San Marcos Brewery & Grill
Active Beers: 8
Beer Ratings: 38
Beer Avg: 3.41
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 15 | Show All Ratings:
3.18/5 rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4 | $$
This is your prototypical brewpub. No flashy styles but good enough food to make it worthwhile.
And having the flashy styles is not always necessary, but these guys really had a tough time with all their honey ales and golden ales. I sampled 4 of them even an IPA which seemed to be new. They were all drinkable but all very weak. Every beer had a good point but multiple bad points, they were all just blunt.
The food is alright. Better than going to a chain restaurant but not really in the class of a fine restaurant. More than standard pub food with some pasta options and some seafood.
07-28-2012 14:49:15 | More by crossovert
3.28/5 rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5 | $
Stopped in here during my lunch break today. I work in the massive expanse of business parks along Palomar Airport Road (only a a few miles to the east).
San Marcos Brewery & Grill was pretty empty when I arrived, and probably never topped 25% of capacity during the hour or so that I was there (11:45am-12:45pm). Nearly all of the patrons were middle-aged businessmen, likely coming from the an office on Palomar Airport Road as well. The mood was calm and relaxed, and the small crowd resulted in very quick and attentive service.
The restaurant is laid out much like any other brewpub: small tables near the bar, booths around the perimeter; flat screen TVs playing ESPN; the brewing equipment on display through glass windows behind the bar. This one differs in that it offer two separate outdoor patios a ton of skylights; the take advantage of San Diego's beautiful weather the best they can.
San Marcos offers eight house beers, and I didn't see any indication that they brew seasonals or one-offs. They also didn't offer any guest taps. The styles were all common offerings - two blondes (one with honey), an American pale, a hefeweizen, an amber, an oatmeal stout, an ESB - with the lone exception being an imperial brown ale by the name of Pompous Ass. I sampled the Pompous Ass, which I found to be very hot and difficult to drink, along with the pale ale and oatmeal stout, which were both average.
As I mentioned above, service was speedy - likely due to the light crowd. My server (the bartender) was pretty quiet/non-engaging, and didn't seem too knownedgable about craft beer.
Food was decent; your standard pub grub menu: urgers, sandwiches, pasta, salads, and a few more formal entrees.
San Marcos Brewery & Grill is an average brewpub that isn't worth a visit unless you live/work nearby. It's worth noting that they've got some interesting weeknight specials: extended happy hour on Monday if you wear brewery swag; Taco Tuesday; Wing Wednesday; etc. Also, prices were very reasonable, if not downright cheap.
09-13-2011 20:07:18 | More by ThreeWiseMen
4.28/5 rDev +17.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped in here yesterday afternoon to kill some time and ask the locals some questions about the area. The highlight for sure was Jon who was working at the bar and also serves as the assistant brewmaster. Very knowledgable and passionate about beer. What I appreciated most was his willingness to discuss the entire San Diego County beer scene and didn't just rail on about their own stuff.
However, this review should talk about the establishment. Beer was good. Nothing made me go gaga, but I had just a sampler plus a pint of the Pompous Ass. I was pleased with all of them. The honey ale was noteworthy for its distinct LACK of overpowering honey sweetness. It drank like a regular beer and I really liked that. Well done.
Its in "Restaurant Row" which I can't quite decide my feelings on. On one hand its cool that there are places kind of grouped up like that. On the other its sort on a patch of road that makes you think "strip mall." I am new to this area so I am not going to be too critical. Actually, I was thrilled when I went looking for a place to grab a beer and my GPS spit out a Brewery. I very much enjoyed the time I spent here and recommend it to others. I will surely return.
I plan to get back here when I get the rest of my family out here with me. Then we will try some food and I will see if my experiences are consistent.
06-23-2011 00:30:33 | More by Ragingbull
3.9/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in to meet an old friend for lunch.
Early lunch time so not many people in yet. A few tvs around the place had some sports on. Brewery is visible behind the glass at the back of the bar.
Had a seat at the bar and had a read through the menu. Ordered the esb on hand pump! Nice one. Tried the pale and pompous strong ale and all beers were well made and tasty especially the esb. Only house beers available on tap and they had most styles covered including Belgian strong golden and oatmeal stout also on hand pump.
Growlers are available.
Service was friendly and attentive though my buddy is a regular so he was well known to the wait staff. What I will say is the bartender was as knowledgeable about the beer as anyone. He mentioned they rotate through the brewhouse which is a great idea. Giving servers an in depth understanding of the beer being served puts them in a much better position to explain and sell those beers.
Ordered the French dip which was good but nothing extraordinary. It was brought out quickly and at a good temp.
Nice place in a region full of nice places. Add this to the list of good brewpubs in the greater San Diego area.
04-28-2011 05:24:58 | More by joecast
3.48/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
This place was the lunch stop on a recent beer tour, just after Stone and before Ballast Point. The dropoff in beer quality at this place as compared to the other 2 places is pretty significant, however I get the impression that we stopped here on our tour mainly for some relatively inexpensive but tasty food.
The beers we sampled were a wheat, amber, pale ale, and surprisingly the best of the bunch was a honey beer. I asked our server I could try the Oatmeal Stout even though it wasn't part of our planned lunch, he brought me a sample, which was cool, but sadly, it wasn't that great.
For food i got the Roast Beef Au Jous, it was good and so were the fries, everybody in our group seemed to enjoy their food.
It seems like this place is more of a restaurant that brews beer, rather than a excellent brewery with food. Which is fine, it's just that with so many places with excellent food and beer in the area i'm likely not to return.
