Old Harbor Brewery Steak & Lobster House

Old Harbor Brewery Steak & Lobster HouseOld Harbor Brewery Steak & Lobster House

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

202 Calle Jesus Tizol
San Juan, 00907
Puerto Rico

(787) 721-2100

// CLOSED //

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Added by yobdoog on 03-07-2006

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 43
Photo of aobrehm
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3.75

Puerto Rico's drinking culture is decidedly more rum- than beer-centric... but this place is just fine for the beer enthusiast.
There are only ever five beers on tap- a couple German-style lagers, a stout, a pale ale, and a rotating tap. The Santo Viejo pilsner fits the hot Caribbean sun.
Space is dimly lit and musty. Service is great and food is good enough. Given the limited selection of brewpubs on the island, it's worth checking out.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.06/5  rDev -41.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5

Stopped in during short trip to PR. Overall, place is dimly lit and kind of lame. 5 beers on tap, none were spectacular. Double IPA was buttery, but the pale ale was fine. Service was nonexistant despite there only being us and one other couple there. A nice tick for travelers trying to hit all the places, but otherwise not particularly interesting. Did not try the food though.

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Photo of BrewClint
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Just stopped by to try their Stout as I was craving a good brew after days of Rum and Watery local beers. I wish I was hungry as their menu looked very delicious.
$6/pint seemed like a deal to me considering American Stouts at a local store were about 2-3x the price they are in the US. Their other brews were a bit cheaper.
I'm a Stout Freak, so their Pilsner, Lager, and IPA didn't interest me.
You can see their tanks right in the middle of the bar area, as well as a couple coppers in their restaurant area. Bartender was great and offered an explanation of their brews.
A place I will definitely visit again if I make it back to Old San Juan, PR!
Keep up the great brewing there!!!

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Photo of jophish17
2.64/5  rDev -25%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2

Made an effort to stop in while visiting San Juan recently - there was a festival going on, so this was a huge change of pace from the Gasolina and Medalla Light that was flowing in the streets.

Situated in Old San Juan, the Old Harbor Brewery was pretty typical brewpub inside - a bar with beisbol on tv, dining area, brewing equipment, and the occasional Bavarian flag or other relic. AC was probably the highlight of the space. It was pretty slow when we visited on Saturday at lunchtime, so we had very prompt service. Crowds began to build and I suspect it can be very busy on Friday and Saturday nights with cruisers in and out.

We decided to go with a sampler, which only included 4 beers on this occasion - a helles, a pils, a pale and a stout. None were beyond ok, yet very approachable for the uninitiated. I would have liked to see what they can do when not just aiming for the least common denominator, but no luck this time. Quality was ok - the pale had lost its edge (if it ever had one) as I suspect beer flows slow around here at times.

We tried a local pork appetizer that we liked but I won't rate a place's food on one appetizer. Prices were reasonable to me without knowing the local market all too well. It was nice to visit a new brewpub, but I'd probably visit a couple other places in San Juan on my next visit before revisiting Old Harbor.

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Photo of flexabull
3.38/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Decent brewery located in Old San Juan. Doesn't have the charm as most of the buildings do in this part of town. But it's a nice open brewery, with a small bar to the side, plenty of seating, and large high ceilings.

Quality turned out to be pretty good. I really enjoyed the pilsner, also tasted the stout and pale and found them to be decent. Certainly better quality then the local mass produced beers like Medella Light.

Service was friendly and speedy.

Selection was a bit small. They had 5 offerings, lager, stout, pale, pilsner, and a seasonal beer that was a cream ale.

Food was ok, we had a pizza that was not bad, but not great.

Prices were fair for both food and beers.

Overall, a place worth visiting in Old San Juan. I also was pleased to find their beers for sale at a small Mexican Restaurant near the place we were staying.

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Photo of M1ke
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Microbrewery cross with restaurant atmosfere, makes for good food, great beers and great times! The only one that will not have a good time is your wallet; tough economy means walk around and look for other bars in the area to get a cheaper buzz. All in all a good place if you don't mind paying a little extra for beer/food.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.64/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Very nice location and probably nice facility for Caribbean standards. The bar area was small with a decent amount of seating for the restaurant. The beers seem to have been given much higher ratings than they probably deserve. I was genrous with my reviews but yet I barely under rated most other reviewers. The bartender was nice but absent minded. One major plus is that this brewery bottles their beers for purchase which is uncommon by my expierience in microbreweries. Maybe the island is more run oriented. Pricing was too high by microbrewery standards. The types of beers brewed were broad which was nice as well.

