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Pacific Beach Ale House

Your Rating: None
Pacific Beach Ale HousePacific Beach Ale House
74 Ratings
Pacific Beach Ale HousePacific Beach Ale House

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

721 Grand Ave.
San Diego, California, 92109
United States

(858) 581-2337 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by HalfFull on 08-30-2008

BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by d0ggnate:
Photo of d0ggnate
2.2/5  rDev -36.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

I visited here a few months ago. I usually skip anything this close to the water in San Diego, for obvious reasons to any local. I made a quick visit to grab a beer and a bite to eat. I won't be back. First, the beer was unimpressive. Next, the service was completely lacking. The food was sub-par and overpriced. Last and most frustrating, I had decided to settle my check by paying with a cash. For some reason, this place has decided not to allow their servers access to cash, so she had to take the $40 I gave her behind the bar and give me change. She then asked me to leave her the approriate amount on the table. Since this is so abnormal to paying at any other restaurant, I left my tip on the table and left. I realized a few blocks later that I left without paying the check. I went back and settled up but left completely unsatisfied in all categories. I only listed the atmosphere as a 3 because their proximity to the beach is great, but the overall atmosphere including the patrons is crap. I won't be back.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of talbotjf99
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Jewefc2
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Awesome brewery. Probably the only brewery on the beach in SoCal

64 characters

Photo of HopHead84
2/5  rDev -42.4%

Photo of timmy2b
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Went here for the Buffalo Bills game and this is the Bills Backers bar in San Diego.

The place was packed, and the beers were well priced (cheaper for the game). The food for breakfast and lunch was delicious. Service was fairly quick even for the amount of people in the place.

Large outdoor patio with indoor bar, indoor bar tables, tables around the side and an upper patio.

Beers were not perfect, but were very drinkable. Happy to have found this place and thrilled that it was only half a block from the beach!

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Photo of sjmad23
4.75/5  rDev +36.9%

Photo of LukeRfour
4.75/5  rDev +36.9%

3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

200 feet from the Pacific Ocean. 3rd floor deck with 180 views of the ocean. What seperates this place for me is that they care about the food. Yes this is a beer site but I get tired of roach coaches serving Thai food at some brewery in a business park. The food is very good. The beer is as well. Maybe 10 beers to choose from all craft beers. I dont think they bottle anything. Everytime I go Vince has a new offering. Ask for him. He will show you around. Waitresses are nice to view and helpful. Rare combination. Lots of TVs to look at as well.

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Photo of StoutSnob40
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

Photo of Batmitestar
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.75

Bouncer at the door required ID to get in at noon on Sunday, which to me is a bad sign for brew potential, but a good sign if you're looking for a place full of enthusiastic people. Just depends on what you're searching for.

I was hoping for a decent beer as an incidental treat for meeting a friend on short notice. I was disappointed in the Hopulent DIPA--it was just bitter and simple and not so good.

Food prices were a tad out-of-line, but to be expected for a beach front bar. Two fish taco plate was $14 dollars, chicken flatbread was $13, 22 oz beers were $7.

Probably a great venue for watching a game with some friends and getting rowdy or hanging on the rooftop during summer months, but not at all a place to find great beer.

I think that any other bar in the area is as safe a bet as the Pacific Ale House.

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Photo of Kiniey01
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of DRTBrewster
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

I liked the food more than the beer, which is okay since San Diego always presents many opportunities for beer. The lobster roll was amazing, so I recommend that with an IPA and you should be satisfied. I went back a second time for the lobster roll...so good!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Stopped in here with a group of friends on Saturday afternoon to watch a Chargers preseason game. Turns out it coincided with a huge MMA match, and that occupied every single television screen in PB Alehouse. (It also occupied every TV screen at nearby Miller's Field, our first bar choice.) The manager was kind enough to change the channels on one of the TVs for us.

