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English Ales Brewery

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

15 Ratings
Ratings: 15
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.07%
Active Beers: 9
Beer Ratings: 147
Beer Avg: 3.39
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

233-A Reindollar Avenue
Marina, California, 93933
United States
phone: (831) 883-3000

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LakerLeith
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

LakerLeith, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of BeerisUber
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

BeerisUber, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of beren00
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%

When I walked in, I was the first patron in the bar. I was served promptly by an older Iranian gentleman who talked to me about the beer and the brewer. As the local clientele began to come in, he knew them by name and which beers they were going to drink. The beers (I had the tasting flight) range from decent to very good. They are of the English kine, so you should expect that flavor, ABV, etc. I ordered the British sausage, beans, and chips and was not disappointed. It was a great portion size and it came promptly. I purchased a growler of their Dragon Slayer IPA to bring home to my wife because I know she will enjoy it. Overall, it was a great experience. I haven't been to a lot of breweries that have a steady, local client base, but if there are more out there that function like English Ales, then there are some very lucky neighborhoods.

beren00, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of colonelforbin
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%

Nice little brewpub near Monterey. English ales are what they brew (obviously) and they do a solid job. Small place and it's definitely got a neighborhood feel to it. Personal mugs hanging from the ceiling, etc.

Pretty good take on English beer, I thought. I don't know a lot about English beers but I definitely enjoyed the English Ales ales that I tried. We got the sampler and everything was good, not great, but not mediocre either. Right in the middle.

Service was friendly, and the atmosphere was nice, different than what you might find at most other brewpubs, for sure. I would definitely stop back in there when in the area.

colonelforbin, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Stewartr
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%

While a bit off the beaten track this is probably one of the best British breweries I have been to in the states. It is located in a business park area of Marina, CA but never let that discourage you if they have a brewpub. There are several similar kinds of setups in California just make sure they are going to be open before you go. It is also probably one of the largets microbreweries I have seen in the last several years, and I have seen a lot of them.

I worked for a UK based company for several years, and it alwasy amazes me that the British style ales in the US are for the most part better than what the typical pub serves today in the UK.

The only deficit was they were out of the ESB, which is typically my British ale of choice, as well as several other of the regulars. The had an aniversary ale that was one of the best of this style that I have had on draft in years. There IPA was more a cross between an American IPA and a true Brit but it was very good.

It is well worth the trip if you are going to me in the Santa Cruze in the near future. I am planning to go back since it is very close to one of the largest marine reserves in the central coast of California, hopefully the sun will show the next time around.

BTW their food was very good as well, while I just had their calmari strips the food served to my bar mates had great portions and looked very fresh. Probably not a family place, but the seem to have a very loyal following, or one would assume from the bub members mugs hanging all over the place. The Brit memorabilia is also worth taking a look at, there was some amazing stuff hanging on the walls.

Stewartr, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

Stopped in on a Thursday afternoon on my way back from SF beer week. The place isn't hard to find if you good directions but it's in a very unassuming little shopping center in a very quiet part of town. The people inside were all very nice and seemed to know each other. I didnt realize right away that there were personalized mugs hanging from the ceiling. The nice bartender periodically would take a long stick and remove one from the ceiling for a customer.

There were 10 taps going and I got a 4 oz sample of each. The only one that was out was some stout that I can't remember. The beers were all in the "alright/decent" range. After taking notes on my 4th or 5th sample the 2 guys sitting next to me at the bar started talking to me and asking my opinions on the beers. It turns out that one was the brewer and another was an employee of some sort. Both were nice guys and introduced themselves. We had a discussion about English ingredients (malt and hops mostly) and I was greatful for a professional opinion on English beers as I know so little about them at this point.

10 samples was only about $8, $10 after tip. It was a nice place to relax and have a conversation and the beer was light and enjoyable but I can't comment on the food as I didnt order any.

t0rin0, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of ocmpoma
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%

The brewery, in Marina (about 10-15 min north of Monterey by car), is easy to miss. It's on a side street in a nondescript building in a nondescript neighborhood. From the outside, it can look run-down, especially in the evening.