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Photo of obrike
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I was sitting at the lobby bar of La Concha Renaissance tonight and mulling over their beer choices after I had already ordered my drink. I noticed two brews from Old Harbor (Kofresi stout and Coqui lager) on the menu. Very excited, I made my order to the lovely server and was disappointed to hear the hotel has not had any Old Harbor beers on site for months. Still, the thought of a fresh craft beer over another Medalla overtook me and I was soon in a cab on my way to Old San Juan to visit Old Harbor Brewery.

A short 10 minutes later I was there and sitting at the bar. A live jazz band tonight, a couple of TVs with sports, and a fairly pricey menu of food, but the beer was reasonable for the island...5.50 a pint.

Really enjoyed the Kofresi. Liked the Taina as well...I believe this release was a brown ale. Wish I woulda got the sampler of all beers to try them all, but had to head back to the hotel in a sober state before work the next morning.

This is certainly a great place to visit for beer folks when on the island. It's hard to find decent beer anywhere here, and these guys produce a pretty good product. Skip the food if you're on a budget...just order more beer.

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Photo of PRpitmaster
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

stopped in a few days ago to try their new Taina rotating beer, which was a Maibock, first pint that I got was served in a frosted pint glass which totally killed the head of the beer and made it impossible to taste for a few minutes until it defrosted. the second one was served on a room temperature glass after I asked the bartender to please not use a frosted pint glass, this one had a nice head, although still a bit cold coming from the tap, but definately more enjoyable than the first.

there is a pretty large dining room area, surrounded by the beer making equipment and exposed air conditioning ducts, pretty nice brewery setting. the bar is set up to the side, not much space around it, they have 2 large very nice 5 tap systems, that block the space between the bar and bartender, seemed pretty uncomfortable for them to serve our beers.

the ambiance is pretty tourist oriented (trappy) in the middle of the caribbean, as they have pirate statues when you walk in and hanging from the roof by the boil kettles, more suited for disney world than a brewery. also noticed various light fixtures that change color around the restaurant, kind of weird for a german style beer bar.

the beer selection is limited to the five brews they make: lager, pilsner, pale ale, stout, and the maibock.

although i did not try any food, the menu was just what you would expect from a steak house style establishment..

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Photo of Redrover
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

I was glad to able to stop and was really looking forward to some ales after a steady diet of Medallia Light (the ubiquitous PR Light beer). Situated in the old Federal Reserve building and close to the cruise ship docks, they are blessed with a good location.

As you enter, you see the hostess stand where they also sell pint glasses and stuff. The finishing tanks are directly to your right.

They have a two story space with a bar along the lower left. There are lots of tables as this is very much a restaurant. The look is a nice mix of modern with some cool touches form the buildings earlier life. I really liked that they had their regular customers’ mugs locked up in little wire and wood cages. This is the same thing they do at beer halls in Germany.
They offer 5 house beers and 7 rotating seasonal specials. I had a pint of the pilsner and a couple of pints of a very well-crafted APA.

Service was friendly and at an Island pace (I.e. they are not in a hurry, so just go with it..).

Food was fairly expensive but pretty tasty. I had a very good steak here and the other three in my party liked their meals.

This is well worth a stop If your find yourself in Old Town.

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Photo of corby112
2.2/5  rDev -37.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5

Old San Juan was the first stop of a cruise I'm on so my wife and I decided to stop by this place which was five minutes walking distance from the pier.

This is a brewpub with an higher end(read priced) dining area. As soon as you walk in their are table in front of you, a cooler of bottles on the left and a large selection of merch on the right. The had their logo on everything feom shirts to growlers to a large selection of glassware. It's pretty dark during the day with brewing equipment in the front left and center rear of the main dining room. Their is a very small bar on the left side of the room with probably eight to ten seats. My wife and I sat here to enjoy a flight of their five beers.

Unfortunately they only had three beers on tap and no guest taps. It's kind of disappointing for a brewpub to run out if two of their five beers with no backup batches or other beers. Even though they only had the three the bartender let us double up on two of them so we could get the flight. All three beers were mediocre so we passed n the chance to buy bottles of the other two.

Overall I would avoid this place unless you are eating there or going after ticks. There was only one other craft destination in Old San Juan and it was closed on Tuesdays, the only day we were around.

We didn't try any of the food. It is supposed to be good but the prices are high.

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Photo of spointon
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

My wife and I visited this place while passing through San Juan on a recent vacation.

