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Bottlecraft - Little Italy

Not Rated.
Bottlecraft - Little ItalyBottlecraft - Little Italy

22 Reviews
Reviews: 22
Visits: 69
Avg: 4.27
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
[ Bar, Store ]

2161 India St
San Diego, California, 92101-1723
United States
phone: (619) 487-9493

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bottlecraft

Place added by: pmarlowe on 07-10-2011

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 22 | Visits: 69
Photo of crossovert
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

A nice place near the airport in SD. IT is on a bit of a sleepy street in a very nice area with a pretty decent stretch of hip and trendy stops. The store is small but it has good quality. Plenty of local brews are featured, not all of them but a good chunk. Nearly every beer is available cold or warm. There is a glassware rack and you can also drink a beer that you buy on-premise. I didn't see if there was a "uncapping" fee or not. A few people were sitting there drinking one night. But overall it is a pretty good shop.

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Photo of claspada
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Medium size retail establishment, very clean, well organized with plenty of local offering and everything you could expect to find from the area.

Didn't see anything rare, per say, but it would be more than useful if I was from the area and wanted to purchase something to take home but on a trip it wasn't quite useful or warranted me hemorrhaging more $ than necessary.

Prices seemed reasonable. Service was nice, asked me for assistance. Would gladly shop here if I lived nearby.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

The Good: Featured flights of four bottled beers plus two taps. You can drink on site what you buy. Close to downtown.
The Bad: Small, Selection, while decent, is not terribly large. Corkage fee after 6 ($1.25).

Honestly, other than the featured flights and slightly easier parking, I'm not sure why anyone would go to Bottlecraft. It's not that it's a bad place, but with so many quality establishments in San Diego, you have to be better and/or different than the alternatives. While the atmosphere was comfortable, the staff and clientele gave me the impression that I wasn't hip enough to be there. Service was decent, I would have liked to talk more with my server about what the store had and what was recommended, but I couldn't tell whether I was deemed to different from the regulars to talk to, or they just didn't know. The selection was quality, but limited. Again, considerably better bottle shops in the area. Would I return? Given that Bottlecraft is relatively new, and that maybe I caught them on an off night, I might wait six months and give it a second shot.

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Photo of mrcraft
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I visited this location since my hotel was near Little Italy and wanted to try another bottle shop in San Diego.

It was good. They have most beers on shelves on the wall, and had 3 coolers. The selection isn't as good as BDBS or my regular bottleshop in Los Angeles, but they carry quality stuff. Also, since Bell's is only distributed in San Diego for now, finding Bell's beers here was a plus for me. I didn't inquire, but you can pay a corkage fee and drink beers on site which is nice if you're meeting friends, and then have dinner afterwards at one of many nice restaurants nearby.

Overall, a solid bottleshop. I'll visit again next week since I'm down in San Diego again.

Update - 2/4/2015: They moved across the street to a brick building (almost directly across the street from Ballast Point). The bar is larger but the beer selection may have gotten smaller.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Popped in while at Toronado and was actually disappointed in their selection. While they do have a wide selection of beer for a store selling beer, they had nothing special and nothing I hadn't seen anywhere else. In fact, they were the only shop that I visisted all weekend that I didn't buy anything in or have a desire to return on a next trip.

I loved the vibe, very "hip" and great placement. Guy at the counter was very nice and answered a few questions for me. Only thing I didn't like were the other people in there looking for the highest ABV beers to get "faded" on that night. Oh well, not their fault. If they REALLY step up thier selection, I'd be happier. Overall, a place to stop in when in the area but I wouldn't go too far out of the way for it.

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Photo of socon67
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

If you hit up Ballast Point in Little Italy then head across the street when you are done. Small bottle shop with a tap area. Plenty of goodies to try. Societe The Pupil was my first choice. Staff is really nice as well.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Friendly helpful staff. Plenty of good stuff, and you can get a mix-six. Prices are a little high, and the selection could be better, but all in all, good place, and less than a block away from the Ballast Point Tasting room.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I'd heard a lot about this place, so I finally decided to check it out yesterday and I'm so glad I did.

The setup reminded me a lot of a cross between the BP Home Brew Mart and Holiday Wine Cellars. The selection wasn't mindboggling, but you could tell that every single beer on the shelf was selected with care, which is much more than I can say for a lot of other bottleshops in San Diego. I don't think there was one beer there that didn't catch my interest. I also saw a lot of stuff here I've never seen before in San Diego, including Jester King. I had no idea you could find them in SD. The service was great, and the guy there was extremely helpful with the questions I threw at him.