10-11-2010 23:28:30 | More by tjensen3618
3.4/5 rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Atmosphere - Coming in through the front door brings you right in to the dining area. In and to the right is a decent sized bar area and a glass wall with the brew house and fermenters. The place has your average restaurant feel to it nothing going on to set it apart from anywhere else.
Quality/selection - They have eight beers on tap that they brew and I don't remember seeing any guest beers in bottles. The house beers ranged from a Golden Lager to an Oameal Stout with pretty safe styles in between. The house beers were average to good none were bad but none were making me want to get a growler to take with me.
Service - Our server was kind and attentive and quick with bringing us things. However she didn't seem to know all that much about the beer other than the names.
Food - The food was pretty good here. I got the sausage plate appetizer and pasta with shrimp which was really good.
08-15-2010 18:59:50 | More by armock
3.86/5 rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Transcribed from extensive notes dated M, 20 July 2009
Located at the west end of Old California Restaurant Row, the doorway opened onto the m.d.s. and a small waiting area straight ahead. A patio area ran along the front of the building as well as on the east side and a line of booths along the wall, past the m.d.s., overlooked this patio. The dining area was booths on the left side and a grouping of standard restaurant tables and chairs all of the way aft, under a mural of a turn of the 20th century saloon/night club. A short wood and frosted glass wall delineated the beginning of the bar area. Over there, it was all high tables with seating a mix of stools and chairs. The bar was a short oval of wood topped with a smooth, shiny light-green marble. The back bar was mainly used for glassware storage and it also overlooked the brewhouse and four Fermentation Vessels, visible through a series of glass partitions.
Food: They offered a full menu, but the previous night's cookout had left me too full to eat.
Beer: Six available during my visit - Pompous Ass; Amber Ale; California Pale Ale; Wild Clover Honey Ale (all of those were also available in 22-oz. bomber bottles to go); Golden Premium and Oatmeal Stout. Growlers were also for sale/fill.
Ambiance: An old southwest feel, exposed ducting, ceiling fans, and lots of distressed wood beams that were probably rescued from a demo structure.
Happy Hour: M to F 15 to 1900; Sa, Su 15 to 1800.
06-23-2010 13:43:23 | More by woodychandler
3.58/5 rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
San Marcos Brewery & Grill is located just off the 78 which in turn is 10 or 12 miles from I-5. They have a decent sized private lot.
The exterior has a nice adobe/stucco look. The inside has an interesting atmosphere as well. There is a lot of brick and wood, with windows all around. The bar is in the rear and the brewing equipment is visible. They have a nice patio as well.
The beer selection is pretty standard. The brews range from Gold to Amber to Dry Stout with nothing really out of the ordinary. All of the beers are slightly below average to slightly above average. The brewpub does offer a sampler of 7 current beers.
Service here was pretty good on a weekday lunch. The server was fairly knowledgeable about their beers, and the bartender was friendly during the purchase of a bottle to go.
San Marcos' food is above average pub grub. My colleague and I shared the appetizer sampler and everything was tasty.
Overall there is definitely a disparity between the food/atmosphere and the beer, and hopefully that gap is closed. There are simply too many world class brewpubs in the San Diego area to warrant a special trip to San Marcos. However, if you are already in the vicinity then it is definitely worth a stop.
07-02-2008 21:34:50 | More by Dogbrick
3.65/5 rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
*** GO for the ambiance and relaxed vibe.***
Easy as pie to find just off CA-78. End building on a strip of shops. Ample indoor/outdoor seating available. We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a sampler and a pint of pale ale while admiring the oversized chunky wooden framed interior that looks like it was pulled off the Titanic. Nice! Faux balcanies and distressed lumber make for an English-meets-Spanish mission style ambiance.
Quality wasn't overwhelming but did not distract from a fun oriented Friday afternoon stop.
Our server was on point and conversational. No problemos en esto villiejo. Si?
Selection was limited to amber, pale, golden ale, cask ESB [props to a 4 from a 3.5] oatmeal stout, and a take-out only bottle selection of a Belgian and some others that were not properly advertised.
Food revolves around "basic" pubgrub i.e. burgers, salads, tortilla soup, and appetizers. Boneless chicken fingerz were average smotherd salty sauce and dipping cup of dressing. Eh!
Last call: As for the beer, this place needs to improve the focus on beer for the beer geek. It is a restaraunt that "makes" beer. Know what I mean? Go for the fun and the ambiance. You won't be dissapointed. If you are all about the beer, drive to Pizza Port in Carlsbad instead.
06-15-2007 22:15:34 | More by blitheringidiot
2.69/5 rDev -26.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
On our way to The Lost Abbey we passed this restaurant and immediately turned around for a pint. Parking was not a problem on a Saturday around noon. We bellied up to the bar where they have two flat screen TV's that had sports on with the volume off. The restaraunt was clean and well staffed.
I ordered the sampler and unfortunately most of the beers tasted old and oxidized. Simply put they had a similar stank to them that made me choose the beer based on freshness rather than what I would have liked. The Amber/Red was decent. My wife thought the Honey brew was decent but she noticed the stank as well. I was amazed that these were being served in this condition especially considering the head brewer was on location. Service was friendly.
I took home a 22oz bottle of every beer they make to see if they were any better. We did not have any food so this is simply a review of the establishment and its brews. Probably wont get to this area any time soon but I'll stick with churchills up the street or just plow through to Lost Abbey.
05-20-2007 20:04:45 | More by DogFood11
San Marcos Brewery & Grill in San Marcos, CA
85 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.