The atmosphere is very pleasant. We were there on a bustling Friday night and the place was pretty packed. Ordered the beer sampler and an appetizer. The beers were all well made and clean, but half of them were pretty uninspiring. Had the stout, the helles, the pils, the pale ale, the IPA, and something else I cannot remember. I thought the Helles was pretty great and the pils was mediocre and everything else was in between. Bought a bomber of the stout to go since they didn't have the helles in bottles.

The food was tasty but rather expensive. The beer was cheap enough though so if I ever went back it would be just to drink...

A worthy stop if you are in San Juan, but for a better selection visit Taberna Lupulo.

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Photo of jettjon
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Visited twice over the week of 5/4/10 - 5/11/10 on my trip to Puerto Rico. To my knowledge, this is the ONLY brewpub in PR and one of the few places to get any type of beer other than the local macro-swill (Medalla) or Heineken. The wife and I sat at the bar on our first visit and ordered the 6-beer sampler including the seasonal "Taina" which was in this case a Vienna Lager. I'm not a lager fan, and the menu was dominated by them this season, also featuring a Helles golden lager, a stout, a pale ale, and a Pilsner. All of the samples were good with no off-tastes or surprises. My wife and I selected the pale ale and the stout, both of which were good; bombers to go are available as are growlers. Price for a pint was still 5 bucks as of May 2010; the sampler is 9.

The bar area is roomy, at least in the afternoon, with 14 seats and six taps. One downside is that the liquor is exposed to direct sunlight; when we mentioned this to the bartender she stated that the barstaff had complained to the owner several times but the owner wanted passersby to be able to see into the bar. Never mind, we weren't ordering hard liquor. The bartender seemed knowledgeable about the offerings and was friendly.

We didn't order any of the food, and without sampling the fare I will defer to others who claim that the cuisine is pricy and sub-par. I struck up a conversation with a local regular on our second visit who stated that he comes here to drink only as the food is overpriced and underwhelming. Pricy steaks and seafood dominate the menu.

The brewery setup is readily visible with tanks and piping clearly visible in three areas, two of them open and one behind glass. The dining area is spacious and open with plenty of room. The bathrooms were large and clean.

The location of this bar is great, just a block from the Old San Juan harbor and easily accessible from cruise ships. Old San Juan itself is fairly small, so it's not too far of a hike from anywhere in the city and is only about 10 blocks south of the famous forts. Overall, it's a great break from the light macro swill that dominates the island. Definitely a must-see for any Beer Advocate visiting Old San Juan.

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Photo of Noelito76
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Nice ambiance in the touristy Old San Juan district. If you're from the states you feel right at home in this place.

The service was pretty good even if the bartender was not a beer expert. It didn't matter since brewmaster Wolfgang is easily accessible to talk about the offerings.

They had 5 selections, a Helles lager, a Pilsener, an APA, a Stout, and a seasonal that they call Taina.

If you are a BA in Puerto Rico this is the best beer you will find on the island. Samuel Adams (mostly the Boston Lager) is the only thing close to a microbrew you will find anywhere else.

The food is really pricey but the beer was reasonable at $5 a pint and you can carry out a growler if you bring one or buy one of theirs. They also sell bombers of the APA and the Pilsener.

For true BA's who are suffering from quality withdrawal should opt for the stout which is their best year round offering. The seasonal IPA I tried there was pretty good as well.

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Photo of unclejimbay
4.36/5  rDev +23.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I visited this place with a local during a visit to PR in Jan 2010. It surpassed my expecations as the reviews to date seem to be mediocre at best.

If you are looking for solid beer offerings while in PR, this seems to be the only place to go. But dont let that fool you, its a brewpub with a passionate brewer and respectable offerings. Take it from a BA and active homebrewer.

I tried a sampler with my table (4 of us) and then tried one the coqui, stout, and "dopplebock" throughout the evening.

The atmospehere was a nice change a pace from other SJ locations. It has a true brewpub feel with a strange piano bar element and music wafting through the air. Along with the smell of an active brew, upon 8 in the evening. What a surprise from the usual Medalla domninated island!

Our waiter was prompt and polite. Not the most knowledgeable, but I met the brewer "Wolfgang" who chatted with me for 30 minutes at least. I explained my wife and I are active homebrewers, and he shared info back in forth about his process, experience and ingredients. He was very knowledgeable, humble and a good guy all around. He showed me the open fermenters that he had just cleaned which were a surprise to my eyes for a brewpub. He was passionate to share he honor Reinheitsgebot, uses all grain not extarct like many corporate brewpubs. He was not snobby about it, just humble and passionate to share his process. Thanks Wolfgang as this was a nice highlight to the visit chatting with a great guy and knowledgeable brewer such as yourself!