Inside, the bar is furnished with a light touch, and one is struck by the mugs the locals have hanging about. The brewery is definitely a locals' favorite. The food is average, but the beer is quite good. My personal favorite is the Ramsey's Fat Lip Scottish, which is a great example of the style, and is not over-hopped as most craft brews are. All in all, the brewery has some great beer on tap and is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

ocmpoma, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of bjohnson
4/5  rDev -2%

"The food was great...thank you so much. Say, do you know where Rheindollar Ave. is?", I said to my waiter.
"Oh, you mean in Marina?", he replies.
"Dunno, English Ales?" I ask.
"Yeah, 4 to 5 miles north of here, take the exit for Del Monte Ave., bang a right on Rheindollar Ave. and it's up on the left past a car wash." he replies.

Emma and I both look at each other and silently contemplate. Do we head 4 to 5 miles north to check out this pub that I really know nothing about ? What the hell! We trudge on north. Off the exit--ok good. Right on Rheindollar--ok good. Pub on the left? Confused Not sure. We must have passed it. As we double back we see a bunch of kegs outside this weird strip mall type place. We slow down to see an English Ales Brewery on the glass face. We pull into a strip mall parking lot. Other businesses in the strip mall include a barber and a dentist. Not sure what to make of this place.

Upon walking in you can see the kitchen area to the right, which is divided by a partition type wall. There are about 6 tables in the place with a U shaped bar. Mug club mugs lines the top of the bar and the entire ceiling in the place--somewhere in the vicinity of 600+ mug owners. You can see the brewery from the pub. The brewery is probably the same size, if not bigger, then the pub. Amazing! The brewer was hard at work when we arrived, and left (10PM). Many of the kegs were labeled with the establishments name making me believe they keg for local joints. We take a seat at a table on the opposite side of the place from the entrance. An older gentlemen comes over and delivers us menus. I abruptly say, "we're just going to have a couple pints."
"Fine" He replies.
A couple get up from the side of the bar we were located near and we move to their vacated spots. On tap included a wheat, golden, pale ale, brown, bitter, lager, and a cask porter.

Emma had the brown--she said it was pretty decent compared to the one she had at half moon bay. This was on the drier side with a nutty caramel malt base. Clean and crisp. I only had 2 sips...
My first was the cask porter. Roasty malt with a caramel sweetness in the finish. Fluffy and smooth with a medium body even though it seemed light. A very nice cask offering. The bitter was my second choice. Crisp and light with a floral hop twang. Slight citrus flavors rounded out the bitterness in the finish. A very decent bitter with an abv clocking in around the mid 4's. We did not have any food, but a guy at the bar was eating a burger, which was huge--fries looked good as well.

bjohnson, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of bretthall04
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%

Nice relaxed watering hole with a variety of good beer, definately a local hangout.

The locals and the staff are very friendly. It is a small, cozy bar with a view into the brewery and otherwise decorated with assorted knick-knacks. It is adorned with hundreds (~800 when I visited) of mugs hanging on the ceiling, you can get one for $25 with your name on it to get 4oz extra beer for your money.

We had a taster selection of 8 beers (for $7 I think), served in small but tall glasses - as other reviewers have said it ranges from a light american style lager to a porter with several gradations inbetween. All beers were well executed in general, if most were a bit lighter in flavor/color/mouthfeel than I've come to expect in my hometown of Portland, OR (considered beervana by some). I was most impressed with the best bitter and the fat lip.

The brew 66 was a nice interpretation of an american lager, but I couldn't drink it, perhaps it's the style not the beer. I found the english pale ale somewhat odd tasting, but I don't know english (not USA) pale ales very well so it's hard to judge. The dragon slayer IPA was quite nice, not too over-the-top hoppy and again light (at 5.2%) for what I've come to expect from IPA, but then again IPA is a real phenomena in the Pacific NW lately. The big-sur ale (not sure the exact name) was nice with a surprising kick of lemon bitterness in the back, good for a hot day I expect. Monk's brown ale was nice, pretty mellow and lightly sweet and the fat lip was a nice balanced, quaffable amber scotch ale. The porter was nice and smooth, the chocolate & roasty flavors were present but light. The best bitter gets my vote for favorite, very well balanced with the right flavors to be an appropriate english bitter - I could drink a few of these.

