPA. This was also an enjoyable beer, though not as good as the Hopnotic.

The San Diego Amber takes us darker yet. It has a deep copper color with a gentle slightly floral aroma. They advertise this beer as “well balanced”, and I am forced to agree - not too sweet, not too hoppy, but just enough of both. Very smooth and easy to drink, with a pleasantly bitter finish. This turned out to be my favorite beer of the bunch.

Old Town Nut Brown takes us into brown ale country. It had a weak aroma, thought the sip was pleasant with hints of caramel and roasted hops. Unfortunately, this beer suffers from a lack of self confidence - its flavors were good but not aggressive enough, yielding an uninteresting result. Smooth and easy to drink, but not quite flavorful enough to make it worthwhile.

Finally we come to the dark side of the moon: the Choco-Latte porter. This beer was mild for a porter with surprisingly strong chocolate overtones and a hint of coffee. I liked this beer very much but the chocolate taste was distracting enough that I didn’t want to drink it with dinner. This could be a lovely after dinner beer, especially on a cold winter evening when the smooth, full mouthfeel would be most welcome.

That wraps it up for the San Diego Brewing Company. On the whole their beers were definitely above average, but not outstanding. I’d recommend a visit if you’re in the neighborhood. Even if the house beers are not your style, you're bound to find one of your favorites among the 50+.

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San Diego Brewing Co. in San Diego, CA
89 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.