The brews overall were all enjoyable and to style across the board. I think things have improved over time as it seems like a solid location as of 1/2010.

The standout brews were the stout and seasonal dopplebock. See my reviews for my detailed info.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Basically this is the only place in San Juan to find craft beer. Located right at the front of Tizol Street, it's right by the waterfront and walking distance to Piers 1 and 2. Has a cool brewpub vibe to it when you walk in, which is a nice change of pace in this city. It looks like they actually care about their beer, and it's not just a show. Grabbed some seats at the bar, and were served by a very friendly bartender. Another server conversed with the couple next to us about hop growing and home brewing. I tried the Kofresi Stout and the Santo Viejo Pilsener. Both were very high quality and quite nice. There were 5 house beers on tap, so after a couple it's hard to justify sticking around for a while. I did not eat the food, but it looked a bit pricey on the menu. Speaking of pricey - the gift shop. $15 for a nice pint glass, or $10 for a standard pint? Please! No wonder there was dust all over them. No thanks. Even the hostess laughed when I said that was a tad steep. One thing I noticed at night: they have a trolley that they park outside and they ferry people around with - bonus points. Cool place. A must visit in San Juan, since it's the only place to visit.
(P.S. I saw two North Coast bottled brews for sale at the bar Marmalade on Calle Fortaleza - if you're sick of Medalla Light)

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Photo of drpimento
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Beers were a fair value considering location at 5 clams per 16 oz. They serve five different beers, four are regular and one is a seasonal. Today's seasonal is an alt. They also have a CzFriendly and accomdating. We were shown a spot at the bar by smiling hostess and bartender. Good beers and an electical connection for my laptop. Food pricech pils, helles lager, american stout, and a pale ale. prices do seem a little steep and this is confirmed by my Puerto Rican amiga Yoly. Very clean. Good location.

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Photo of sbrsky
3.73/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I decided to give a review as I am a regular customer and would like to give a little clarity to the other reviews. This is the only craft brew on the island and the best beer available. The ambiance, service are much to be desired, however, this is typical in PR, so you can't compare it to service elsewhere. The food is very pricey and lacks the taste expected. I've never heard any good reviews, and several restaurateurs I know have left seriously disappointed. In my opinion, avoid the food enjoy the drink. There are far too many good eateries in Old San Juan and greater San Juan to waste any taste on this food. I gave a 3 for atmosphere, as it is typically visual grandeur only with some simple house music. Service is a 3.5, because beer knowledge depends on which bartender you approach. And food a 2.0 for the reasons I explained above. If I'm in town I'd be happy to share my growler and take you to a much tastier eating experience. All in all, I can't complain the first several years I lived in San Juan I had nothing but normal macro-shitty-beers, this includes the two local beers (Medalla light and India Cerveza) and coors light. If you can't get here look for India Cervaza at the closest grocer, its sometimes hard to find as demand is less the the Medalla uwf.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

As a Puerto Rican I understand that you can't really find any good local beer or any good exported beer for that mater. So as someone on this site mentioned this place is like an oasis. The atmosphere was very welcoming and relaxing with a jazz band (guitar, bass, drums, piano) playing in the background. I only tried 2 of their beers there the Santo Viejo Pilsner which seemed more like an unfiltered wheat beer and the Cofresi which was a scout. I enjoyed the Santo Viejo a bit more because of the spices and how refreshing it was. The food was great I had a skirt steak (churrasco) with some fried plantains. The food itself was a bit pricy. Overall the experience was great and to find craft beers around here is hard so I would love to live closer to San Juan if only for the beer. One note: Surprisingly the brewery does export their kegs to a nice German style restaurant/pub in the town of Morovis, PR named Casa Bavaria.

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Photo of TmoNyc
3.38/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

As a beer lover, you learn fast that one of the national jokes of Puerto Rico is the quality of the beer there. The only local beer to speak of is Medalla Light, but as my mom told me if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything, so that's all I'll tell you about Medalla. My friends and I decided early on that if we couldn't find quality, we at least find the freshest beer around. So 10oz Busch cans was the beer of choice for most of the weekend.

Then you come across a place like Old Harbor, which I must admit was a welcome oasis for a group of beer lovers. Walking in the door and seeing the two copper kettles in the middle of the dining room, you could tell that this was the place we were looking for.

Immediately, we all parked ourselves at the bar and ordered ourselves the sampler. For only $8, you got 5 4oz samplers of their 4 year round selections and current seasonal. Pints were $4.50. Their year round selections were:

Coqui - A golden lager that was very light and refreshing but lacking any real flavor to write home about.