The food was nothing particularly special although the curly fries were pretty good. I think this place is about the beer more than the food.

As a homebrewer the brewery itself is impressive with a lot of fermenters packed into a small space, it appears to have a large capacity and is indeed able to keep a lot of beers on tap at once. One of the brewers was there cleaning kegs late and stopped in the bar to chat with people, they seemed to know him well so I assume it is a regular occurance.

Overall Impression: Nice casual spot for a beer or three and a good place to chat with the locals, I would buy a mug if I lived in town!

bretthall04, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of poluti
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

A great atmosphere. I stopped in and enjoyed the ambiance and mugs lining the ceiling and walls. It's a small place with a very cozy interior. The seats were comfortable after a long day on the road. The quality of beer, especially the pale ale, was fantastic. The food is good, and the menu is ripe with pub grub classics. The service was quick and the servers were responsive to questions. The people at the bar were interesting and I remember striking up a very interesting conversation about different IPAs. That conversation might have skewed my rating of this establishment, but there is no reason not to stop by if you're up for some very tasty english ales. I will definitely come back if I'm in the Salinas/Monterey area on business again.

poluti, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of bradybeer
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%

My partner and I drove down to Marina/Seaside from Santa Cruz looking for an Asian market. We decided to stop off and give this place a try.

Kind of a funky location in an old store front of some sort

Walking in the first thing you notice is how cozy it feels. Light wood with an L shaped bar on the left-against the window a couple of cozy booths.

The small bar area is decorated with English knick-knacks while mugs from their mug club hang from the ceiling like bats-the number of mugs attest to the popularity of their club.

Beer

She started off with Ramsay’s Fat Lip (Scotch) Ale 5.5 ABV and I had the Triple B Best Bitter 4.2%. We were not impressed with either brews-both were similar in color and in taste. She thought the Scotch Ale was lacking in style and I thought the Best Bitter needed more hops. The two brews were not bad but also not special.

Next we had a Monk’s Brown Ale 4.8 ABV and the Dragon Slayer IPA 5.2 ABV-we enjoyed these beers The Monk’s Brown was slightly smoky and more like a porter- the IPA was nicely hopped. We agreed that these two beers were good but not great.

Food

We had planned to eat fish and chips but instead we had the curly fries and the fried veggies. It was straight from the food service aisle of Costco-but reasonably priced.

Service

The service was very good considering it was a busy Saturday afternoon. The bartender was also the waiter and he was friendly and efficient.

All in all we would stop by for another beer if we were nearby but we wouldn’t go out of our way.

bradybeer, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of Troyone
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%

This place is located in what appeared to be a small business park area. The brewing room can be seen from the road however the entrance is centered in the parking lot. When walking in, the bar is on one side of a divider and the other side is a dining area.

All stainless steel tap nozzles, did not see the kitchen, and numbered mugs were hanging from the ceiling (because of gravity) right side up. Nice hardwood horseshoe bar, cushioned metal seats, and what appeared to be metal tables with concrete tops.

Service was prompt and business like.

A good selection of their beers with one cask option and did not notice any guest beers. Their beers either had a similar taste or seemed to be better quality versions of UK macro imported here.

British Pub Grub menu, was served with a plentiful proportion.

reasonable

Troyone, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%

Don't be put off by the non-descript atmosphere. This place is about the beer. (And maybe the food, too, although I didn;t try anything while I was there.)

Located in a modest, one story strip shopping center, English Ales had a nice bar with a handful of tables surrounding it and a dart board in the corner.

I met the English brewmaster and had a nice chat with him about his brewing techniques. He told me that the Pale Ale, which is a really unique example of the style, contains lager malt and hops and ale yeast and is fermented at ale temperature. In his words, that creates the crispness of a lager with the roundness of an ale.

