O'Brien's

O'Brien'sO'Brien's
O'Brien'sO'Brien's
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

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

(858) 715-1745 | map
obrienspub.net

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.39
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
161
pDev:
8.88%
View: Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 161
Reviews by DeanMoriarty:
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I'm born and raised in San Diego and have somehow overlooked this little gem (it is a bit off the beaten path). After filling up some growlers at Alpine Brewery (they brew an exclusive IPA for the bar) we were essentially scolded by the crew for not stopping in and giving the place a try. I checked their website later in the week to see what they had on tap and they had Sierra's "Estate Harvest" on cask, so it was easy bait for me to go and check the place out.

Upon walking into this place, you get a low-key, localized, European pub feel with a mixture of average Joe's and business men/women (it's located in a large business district area of San Diego) - definitely not a hipster joint (which is a major bonus in my book). Also, i'm not sure if we were fortunate to stop in during their shifts, but there were two gorgeous women working the bar complete with short shorts and striped knee-high socks (both hot as hell and good barmaids to boot).

Excellent selection of beer overall (properly listed on a chalk board over the bar), and the Sierra cask was absolutely fresh, delicious and served properly for the fairest price in town (it was $4.99 for a full pour into a pint, not the typical short pour into a tulip - this type of ale should be served into a pint anyways, let's be real here!). We didn't try any food, but it looked and smelled better than average. This place is located in the heart of some of the best Asian cuisine that San Diego has to offer and the Tofu House next door was a perfect topper for all the beer we drank at Obrien's.

Any bar that the boys of Alpine Brewery back to the point where they brew an exclusive IPA for them, is one that shouldn't be overlooked and i'm sure glad I finally stopped in and gave this place a shot. I'll definitely be going back again - just wish it wasn't so far from Ocean Beach!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of psumjl269
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of chrisjws
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of brycevolk
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of hops_and_waves
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.

 457 characters

Photo of deniserat
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of mrcraft
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | 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.

 766 characters

Photo of sunrats
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of billab914
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of blockdude
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.39/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of the_encinitan
4/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of MisterGone
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.

 1,328 characters

Photo of bigTmachine
3/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of HunterSBeerson
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of AmandaBT
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Coconuts
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Halloran33
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
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!

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Photo of nebuchadnezzer
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of aoampm
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
Place rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 161 ratings