Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

O'Brien's

Your Rating: None
O'Brien'sO'Brien's
BA SCORE
4.39/5
Outstanding
159 Ratings
O'Brien'sO'Brien's
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

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

(858) 715-1745 | map
obrienspub.net

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
159
pDev:
9.11%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 159 |  Reviews: 119
Photo of Stoneman78
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Is it a crime that I have been living in SD for over one year and only visited O'Brien's once? That's rhetorical of course (I am more ashamed about not yet getting to Liar's Club, that parking is daunting!). Anyway, my big break came when I was having my car serviced across the street a few months ago. The bar is in a strip mall mecca, and this particular strip mall is under significant construction unfortunately. The digs are large enough with a big bar and plenty of tables and a nice patio. The bartenders were knowledgeable and were quite friendly with regulars and newcomers alike. The selection was formidable with plenty of craft brews on draft. I believe they have the largest selection (?) in San Diego. Can't speak to the food, but it looked pretty decent for pubfare. I had a good, albeit brief, experience here and am looking forward to my next visit.

 867 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Our SoCal beer tour could not have missed a stop at O Brien's. It is located at a strip mall which was surprising. The inside was small and there were not a lot of tables since they use big comfy chairs instead of a typical bar set up. We sat outside with a scenic view of the strip mall and auto dealership across the street. Outside seating was a bunch of cheap plastic tables (ours was uneven) and chairs. The quality and selection of the beer was outstanding with a focus on West Coast hop bombs. Service was only a bit above average and the place was not overly busy. We did not try the food since this was stop one of the day's activities.

Cheers.

 656 characters

Photo of BlindPig
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere is a regular looking place with lots of big chairs all over and a handful of tvs (showing soccer matches when I went in). You can also sit at the bar or outside. About 10? taps that change all the time. Had a good selection when I was in there and I got to try Pizza Port Night Rider (which I LOVED), RR Pliny the Elder, RR IPA, and a few Belgians. They also have a pretty decent selection of bottled beer (which I got a Alpine Great...which was pretty great). Everything seemed pretty well priced, including their food, which is good bar food. There were 2 ladies working which always filled up the glasses and got us some tasters. They were always there when we needed them and seemed very nice.
All in all it's a great beer bar in a average bar setting. I would come back here in a flash.

 803 characters

Photo of triggersd
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I learned of O'Brien's at a Stone Brewing Company anniversary party a few years ago. One of the venders (O'bs) was serving up a great sandwich...and this napalm beer cheese. Big Mike's creation is what led me here back then, and today an ever changing selection of taps, extensive bottle list and friendly staff make O'Brien's a frequent destination. A destination that should not be passed over by any enthusiast of fine beer. Tom and Lindsey have crafted a menu with a variety of rotating items you can find in the dry erase board as you walk in. Don't forget to get some fresh garlic on your fries. If you're a home brewer, this is the place to go. You like soccer? So does O'Brien's. Catch the UEFA action and the world cup at O'Brien's. Huge bonus for the soccer fan!!! Time to rally the troops...I'm off to O'Brien's. See you there.

 838 characters

Photo of
4.74/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped in 4/12 & 13 while on business in San Diego.

Atmosphere is typical bar, but plenty of indications that good beer lives there. A couple of TV's, some comfortable chairs, and a bar that seats about twenty. Outside seating area available as well if you want to enjoy the San Diego weather.

Quality of the beers we sampled was outstanding. All were very fresh, served at the proper temperature and in the right glasses.

Service was prompt on both nights. Thursday, we were there with about 10 other people. Friday night, it was probably over 100. No problems either time.

Selection is fantastic, especially if you like hops. I enjoyed a Russian River IPA, Pliny the Elder and Younger, and Pizza Port's Swami IPA on cask. A white board behind the bar listed 20 or 30 other offerings on tap. If that doesn't do it for you, a menu on the bar has over 100 imported and local bottles. If you can't find something to drink, you must not like beer....

We didn't try the food, but it looked like pub fare with a California twist.

If you are in the area, I strongly recommend going. People are friendly and willing to talk beer, and, with the selection, you will have plenty to talk about!