I don't know how loud PB Alehouse is on a normal day, but during these fights it was raucous. I couldn't hear anyone that wasn't sitting directly adjacent to me. On top of that, the crowd was decidedly "bro" - a group I don't assimilate with too well.

The beer menu offered up multiple IPAs and imperial IPAs (including some decent guest taps), but not much else. If you're not big on hops, tough luck. I stuck with house beers, sampling the Crystal Pier Pale Ale, Whitewash Wit, and Goodtimes Gold. All three were mediocre.

Service was shitty. Our waitress pretended not to see us for the most part, and when she did come by, she'd ask if anybody wanted anything and then bolt after the first response (ignoring everyone else).

We also visited the rooftop later on, and while that was a great scene, I doubt I'll be back here.

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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I counted 11 beers on tap, with a few guests including Ignorant Bastard. The regulars are pale ale, wheat, gold, amber, porter, and IPA-- the usual suspects. They have also had a tripel, and tonight there was a dubbel. They are not my favorites but perfectly drinkable.

This is actually a really pleasant place for a beer or a meal. The streetside patio has a big gas fire, though the heaters over the tables were hotter than needed. TVs outside, even. The upper decks, outside on the roof, are a long climb but have their own bar. Great views and really nice to be up in the sea air.

Food is the usual burgers, sandwiches, salads, plus pot roast, salmon, veggie stir fry. What I've tried has been good, but nothing adventurous. Prices are no bargain, but at least they have a 14 oz beer ($5), a 22 oz ($7), and samplers (five for $12).

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2 | food: 4

This was a rough trip. Having only been there once, I will preface this review by saying that it may be the exception instead of the rule. That being said, here is a recount of our night there:

The place was promising upon walking in. It was a great set-up, with lots of deck seating, a nice fire pit on the deck; an open area upstairs, the downstairs with comfy leather booths and leather sofas in the open areas. The place looks great, and my wife and I are excited. It sharply goes downhill from here.

The place wasn't overly busy by any means, yet we are standing by the "Wait to be Seated" sign being ignored by the hostess...for a full 10 minutes. She finally notices us after I say something to her, and we are brought over to a booth. Once seated in the booth, our waitress finally comes over after about 15 minutes, and right off the bat asks us "Was there anything on the table when you sat down?" Now, the hostess cleaned the table off before we sat, but regardless, there is no better way to start off an evening than being accused of stealing some waitress' tips. Fantastic. The rest of the evening was a continual downward spiral of being ignored, a waitress who was unaware of their product and the fact that some beers had run out, some more ignoring, and waiting almost 30 minutes just to get our tab. One of the most frustrating evenings I've ever had to deal with.

The beer they had was alright. Nothing really stood out flavor-wise, and nothing really impressed. They had a poor guest tap list for the limited range of what they brewed themselves.

The food was the highlight of the evening. Really decent pub fare, as my wife and I both had sandwiches. Also, dessert was pretty tasty. We had a lava cake with ice cream that was pretty damn good.

The prices weren't too shabby for the food. With that being said, the prices did not make up for the limited selection and the shitty service.

I will say, once again, that we might have just happened to wander in on a bad night, where all the negative stars and planets aligned to make for a shitty time. It might be the exception to the rule. However, given how bad it was, and what San Diego has to offer instead, I highly doubt we will ever make a trip back there again.

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Photo of armock
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Atmosphere - Looks like your average bar by the beach, however they brew there and the brew house is in the back of the building. The place has some seating out front so you can get some good people watching in as they go to and from the beach.

Quality/Selection - Your not going to find anything that any other brewpub is making they have the standard line up for the most part. The beers I had were pretty much just average they didn't have flaws but weren't anything special.

Service - Yeah the service during my visit wasn't all that great. The waitress was terribly slow and didn't seem to know all that much about anything that involved her job.

Food - I just stopped in for a bit after the beach so all I got was some wings and just like everything else here was just average.

Value - This place is expensive for what you get. I ordered the flight of five beers and that was $12 and my wings were another $11. Yeah rip off even for CA.