Santo Viejo - A German pilsner that both tasted and smelled of diacetyl (butterscotch) that was a bitter dissapointment.

Old Harbor Brew - Here's where are fortunes started to turn. A pale ale with a subtle hop backbone that was quite tasty and very drinkable. The best of the bunch according to the group.

Kofresi - This was the most flavorful beer in the group. A stout with heavy coffee and dark chocolate flavors.

Taina - This is their rotating seasonal beer, which right now was a dopple bock. It was a malty version of the pale ale, with a subtle maltiness, which replaced the hoppiness of the pale ale, and was very refreshing.

Overall, a well rounded drinkable selection. Maybe the pale ale and dopple bock could be a tad bigger in flavor. But in that warm climate, they were just right.

With reguards to the food, I must warn you it's quite pricey, unlike the price of the beers. For the most part we stuck to sharing appitizers and we were quite pleased with them. The shrimps tempora, Tata's chicken wings (w/pale ale bbq sauce), & crab cakes were all given positive reviews by the group. The ribs as well. The pizza on the other hand could have used more sauce; though as a native New Yorker, almost all pizza outside of the 5 boros is a disappointment.

Service was on the slow side (it was like she kept on forgetting about us) but friendly so don't be in a hurry.

Overall, I really liked this place and would go there again if ever back in Puerto Rico. Though I was surprised about the Santo Viejo being spoiled (reason for average quality rating), I would recommend OHB to anyone looking for a good beer on the island w/o hesitation.

Now if only they would distribute it around the island.

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Photo of MTNboy
4.33/5  rDev +23%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The Old Harbor Brewpub in Old San Juan is pricey but definitely worth the visit if you are in the area. Do not be intimidated by the prices of the food on the menu. The beer prices are not as extravagant. I had the Puerto Rican side sampler with my beer sampler and the bill wasn’t that bad. The service was excellent and as soon as the waiter saw me writing notes on the beer he went and got the Brew Master. Peter Bottch is from Germany and his passion for his beer is oblivious from the moment you meet him. He recently became the Brew Master there and is already working on some new brew as well as keeping the old ones from the former Brew Master. He is very down to earth and seems to have a good background in brewing. There are souvenirs on site and the weizen glasses and the liter glass are beautiful and true to German traditions down to the fill mark. Where the beer and souvenirs are German influenced the cuisine is not. It is international with some local flare. They are proud of their beer and it is evident in the décor. The ambience is an elegantly blended restaurant and brewpub.

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Photo of danzorr
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

This is not your average drink and eat bar food, brew pub. It is a very expensive place. Being the only brewery on the island, there are not any other options so it is hard to complain. The beer quality is hands down best on the island, but that isn't saying too muchs ince the only PR beer is a light beer. I'd have to say that it is a little below average for US standards. There is no beer that left you wanting more. There are two pilsners, a pale ale a stout and a seasonal brew. The food is excellent, but WAY overpriced. We paid $38 for a ribeye with no sides then had to pay $4.50 for each side. Bill at the end off the day was $120, two dinners, no apps and 4 beers. This is a place to take an expensive date, not a place to belly up to the bar.

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Photo of yobdoog
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

For the beer lover who chooses to go on vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico, you won't have to go far for great beer. Just minutes away in Old San Juan you will find the Old Harbor Brewery to be a pleasant surprise. Also as far as I know it is the only Microbrewery on the island. A gigantic sign for the Brewery greets you on the way in invoking a strong presence of beer. Upon entry you will be ushered in with awesome aromas of some of the finest cuisine on the island. From Spiny Tail Lobster to Kobe Beef, which is a rare find and not overpriced at all. Even the appetizer of fresh made chips, unlike any other, paired with delicious made to order guacamole, is outstanding. The atmosphere is cozy and fresh. With the immaculate brewtanks on premise you know your beer was brewed with care. Care you say, well don't forget about taste, these beers will knock your socks off, especially if you have been a week without having the craft beer of your choice at your fingertips like in the states. OHB has a wide range of styles varying form a traditional Golden Lager to a Rich Stout, as well as seasonal offerings, among many choices. Check their website for full descriptions. You will have no problem sitting at the bar or a table and drinking a few pints without bellowing with boredom. The atmosphere is wonderful with great people and great music, making OHB a must visit if you happen to be in the area. I had the pleasure of meeting Brad Mortensen, the Brewmaster at OHB, hailing from Virginia I may add. He takes incredible pride in his beer, you will take pride in drinking it.

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Old Harbor Brewery Steak & Lobster House in San Juan, Puerto Rico
3.66 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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