 1,203 characters

Photo of kleffman
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

If you're anywhere near Clairemont make sure you don't miss this bar. Especially if you enjoy hops they will rock you. Beers are priced alright, with tip plan on 5 bucks a pint. The bottle list is quite extensive as well, I recently was able to drink some 2003 Double Bastard for only 8 dollars a bottle. How can you beat that?! The beers are poured in appropriate glasses, the seats are comfy if you get to sit inside, and there are TVs to watch if you can't find enough to talk about regarding beer. Make sure you visit this pub. (Thursday cask night is awesome!)

 565 characters

Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Fairly interesting place:
The pub is located in a rather drab area of San Diego, nothing else special around it. Inside, there are televisions with sports, many stickers and coasters on the wall from various breweries: nothing particularly outstanding about the appearance. Initially I was fairly unimpressed Also, you have to go up to the counter to order food and beer! No servers! (Well, sort of: the woman behind the cash register would occasionally double as the server when she was available. I did notice that they are interested in hiring servers, so hopefully the situation will be rectified soon.)
The food was nothing special, but not bad at all.
Anything related to beer is where this place shined: the selection was excellent as well as the quality of the beers and the presentation (appropriate glass wear, etc). I had a Cantillon Broucsella Grand Cru (on tap), followed by a Fantome Saison and an Alaskan Smoked Porter. All beers were in top form. If this place didn't have such an excellent beer selection and presentation, I most certainly wouldn't visit it. As it stands, it's certainly worth the trip.
Perhaps living 2 minutes away (in Boston) from the Publick House and 30 minutes away (in my hometown) from Stone Brewing Co. bistro has spoiled me...?

 1,276 characters

Photo of sleazo
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

The place looks like a dive bar and is situated in SD's Asian community in a strip mall. Other than that this place is fantastic. They have one of the best selections of rotating taps I have seen. No matter when you go they will have something new for you to try. They usually have a lot of locals on Tap: Stone, Port Brewing, Alesmith, Ballast Point, Alpine. They get a number of unique offerings from around the globe too. Thursdays and Fridays they usually have a cask offering. There is also a great bottle list with many rare beers.

Price wise it cant be beat, you can get local SD beers for $3. The food is decent enough, barfood with a spicy kick. The burgers here are good especially the brie prosciutto one.

My only gripe is that they could have some more less hoppy styles on tap. Other than that, this place rocks. they play English Premier league ont he telly, and there is a dart board int he back.

 918 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is the one Pub in San Diego that has the best tap selection any given day of the year...honestly. Fantastic beers on tap, 20-25 of them at all times, with a good range of styles (though hoppy is the most prevalent). Great daily specials, with a cask of something extra special every Thursday evening. Excellent bottle list with many Belgian imports that are not so common and highly sought after.

Good tasty pub meals with great home-recipe soups of the day and the best darn beer-battered and garlic fries on the planet. San Diego inspired grub with the spice of Jalapeno's and such...not boring to say the least.

Waitresses are keen and beer knowledgable for the most part and the owner Tom N., whom I have dubbed the true "King of Beers" not only for his brewing and knowledge of great beers, but also of the connections he has in obtaining some amazing stuff from throughout the US and around the world.

A Great Pub that truly lives up to it's name as "The Hoppiest Place on Earth"

 1,000 characters

Photo of bierme
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

a- not as bad as some people say and it is getting better, feel s very comfy.

q- from the beer cheese to the salads to beers they are all top notch for the price.

s- usually very good. Can get sticky if it get busy, sit at the bar if you can.

s= the best in town. I cannot believe the stuff Tom can get. Worth the trip just for the Russian River beers. Wet hops in the fall are always great in the fall.

f- great. apps are ok but the main menu is always great with good specials too.

I just wish it was closer to my house.

 537 characters

Photo of Goldorak
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Décor is pretty sub-par, a cross between a fake Irish/sports bar and some kind of cheesy 70’s style airport lounge, the kind the pilots patronize in order to get liquored up between flights. Those cushioned seats at the tables were really comfortable though, and seemed in excellent shape. English premier league footy on the tube, extra points for that.

