Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

4646 Convoy St
San Diego, California, 92111-2315
United States

(858) 715-1745 | map
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Photo of WillieThreebiers
Reviewed by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Pub in corner spot of shopping center on the north side of town. Straight bar perpendicular to the entrance on the left seats about 10, a dozen table about the rest of the room and another dozen on the wrap-around patio. Solid draft selection, including Pliny. Food was quite pricey.
Apr 21, 2023
Photo of Gatch
Reviewed by Gatch from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25
Accidentally stumbled upon this as I was looking for a good Asian spot to eat on Convoy. I saw this place and its name sounded familiar from years ago. Lo and behold, it’s THE O’Brien’s. Probably not as legendary these days as it was back in the 2000s when it was one of those truly special places to find truly special beers. The Pliny, fried chicken sandwich, and tots were all delicious. And as an bonus, this is a Liverpool FC fan club/bar!
Jul 04, 2020
Rated: 4.15 by slasich from Pennsylvania

May 17, 2020
Rated: 4.66 by psumjl269 from Virginia

May 16, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by chrisjws from California

Mar 11, 2019
Rated: 4.19 by brycevolk from Ohio

Jul 24, 2017
Photo of hops_and_waves
Reviewed by hops_and_waves from California

4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75
One of San Diego's original craft brew bars. The tap list is usually awesome. Tap for tap, usually one of the best lists in town. Especially if you like hops. They also have a good bottle list. The service is great. The food is great and very reasonably priced by San Diego Standards. The parking isn't so great. They also have a bunch of TVs for sports fans. The craft beer scene owed a debt to places like this who helped create the craft beer bandwagon.
May 20, 2017
Rated: 5 by deniserat from California

Jun 16, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by Gobzilla from California

Nov 15, 2015
Photo of mrcraft
Reviewed by mrcraft from California

4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
I finally ventured out of my comfort zone of Downtown San Diego during a business trip and stayed at a hotel near O'Brien's. I'm glad I finally visited O'Brien's. I've always heard good things about it, here on BA and other places. It lived up to its reputation.

O'Brien's is located in a strip mall. Once you enter, the bar is on your left, but with somewhat limited bar seating. The do have lots of tables both inside and out. I saw guys playing darts in the back; this place is grungy in a good way.

The tap list was nice. I was specifically wanting to try the Alpine O'Brien IPA, but the keg kicked earlier in the day. Darn. Another trip! I ended up trying a maple porter brewed by a local brewery for full pint. It was solid.

I enjoyed my visit.
Oct 22, 2015
Rated: 4.88 by sunrats from Arizona

Sep 14, 2015
Rated: 4.34 by billab914 from Virginia

May 21, 2015
Rated: 4.79 by blockdude from California

May 15, 2015
Rated: 4.39 by Thepleasantimbiber from California

Mar 10, 2015
Rated: 4 by the_encinitan from California

Feb 18, 2015
Photo of MisterGone
Reviewed by MisterGone from California

4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75
I would first warn potential new patrons of the parking issue. The small lot that services this place is always completely full. No worries, plenty of street parking (not on Convoy!). Every time we've come we've had less than a block of walking. I now skip the lot and go straight to street. On reason for this is that it appears that this little strip mall holds 4 of the most popular eateries in all of Kearny Mesa (this being one of them).

Get in line and order at the corner of the bar closest to the front door. Take your brew and number (for food) an head for a seat. Myself, I prefer the green rolly-chairs, reboots from some 1970s law firm library. Take in the decor of brew banners and signs, and soccer on TV (our last visit was watching Tottenham thrash Chelsea).

As for the beer, this is a beer geeks place. Simple as that. They've got what you want. Full selection of San Diego, notable American, and Belgian offerings. So far the only place I've been that has Alpine without having to go up the hill to Alpine.

The menu is a bit deceptive. Looks like typical pub far of sandwiches, burgers, deep fried stuff. Bu the sandwiches are just fantastic. Great flavor combos. And who would think that a beer place with burgers and sandwiches would have stellar salads? Perfectly tart Caesar.

This is a must. Just go.
Jan 08, 2015
Rated: 3 by bigTmachine from New Jersey

Dec 12, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by HunterSBeerson from California

Dec 08, 2014
Rated: 5 by AmandaBT from California

Nov 09, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Coconuts from Arizona

Oct 20, 2014
Rated: 4.35 by wethorseblanket from California

Oct 18, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Halloran33 from California

Oct 15, 2014
Photo of DoubleJ
Reviewed by DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
When I look back at my 20's, I'm going to remember a number of things; college graduation, trips to Brazil, life on my own, a taste for beer. Not far off that list will be "Why did it take me more than seven years to visit O'Briens?" Although I've lived an hour north, I found time to make a few beer-related trips to San Diego each year, but each time bouncing pass O'Brien's.

But finally, that moment happened. Brazukas from overseas in town, and they're ready to drink the town dry of hops. In a strip mall filled with Asian eateries, O'Brien's look out of place. There was no parking inside the strip mall, so that meant parking on the street. I was worried that all the cars were driven by thirsty beer drinkers, but on a Thursday night, there was still ample space to crawl around and find our own seats at the bar. Somewhat darkly lit inside, lovely Belgian beer glassware visible behind the counter, beer signage pasted on the walls, a marker board posting special events, and even pimping its own special beer trip to Europe, you can tell there's a love for beer at O'Brien's.

Choosing a beer was another challenge, as two dozen fun beers were pouring from tap, two casks, and a bottle list filled with lovely Belgians. We were lucky to hit on the night of fresh hop ales, as it looked that one of my mates reached a hop orgasm before the night was through. Beers from Ballast Point, Bell's, Artifex, Nickel, Rochefort, Tripel Karmeliet, all available and (of the beer I tasted ) in excellent shape. Perhaps the one small flaw I can think of involves those boring shaker pint glasses

On par with the beer was the service, which was not only knowledgeable, but quick and enthusiastic to serve. I also snuck in time for some food. Food is simple but tasty (garlic fries, nachos, sausage & cheese plate), further putting O'Brien's into legendary status.

Can't decide which brewery to visit? Just visit O'Brien's instead. It's certainly better than feeling undecided to which brewery to visit next!
Oct 13, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by nebuchadnezzer from California

Oct 10, 2014
Rated: 5 by AlexM from California

Sep 10, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Bubbawilly88 from California

Sep 10, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by aoampm from Hawaii

Sep 09, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by SDRedDevil from California

Sep 03, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by BreweryRun from California

Jul 23, 2014
Rated: 5 by jcallover34 from California

Jul 22, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Boone757 from Virginia

Jul 16, 2014
Rated: 5 by rolltide from Pennsylvania

Jul 09, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by joelambic from Illinois

Jun 18, 2014
Rated: 5 by Wbradfordheaton from California

Jun 12, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by DNICE555 from Connecticut

May 28, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by ianroodt from California

May 10, 2014
Rated: 5 by CbutlerSD1515 from Antarctica

Apr 28, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by jeff1973 from California

Apr 19, 2014
Rated: 4 by drewone from California

Feb 02, 2014
Rated: 5 by afi4lifer from Massachusetts

Jan 25, 2014
O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
Place rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 164 ratings