1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Downtown San Diego

Not Rated.
Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Downtown San DiegoKarl Strauss Brewing Company - Downtown San Diego

Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
88
very good

36 Ratings
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.02%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1157 Columbia St
San Diego, California, 92101
United States
phone: (619) 234-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Swimsum
Swimsum

Oregon

4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$

Went here for lunch on my birthday. Stopped in around noonish. It's downtown SD and so of course there were lots of business persons on their lunch breaks eating here. It is a very nice place and the inside is very cool. There are pictures on the walls of Karl Strauss and beer related items. There is a few tables outside but most of the seating is inside. The bar is decently long and has a good amount of seating. There are 5 TV's that you face if you sit at the bar with different things showing. It was an awesome atmosphere, not too loud.

The service was awesome. Our waiting was very cool and a super nice guy. He brought me four samples that I didn't even ask for and was quick to get anything that my girlfriend or myself needed. For how busy it was, I thought it was impressively fast and friendly.

There is happy hour week days from 4 to 6:30 pm and every Thursday nights they have Cask Night. I thought that was pretty cool, sadly didn't come in on a Thursday. They had 10 beers on tap. Six of their normal beers, three seasonals and a tenth "brewers choice" tap (was an Oatmeal Stout). I had the Tower 10 and the Altbier (a seasonal), both were very good. Can get free samples of any other the beers at no cost.

The food was very good and a good variety to choose from. I had a burger and the girlfriend had some Mac and Cheese. Both were very good and very filling. You will not leave this place hungry that is for sure.

Half gallon and one gallon growlers were available for purchase as well as other swag (shirts, pints, etc). I went here on my birthday and got a free beer and pint glass. If you are in downtown SD or near any of the other Karl Strauss brewpubs/restaurants I suggest that you stop in and have a beer and grab a bite to eat. I will be back here the next time I'm in SD for sure.

06-18-2009 04:23:17 | More by Swimsum
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

Stopped in here on a Sunday night about 6PM. It was somehwta bust but not to bad. We were seated almost immediatley. Atmosphere was tourists, locals and families. Not much beer geek talk going on here. Service was good, nice and prompt. Quality was average. I had an Oatmeal Stout on nitro which was weak and I hate nitro brews. The Abbery Red was good and the Hee was above average. Selection was about a dozen house beers with a wide range anyone would be happy with. Food was good and lots of food for the price but house beers were $6 a pint for average beer. No thanks!

05-26-2009 03:29:12 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ndolover
ndolover

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$

The Karl Strauss brand is a good one. This particular location is near the marina area. I was there on business and walked from the nearby tourist area to this unassuming storfront. It had the typical wood, brass, and stone. I made 2 visits to this location and I found the food to be classic bar food that had a nice twist on occasion. However, nothing stands out on the food side.

The beer was above average as it was fresh. I had a pale ale, IPA, hefe weizen, and belgian ale, and a barley wine during my visits. Sadly the barley wine stands out as it was poorly done. I believe they were going for more or an Eglish style Barley wine...but it missed.

This region has many good eating establishments with better beer. While I certainly like the Strauss franchise, there are just too many better places to go for food and drink in the area for me to reccomend this place. However, if you like fresh beer, by all means hit it.

02-01-2009 02:32:37 | More by ndolover
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$

Good place to grab a beer. Renovated warehouse next to the W Hotel. Food is upscale but edible. Better than standard bar fare. Like the Cuban sandwich. Beer selection is all Karl Strauss. Most of it is average, some awful, but once in a while you can find a diamond in the rough. Their IIPA is above-average, as is their barleywine. Problem is that these are not produced in large quantities. Kind of pricey and can be crowded on the weekends. Parking sucks, as in you can valet it for $15, park for $10, or take the trolley.