Good selection at the taps, a lot of locals represented and plenty of hop bombs. I went for one of those first, no complaints about quality here and decent prices. It was only when I hit the bathroom that I got to see the bottle menu posted on the wall, where my jaw dropped so low I had urinal cake stuck on my goatee. Aged Beers, rare one-offs, Barrel aged Alesmiths (the ones people on this site are willing to trade their own mothers for), lambics (pricey, but a lot of hard to find ones) and a slew of high quality imports that run the gamut of every Beer-lover’s taste buds. I must have banged my head on the table a dozen times looking over the list. Why, oh why was I stuck with the car, therefore I couldn’t have more than a pint or two? It did mention on it that you could take Beer to go, so I figured okay, I won’t be able to drink it here but at least I can take some home. 35$ for a BA Speedway stout? It’s quite a hit to the wallet but it’ll be worth it just to see the looks on the local crew when I nonchalantly pop it open at a tasting…But my fantasy was quickly thwarted by the waitress who informed me that not only I couldn’t buy it, but neither could I get any of the rare/aged Beers on the list too. And I could only walk away with one (1) Beer. Ugh. And since I was alone with the car, forget about knocking back a 750ml of 12%ABV Impy stout. They even ran out of T-Shirts so no souvenir. It was with a heavy heart that I left. I wanted to return but it just wasn’t in the cards this time around. A cab ride from my hotel by the beach would have been too prohibitive.

Strange indeed, an Irish-style bar in what seems to be a Korean neighborhood sandwiched between two freeways, far from everything. But hot damn, do they ever have a great Beer selection here!

 2,155 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Unusual location, but they seem to pull it off very well. Love the chairs in this place—some of the most comfortable I’ve ever seen in a bar. Tap selection is very good and the bottle selection is even more impressive (if a bit more expensive). The food was nothing special except for the fact that the garlic fries are a must-try. I wish the big screen TV at the front of the bar would be used for something other than soccer and rugby, but at least the smaller TV in the back had college football. Staff was very friendly—just be careful with the 3L Duvel glass (the Chalice of Doom) unless you have a taxi coming.

 619 characters

Photo of tonistruth
4.86/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I made my first visit here the night before Stone's 10th beerfest, so it was ridiculously crowded. First thing i did was walk in and look around. Plenty of taps, couple of tv's, and tons of people enjoying good beer. I liked the feel of this place a lot. Bathroom had a pretty decent sized line.

After that to the bar, place was packed and i still didnt have to spend more than a mintue at the bar. Great service. I started with a Sierra Nevada torpedo, and then an Alpine pure hoppiness. Didnt try the food, so i cant say anything about that.

I came alone, so i did the most interesting thing u can do, people watch. People around me where having some pretty inetresting conversations, so i joined here and there. Very nice crowd that hangs around here.

I highly suggest this place. Great service, great beer selection, great crowd. This place is a MUST if your in San Diego.

 885 characters

Photo of mrkrispy
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Every city has a Beer Geek bar and this is one of the best. The beers on tap still lean heavily toward the hoppy. The food is pretty good and has a great rotating selection of specials. BEWARE THE GARLIC FRIES! They are friggin awesome, but they will prevent you from getting action later that night - if the second or third pint of Pliny the Elder or Pure Hoppiness already hasn't.

For the locals, O'Briens is like an ongoing beer festival. Every week Tom gets in specialty casks and rare kegs. It makes it hard to keep the liver going. Saturdays have pint and bottle discounts.

The only things that can get a bit rough is the lack of seating and the lack of airflow. The place gets pretty full of sweaty men, so it can get a bit stuffy in there. Try to get a seat outside if the weather permits.

why are you still reading? Go to O'Briens!!!

 854 characters

Photo of bennetj17
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

If you are a fan of west coast hops, then this is your place. My first trip here was a blast. Nice and cozy in our soft green chairs, my wife and I sat down to have a few pints. The atmosphere was pretty laid back, with some English Premier League showing on the big screen and a few regulars hanging out on a Friday afternoon. The waitress came over to our table immediately and was quick with the orders. I'm guessing there were 25 or so brews on tap, lots of west coast goodies and San Diego area favorites. The only bad thing I can say is that 75% were IPA's or Double IPA's, which limited style selection, although I'm sure alot of BA's wouldn't view that as a bad thing.

I started with a Wipeout IPA and also tried the Russian River IPA, AleSmith Nut Brown, and Pure Hoppiness while I was there. I also lucked out and got to try some Pizza Port brews they were sampling for an upcoming tasting. One was an Anniversary Ale from 2002 I believe, plus an 03' Le Woody, and some SPF 45. They were damn good. We only tried a few things from the food menu, just appetizers, but they were solid and went well with the brews. Did I mention they have one of the most extensive import bottle selections I'd ever seen? Lots to choose from here, and you can take one bottle home if you desire. The pricing on the bottles was a bit high, but sticking to the taps our bill was suprisingly cheap. Needless to say, I highly recommend this place...