 946 characters

Photo of glid02
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Took a cab from Mission Beach and happened upon this place.

Atmosphere is good. We actually came in during one of the hundreds of pay-per-view UFC fights put on each year so it was packed. There's a nice patio outside on the first floor with a bar and TV's immediately to the right upon entering. Brewing equipment is all the way in the back, with stairs leading upstairs closer to the front. Upstairs there's another bar with plenty of seating and a few more TV's.

Quality is OK. The temperature seemed OK but all beers were served in the same glassware and without much head.

Service was good. We never had to wait long to order drinks and while they didn't seem to know a whole lot about the beer they knew enough and made up with what they didn't know with friendliness.

Selection is OK. I remember 6-8 beers on-tap and I'm sure they had the normal BMC suspects in bottles.

Value is good - the second happy hour started while we were there and the beers and other drinks were reasonably priced.

Overall this isn't really a place to go for the beer but it remains a pretty decent place. If you're in the area go to the Tap Room first and then head down here if you have some free time afterwards.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Rewind back to September 20, 2007. I was meeting two German's at a hostel at Pacific Beach. One of the things I noticed along Mission Ave was a big building being constructed near 7-11. It would be the future home of the Pacific Beach Ale House. At the time, I thought "gee, a brewhouse at the beach. How cool!" Now fast forward to May 4, 2010 - I arrive at Pacific Beach with a friend and ready for a beer. Hmm, I seem to remember a brewpub in the works, let's find it. And then we found it.

The location is great. Literally a one minute walk and you touch the sand of the beach. Big, comfy chairs at the booths, an outside patio, and a clean, modern interior welcomes you. Not a whole lot of people as we arrived around 3:30pm, but there were more people sitting outside.

Eight house beers were on the menu, however two of them were tapped out. In addition to the house beers, bottled beers like Arrogant Bastard and Le Freak are also available, as are a number of bottled macros. I tried the witbier, amber ale, and stout, all three solid to good. And our beers were served in tall pokal-like glassware.

Our bartender was very pleasant to talk to, and helped us out quickly when we needed it. She has reminded us that we arrived during Happy Hour, which meant $3 drafts of house beer ($5 normally). I noticed a lot of other daily promotions as well.

PBAH won't win many honors being in an already beer-rich city, but will provide some of the beer I drink whenever I return to the neighborhood.

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Photo of strohme2
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I visited twice during my week stay in San Diego area.
The place looks newly remodeled and could be a bit on the trendy side but I liked it. I sat outside both times, first on the ground floor patio. It was a bit chilly but they fired up the outdoor heaters and it made for a pleasant time. Second time was up stairs in the "Skybar". A smallish patio with 5 foot glass walls to block the wind.
Beer selection was un-inspiring with the usual suspects-pale ale, amber, wheat, porter, stout, ipa and a winter seasonal. I had the IPA, stout, porter and I was impressed enough. Both the porter and stout were tasty and true to style. A personal pet peeve of mine is when a brewery serves macro beers and this place does. So they lose points for that.
Food was good, a bit pricey though.
Our servers were decent and mostly attentive.
Overall, I'd re-visit.

 855 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Standing on the beaches, looking at the peaches... No wonder people are jealous.

Theirs was a stand-alone building with a huge patio area that actually had access to the bar via a folding window. The main entry had the m.d.s. to the immediate left; the straight, brown concrete bar directly ahead; and a mix of high tables and chairs, standard restaurant tables and chairs, and booths center and left. All of the way to the left was the brewhouse and several SVs on display behind glass with the lavs slightly right. On a buttonhook left from the m.d.s. was a winding stairwell going up, up, and away. At the top was a rooftop deck with its own bar, serving staff, and a great view of the ocean/beach. Frankly, on the approach, it looked like an out of control crow's nest. I just do not do well sitting in the sun, or I would have enjoyed sitting up in the rarefied air.