If you happen to be in the area, this is definitely worth checking out. Great service and a great opportunity to try some new beers with their selection and their on site tastings. Probably the best bottleshop I've found in San Diego to date.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I've been to this shop several times and I sort of wish we had something like it in Denver. I know its not feasible given the difference in our liquor laws but a boutique bottle shop is pretty cool. Nice that you can pop a bottle here and drink it for a corkage fee.. Selection is pretty damn good and I even bought a Cantillon taster glass here once. Pretty much a must visit when I'm in San Diego.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Popped in during my vacation after a recommendation by Loews hotel concierge and BA research. This place felt special. It's nearly all beer and the exceptions were some ciders and there may have been meads. There's a lot of calculated mood lighting and I like that while there are beers on the shelves on the wall,there are also lots of shelves set within the middle arranged at angles to encourage exploration. They an amazing selection. I did not have time to crack anything open from the cooler and enjoy it. There was one guy behind the counter and he answered questions when I asked. I did take into account he had a few people at the bar on the other side of him so he can't exactly walk over to assist.

Returned in September of 2015 on a Wednesday night so things were slow. Love the vibe at this place with most of the people there for a drink and some coming in for bottles to take back. I was pleased to find Prairie Apple Brandy Noir and Russian River Damnation on the shelves. I'd still rank this bottle shop 3rd for selection and rarities behind Krisp Beverages, Bottle Craft North Park, but ahead of Bine & Vine.

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Photo of dbannister
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Bottlecraft is very close to the San Diego Airport (roughly 2 miles from the rental car returns). There is a Ballast Point taproom across the street from it that you can also visit.

Bottlecraft has a great selection of beers on tap and for sale. There are roughly 10 beers on tap and there is a good selection of beer types (IPA, Stout, etc.) The service is really good and the environment is very nice.

I definitely recommend visiting this place. Its also not very far from downtown.

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Photo of docoman
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Stopped in after visiting Ballast Point tasting... great place and awesome selection, especially one of my new found favorites The Lost Abbey... they even had some of their Angel Share Ale, which I would recommend getting before they are gone. They were willing to ship anywhere in the states also which is helpful. Staff very nice and helpful too.

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Photo of Theitos
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is great. Tons of selection. We did a local flight and had a great time talking to the bar tender and the people around us. This is a community place that would be great for date night or just having a fun evening with friends. They had a great selection of local beers, a great selection of domestic beers, and a lot of Belgium beers.

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Photo of Brewzer1010
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in here a couple weeks back after leaving a Padre game early. The decor here is pretty minimal but it works. Better than average selection, although many beers were not kept cold (and seemingly not intended for on site consumption). Still, the two coolers had a nice selection. The guys working there were cool, willing to talk beer or just leave you be if you prefer. It was pretty quiet when I was in there, however very enjoyable. Prices are very reasonable. A seat at the window with a Class V to enjoy, not a bad way to spend an evening.

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4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I only went here once but my impression is they have a sweet selection but as with anything you gotta pay to play. They were just a bit pricey but the location they maintain allows for this. I will say I was able to get Jester King Weasel here and at that time I really was wanting to try that. Selection overall was impressive and the inside was pretty cool as far as atmosphere.

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Photo of HoppingAlong
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

While I live nearly twenty minutes away, I find that a trip to Bottlecraft is often worth the drive. The place is located in Little Italy, near the San Diego airport (so if you are visiting SD I would strongly urge you to stop by here before you head to your hotel). The shop is super clean, with some wood tables/benches to sit and drink/eat (you have to bring your own food, if you are into that sort of thing). The bottle selection is great, with all styles represented. While their fridge space is ample, stroll to the back of the store to find the rest of the beers they carry. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they will answer any questions you might have and they will certainly make suggestions if you need them. The prices are reasonable and comparable to just about every other shop in San Diego. They often have a couple of different beers on tap and they allow you to consume purchased bottles on premises (not sure that if there is a corkage fee, as I always purchase my bottles to go). All in all-- one of the best bottle shops near downtown.

They also have another shop that recently opened in the North Park area (an area that features some of the best craft beer bars in San Diego).