 1,440 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We stopped in to this unassuming but at the same time "must hit" little place for an afternoon brew or two and some lunch, comfortable seating, sports bar feel, sparse but friendly crowd, quick and informative bar maids. The selections were the expected array of top quality, super hoppy SD/CA 2x IPAs, extensive and varied bottle list and other assorted goodies. This place is sort of in the middle of nowhere, but only about 10-15 mins from most places in SD. Go for the high quality brew, sports on TV, (we were told that Chargers games are a blast here), fun crowd, tasty burgers and other pub grub with a Cali twist. Highly recommended.

 641 characters

Photo of julitc
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Why oh why do they skimp on the air conditioning?? Why? Because they can. The place is still packed on hot days with people that love O'briens so much that they don't mind suffering it out.
I am often one amongst the sweaty pigs.

But I still think it sucks. The muggers deserve A/C :)


O'briens is like Cheers. Everyone knows your name. There are the regulars, called Muggers, who are guaranteed to be there. It's a mix of young and old, predominantly male, laid back professionals who work in the area. Beer is their favorite hobby - they know a ton about beer and you really can learn a lot in this place.

They have a great logo on their glass: "I didn't come here to save money or lose weight".

 709 characters

Photo of Weedchugger
3.73/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Many great things have been said here about O'Brien's, and I would agree with them. I think this review will be helpful to people going there for the first time because I will remind you to find out the hours they are open!

On Saturday I drove down to San Diego from LA with my friend for his 43rd birthday. His brother came too. Traffic was terrible, so we didn't get to O'Brien's until just before 8pm. On the menu it said the kitchen closes at 8:30, so we were lucky we made it a half hour early.

However, we weren't so lucky because the bartender said the kitchen had already closed. We were starving, so we found a nearby Islands and grabbed some burgers. But we still wanted our hop fix, so we got back to O'Brien's at about 9:10. It was then we were told that last call on a Saturday night is 9:30! Long story short, we drove for four and a half hours for one pint of beer.

Is this O'Brien's fault? Hell no. They can close anytime they feel like. I just made an ass out of myself by not checking their hours before I drove all that way. So, don't make that mistake fellow travellers!

(Sidenote, they only had three DIPA's on tap. Ruination, Pure Hoppiness and Pliny the Elder. I thought there would be more. Hmm.)

 1,232 characters

Photo of rousee
3.48/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

O'Briens was a good ways off the beaten path for me in my recent trip to San Diego but I was somwhat disappointed. Its a neighborhood bar in a strip mall that had this very interesting looking Korean restaurant next door to it. I may have to check that out the next time I am there.

When you enter, there is a bar immediately in front of you and the room opens to the right. It definitely has a sports bar feel to it as I believe they have darts and there were at least 4 TVs playing various sports.

There are small round tables with leather swivel chairs in the dining area and thats where we met our local BA hosts. We all had a good time chatting and knocking back a few beers.

They had some great CA beers on draft like Pizza port, Alesmith, Alpine, Ballast Point, as well as Russian River. The prices on the beers were extremly reasonable. All were $4 or less for a pint. Since I generally prefer draught beer over bottled, I didnt try any of the bottled beers but they have over 200 different ones.

Service was friendly and quick. I would recommend this place but it is definitely a pain in the ass drive from downtown San Diego.

 1,139 characters

Photo of JayTheFinn
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This pub ROCKS! It's very laid back. Thick cushioned chairs, a beer garden, darts and four tvs in the corners. It was a very happy, friendly crowd on the Friday night we went. O'Brien's seems to get a lot of regulars. They even keep the mugs of their regulars hanging behind the bar awaiting the next visit. The bartender was quick with samples if you weren't sure what you wanted. She knew the selection well and could match up beers they had to meet your tastes. The 20 taps were impressive: Alpine, Alaska, Alesmith, Pizza Port, Boddingtons, Sierra Nevada, (I'm going by memory and memory is failing me...). Plus the Pizza Port Lou P Lin IPA was on one of those hand pumps, something I haven't seen expect in England. As stated in the last review, the Belgiums were priced a little high, $6.50 a pint I believe. The best value was naturally the locals at $3 or $3.50 I think it was. Everything we tried was fresh and tasty. The food was quite good too, and with a decent-sized menu of things to choose from. It is kind of a small place located in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere, but there's plenty of parking. It's a pub that's well worth searching out.