12-16-2008 22:55:44 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Stopped in here for a leisurely Tuesday lunch last week and was quite pleased on all counts. I was able to enjoy their IPA, DIPA, a bock & their Imperial Amber Lager, the first three being very enjoyable, the lager OK. I thought they all tasted like pretty good quality brews. I had their fish & chips as recommended by the bartendress, and that also was very satisfying, excellent cole slaw and a sizeable portion for lunch. The service was very friendly, helpful and reasonably quick. The bar itself is a somewhat dark, wooden old fashioned feel with some outdoor sidewalk tables surrounding the front entrance. It's located right in the heart of the down town, only 10 minutes from the airport or the ocean. Not much else to say, no complaints. I definitely recommend this location and imagine their other sites around San Diego must be decent as well.

10-14-2008 04:32:39 | More by Durge
Photo of cggarcia
cggarcia

New Mexico

4.38/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Came in rather late on a Monday night, but was greeted nicely. Just came for the beers, so didn't try the food. 10 beers on tap dominated by lager styles, with an ale or two and 2 IPAs. The Dbl IPA was awesome. Hops hit hard, of course, but the brewer hit a great balance w/ malt to make it easy drinking. The std IPA was very good also w 3 NW hops. The Dbl IPA had hops from New Zealand so had a citrusy smack on the finish. Also tried the the Octoberfest and found it very nice after all the hops of the IPAs.

The staff was very knowledge about the beers and the brewing process. They also have a cask night on the 1st Thurs of the month. I would come back here.

10-07-2008 19:42:37 | More by cggarcia
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$

After a long day of visiting several breweries, a whole bunch of my friends decided to grab some grub and beers to end our day. We went on a Saturday night and I was expecting a wait, but I was suprised to see that the restaurant was half empty. The atmosphere was nice and the game was on...so most of my attention was focused on that. The quality was pretty good as well as the selection of beer. The food was also good, but nothing special. My overall impression...a nice place to hang out, but again...nothing too extrodinary. Worth a visit if your in town and are looking for a place to chill.

09-18-2008 22:36:12 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
BigMcLargeHuge

Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$

This is where it all started for me. Around 1990 domestic beer was just beginning to come out of the dark ages. This place was an oasis. They always had an excellent selection on hand listed from the light in color beer to the dark. The food was pretty good. At this time it was really happening. Some nights it was tough to fight through the crowd and get a beer. The people that worked there were great and more than happy to talk about beer. I loved the $1 beers on Tue nights. It doesn't look like they do that anymore. Sometime when I'm back in town I need to go back and re-rate it. This place rates high for what it gave us back then.

08-29-2008 03:37:47 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of m1ked
m1ked

California

3.83/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

It is interesting to me that there haven't been any reviews from any San Diegans of a SD classic. While Karl Strauss has not historically been much to brag about, or go out of your way for, I do think that they have made improvements. I think that I really appreciated this at the most recent Karlfest. Anyways, the downtown restaurant is not somewhere I frequent, but I will go midday on a weekend to fill my 1 gallon growler for about $12...that is pretty awesome. They have scheduled rotationals, and their classics. Food is pretty decent, I have had their burgers and other meat sandwiches which were very good. I persoanlly go there for the growler fills, and occasionally get some food. Good place to check if you are from out of town, have guests from out of time, or you like their beer (I do). While they are not the best in the SD area, they are good, and add to the variety of the SD beer scene. If you haven't been there, or haven't been there in a while, check it out.

02-18-2008 21:07:17 | More by m1ked
Photo of LethargicAvenger
LethargicAvenger

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

Was here on a tuesday night, not too crowded but enough for the waiters to piss off the barkeep. Seemed like a place for trendy 20-something groups but there were a few regulars watching the game. The food was good but very typical for Socal and even breweries in general: a sampling of burgers, sandwiches, steaks and fish -- nothing too daring. Tried an octoberfest which seemed a bit too bitter for me, their DAD ale which was good but it didn't really fit my mood. The IPA however was delicious and surprisingly not recommeded by the bartender. Very light and citrus-y, it fit the bill after the previous darker beers.
All in all, a solid brewery with good beer and good food - nothing to stand out though. One thing, becareful when ordering beer, I though I was loaded until I realized my pint glass really was bigger than usual. They have a 16oz and a 22oz "pint" glass and I was never offered a choice. Maybe I look like a drunk?

09-28-2006 00:01:32 | More by LethargicAvenger
Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Downtown San Diego in San Diego, CA
88 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.