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Photo of djmitche
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I'm just in town for a conference, but dropped by this place to pick up some local bottles to take home, and see what it was all about. They had two flights running, based on bottle pours, as well as two beers on tap. There was a beer club meeting at the table in the back, but lots of stools available along the bar in the window. There are copies of BeerAdvocate and Zymurgy all over. The staff know their product and how to treat it.

All in all, a good selection of local beers, and a great atmosphere of beer geekery without being a bar. More of a "here, try this, it's interesting!" place rather than anything snobby or oriented toward inebriation.

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Photo of rmaste6282
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place is off India Street, right in the middle of Little Italy on a one way street. A true bottleshop, where you can buy singles and six packs, plus you get to open any bottles you want for onsite consumption. Brian, the owner is great, knowledgable, approachable and willing to talk beer, not just send you on your way. Prices are great, better than most in the county. The only drawbacks are the small size of the place, and no old vintage stuff since it has only been open for a year or so. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area.

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Photo of HeavyTaste
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Bottlecraft is located at the upper end of Little Italy. Just North of Downtown San Diego.
They sell bottles to drink at the bar or to go.
Sort of like the Pizza Port Bottleshop.
There is an actual bar, with stools and they feature nightly flights. Nice to be able to sit down and enjoy rather than stand.
The selection is pretty good and so are the prices.
It is within walking distance of many restaurants, mostly Italian. Great place to go before or after pizza down the street.
Not all the bottles are in coolers. Most are on shelves. They currently have two coolers, one for North America, one for the rest of the world.
Good selection. Lots of locals, and a decent selection from Belgium and elsewhere.
They are really good about actually updating the website and Facebook daily to announce the flights for the night. I like that a lot since here in San Diego, there are a lot of choices.
This week, in honor of Belgian Independence they focused on beers from Belgium.

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Photo of pinkgrenade
4.44/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Bottlecraft is exactly what san diego needed! They opened about 6 months ago, and have been gaining popularity since!

When you walk in, you will see a bar and a nice big table for seating, and also 2 cold boxes with roughly 120 different beer choices, and a bottle shop that also houses a nice glass selection and merchandise selection from random breweries. The bottle shop is extremely reasonably priced, and he gets a very good selection of local beers, microbrews, and also belgian and other foreign beers. Last time I went in i was able to find the new chatoe rogue series, and a NB lips of faith I had been searching for.

The best part though is the tasting portion he offers, every day he will pick 2 flights for you to choose from, you can pick any bottles from the cold box and make your own flight or just open a beer, or flash freeze any bottle from the shop too! The flights tend to be a style vs a brewery, or a city vs a season, or whatever he feels like picking out for the day! The first time I went I had a flight of all barrel aged beers it was great!

It's a great environment to take someone new to beer, someone who loves beer, or just to pick up something hard to find. Love Bottlecraft!

Tip: no food, but you can order in a pizza from one of the many establishments near by or bring in whatever you would like to eat!

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Photo of Boga
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

The atmosphere of the place is great, this is a mix of a bar and store, since you can buy a beer and drink on (with an additional uncorking charge) or take it home. Don't be surprised if you see a lot of pets inside, as this is allowed.

Quality is great, nice and clean.

Service is a strong point, always friendly. They occasionally have a "Keep the glass night" in which you buy a specific beer and you get to keep the proper branded glass for it.

Selection... I'll put it this way, if you are fairly new to crafts beer, you'll be impressed; but if you know your stuff and know what you're looking for, it's fairly above average.

One of the things that I liked the most about this place is that you can take whatever food you want inside, and go at it without anyone bothering you. (I recommend Mona Lisa Italian Foods a block south)...

I normally visit once every month from Tijuana to restock... Salud!

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Photo of Hanson_Cole
4.79/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Quite possibly the most diverse selection of beer available in San Diego. My own personal beer odyssey has been enriched ten-fold simply thanks to the horizon expanding Bottlecraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room. And I'm not sure how they keep the prices so low. But you get the feeling this joint is dedicated to providing great, affordable beer for all.

Luckily, I live one block away from Bottlecraft. But even if you don't live near Little Italy... who doesn't want to take a short trip here!? It is well worth it. And if Little Italy isn't your scene, the highly successful and popular little shop has just opened a new, larger store in the heart of North Park.

You owe yourself a visit to Bottlecraft if you think you like beer at all. Seriously, you will enjoy every sip.

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Bottlecraft - Little Italy in San Diego, CA
94 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.