Beers: Good Times Gold; Whitewash Wheat; Crystal Pier PA; Amber Wave; PAC Sunset IPA; PB Porter.

5 guest taps, including Leffe Brown; Red Trolley Ale; SA Lager; Alaska IPA and Trumer Pils.

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Photo of Husslerc
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

i was in san diego for a month over the summer, and pacific beach was a spot i had to check out. i soon found the pb alehouse. kind of tucked away but being from new england i saw the huge red sox sign on the front and knew this was my spot. the beer selection was ok, not many of there own brews. but tried all of them ( feeling pretty good!!) along with oyster shooters and a burger. overall not bad, good service and good food. again wish they had more of there own brews....and being right on the beach helps!!!

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Photo of Trappissed
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

Just went here for the first time a couple nights ago and the one great thing about it is the atmosphere. Not being overcrowded is the first bonus. Downstairs there are some nice comfortable booths and lounge style couches. Upstairs is a sort of deck on the second floor. Get some fresh air and a nice view of Pacific Beach. A little disappointing they shut it down upstairs at midnight.

The beers are decent. Not much of a selection for being an ale house, but better than an average bar. Only 6 beers on-tap and a few bottle selections. Kind of ridiculous actually that hard alcohol seemed to be more noticeable here than the beer which is brewed on-site. As I said in my beer reviews, the Porter and IPA were pretty good and the Wheat was disgusting. Service was kind of bad. Had a terrible beer recommended to me by the bartender. He said it was his favorite?! The Wheat?!

They couldn't get their shit together at all when I was trying to close out my tab. It took them 7-10 minutes until they finally figured it out and finished passing the task from one guy to the next. At least the guy at the end apologized. Didn't seem like they knew a whole lot about beer either. I felt the beer was priced a little high as well for what you get. That's about it; I probably won't come back here. Still better than an "average" bar and the atmosphere makes up for the shortcomings a bit.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here at 9AM on Memorial Day with my wife. We went upstairs and sat. Everyone was eating breakfast but I ate an IPA for breakfast. Service was ok, leaned to the trendy side, quality oft he IPA was pretty good I thought. They had 6 houes beers on when I was there. We did not try any food on the visit. I paid $5 for my pint of IPA and I noticed they had pretty good beer specials throughout the week. Not a place to get beer geeky at and expect to here some beer talk but a place to stop on and have a pretty good pint early in the morning if thats your thing.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Been here a few times now and just don't understand the place. Walked in tonight just before kickoff of a Monday Night game and I was the only customer. Leaving an hour later I counted 8 people. It's a nicely renovated venue with three 50 inch plasmas over the bar and lots of interior and exterior dining tables, yet it hasn't seemed to gel with the locals.

Service is decent though I have been ignored in the past due to bartenders preoccupied with flirting or spinning toothpicks around in their mouths. Menu has lots to offer and a sandwich I had was fresh and well prepared, though a bit pricey. And I think therein lies the issue; this place is too rich for the neighborhood. The food isn't expensive per se, just pricey relative to expectations of a brewpub. Their location surely brings in many a vacationer but it's winter now.

As for the brews themselves, they currently offer 6 house beers and 6 guest beers. Guest beers are uninspiring but they do offer them, I give them credit for that. I recall a Green Flash, Trumer Pils, Alaskan IPA, a Karl Strauss plus two others. I've sampled 5 different house brews in three visits, all except the IPA were good(Wheat, Tripple, Oktoberfest, Holiday Ale), yet none were memorable. True to style yet unexciting interpretations thereof.

Beers are served in 12 oz pilsner glasses for $5($3 house beers for Happy Hour). A small serving in a glass that doesn't really let you agitate or smell the beer properly. And growler fills are $15. I don't imagine they're filling many growlers at that price ;)

Spice it up!

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Pacific Beach Ale House in San Diego, CA
Brewery rating: 3.22 out of 5 with 74 ratings
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