The bartender was friendly and the bar seemed to attract a loyal contingent of locals.

Definitely worth a stop if you are in the Monterey/Carmel area.

brentk56, Mar 24, 2005
Photo of Mark
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

Couldn't wait to try this place out when I was in their area this weekend. I must say I was a bit disappointed with the visuals at first. The pub is located in a very ordinary looking building, once inside it is very cafe like and tiny. A simple bar is adorned with English looking tap handles. Only one cask is offered, the rest is regular on tap dispensement. The cask was dry the day I visited. There are tons of ceramic mugs hanging everywhere, with names and dates written on the bottoms. It's a mug club and obviously quite popular. There were some mini replicas of London street signs scattered around which was nice. Excellent beer was served up American cold in American pint glasses. Food was tremendous with a wonderful authentic ploughman's lunch on the menu. A place I will try to go to again. It's a good 100 plus miles away which makes it tough, but when some damm good English style ale and authentic food is needed, it's worth the drive. While English glasses and temps would have made it even better, I guess they have to cater to the tastes of most of us Yanks. I hear the owner and brewmaster are English. One thing that was cool is that two of my reviews are on their website. Showed it to the barman, didn't get me any special discounts.. Well worth a visit for all advocates.

Mark, Oct 04, 2004
Photo of Rumrunner
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%

If you like ales brewed in the proper English tradition, then stop by this pub for a few pints.

Located in the city of Marina. This is about ten minutes north of Monterey. Easy to find. Marina does not have much to offer for tourists or architecture. In fact the pub is probably the only reason to visit this small blue collar city.

The atmosphere is pretty bland. A dining area and a bar area. The bar seats about fifteen people. There are plenty of knick knacks and signs from England on the walls to remind everybody the owners are from England. The mug members mugs hang from the bar and the ceiling. Noticing how many mug members there are this place must do a great amount of business. A few t.v.s for sports viewing hang above the bar. The brewing equipment is seen through a window but it is not really on 'display' in the aesthetic manner. The pub does have a warm neighborhood feel to it which is very welcome. I could tell the patrons at this pub were mostly regulars and they love their English ales. The locals were very friendly and we easily struck up conversations with everybody around us.

We sat at the bar and had lunch. The bartender was friendly and talkative. Especially when talking about beer or trying to sell me a t-shirt. The employees were a good group of people. Cheers to them for making us feel welcome.

The food was good. The menu is a mix of British pub grub and American standards like burgers and salads. A good variety of foods on this menu. No spirits are served here and they do have a small wine list.

The beers are excellent reminders of traditional English brewing. About twelve taps and one cask. On the cask that day was the Borthwick’s Best Bitter. A really well made beer. I also tried the Dragon Slayer IPA. Again very traditional. Not an American hop monster. My favorite was the Black Hound Stout. Very robust, flavorful and full bodied. For ten dollars one can try their tasters which is about forty four ounces of beer. It is about eight tasters. They also have a porter, another bitter, a couple of pales, a cream ale, a scottish ale, and others. The EA Pale(formerly 1066 pale ale) is their biggest seller. At this pub they will usually have about eight to ten of their beers on tap at any given time. They also do some seasonals. Their winter seasonal ale is quite nice as well. They bottle the EA pale and the winter seasonal and these beers can be found in Monterey and Carmel. Some of the beers are also on tap at pubs in Monterey and Carmel as well. No guest beers are served.

I really enjoyed myself at this pub and I will make it a point to return the next time I am in Monterey. Maybe I will check out the night scene? The beers are well made and tasty. The patrons and staff are friendly and love beer. What else do you need to bring a beer lover back again and again?

Highly recommended.

Note: They do not sell half gallon growlers. They do sell two and one qurater gallon glass containers which they call 'pigs.' They look like water bottles from the cooler. Smaller of course. They have a handle and when held from the handle they do resemble a pig.

Rumrunner, Jul 06, 2004
English Ales Brewery in Marina, CA
91 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.