 1,163 characters

Photo of audiojon
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I've spent many an afternoon here, borrowing the free WiFi and enjoying a few pints. Awesome selection of IPAs, DIPAs, and the like, plus an occasional hard to find Belgian. There is always one or two beers on cask as well. Every visit to O'Brien's is exciting, as I never know what to expect! St. Patrick's Day, for instance, found me enjoying an Alaskan Smoked Porter and a Pizza Port Truck Stout that went perfectly with my corned beef and cabbage. My only complaint is that the taps are almost always 90% hoppy brews (hence the "hoppiest place on earth" label), and I'm a big Belgian fan as well. They do have a large bottle selection, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $15 for a bottle of Chimay. ;)

Food is pretty good, but beware of the garlic fries, especially if you plan on seeing a significant other anytime in the next 2 days. Service is usually very good, but they do get a bit busy sometimes, which is understandable. Tom, the owner, is there frequently, and is always available to make a recommendation or chat about the latest beer news. He also provides the best service in the place, always making sure your glass is full.

Highly recommended, and you may find me there if you come on a saturday afternoon. :)

 1,237 characters

Photo of dougnboston
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Really, really love this place. Was here several times over a weeks stay. It is a "local" hang with many regulars that invite you to fit right in. No problem making best friends. Open and alive with personalities.

The beer selection is wonderful. 20 or so taps with ever changing selections. A white board on the wall keeps you in the know with what's coming in the days ahead. Proper glasses for fine beers.

The food is fine. Not top shelf, but what you would expect for a beer bar. I had the BCC Salad (crispy fried chicken in hot sauce on a salad with bacon, cheese and the like). Onion rings were perfectly fried.

Nice people, great beer, good food ... don't miss it!!

 682 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A much needed update to my original BeerFly which is nigh on 2½ years old now. In short, O’Brien’s is *THE* place to be in SoCal, period.

My latest of many visits over the years was for the O’Brien’s 2nd Wet Hop Festival, that speaks volumes for the place in itself. The set up was laid back but attention to detail was impressive. It was busy at times, but the Service was absolutely top-notch, from all the servers, we even had table service when the servers were passing by, always asking how we were doing, anything else? Could not knock the quality, attitude and informed service one bit.

Aside from the 2nd Wet Hop Festival treats, the bottled Beer List itself has expanded slightly, not the greatest of numbers but a well thought out varied selection that will appeal to all. You can also buy One (for now) bottle to take-out too. But Draft is where it is at though, loadsa Hoppy Specials and the Beer Engine is still going strong with interesting Cask Ales at all times.

Since July 03 and my prior Review I had upped the Food mark. It’s not Cordon Bleu but the “Pub Grub” is stunningly attractive, wholesome, home made and takes some beating. The legendary Burgers often come with hot spicy beer cheeses now and the legendary Garlic Fries come with a beer-battered option, leave your cholesterol monitor at home! All this at very reasonable prices too.

Finally, working backwards, Atmosphere – It’s a 5.0, for me at least. Great Beer Bars so often suffer from high prices or attitude, you will find neither here, where else could you sit next to a table that had Vinnie Cirluzo of Russian River, Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby of Pizza Port, Tom Nickel (ex?) Oggi’s as well as the guy who owns/runs the Toronado in SF…..all relaxing and having a good laugh and drinking Wet Hopped beers and erm, well, playing Connect 4. Ego’s are left at the door here, I really like that, and the comfy Green Chairs of course. This is a real Down to Earth Gem – thoroughly wholesome, incredibly relaxing and a genuine unique treat. It is so easy to spend 10 hours in here and not even know it, I know I have done it several times.

Original Review: 4 - 4.5 - 4.0 - 5.0 - 4.0 >> 4.45
Revised Review: 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 >>

<DO NOT> leave SoCal or SD without visiting O’Brien’s!!

Last Visit: 22nd / 23rd October 2005

**** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****


Sat right in the corner unit of a strip mall, the unassuming exterior of this small bar hides a Cave à Bières gem.

When we arrived, there were some people sat outside behind a small fenced terrace area at the front. Inside it is rather small, quite cozy and was busy when we arrived*. The bar is to the left as you walk in, & runs all the way down the left handside with 20 Taps set against the back wall. Seating is available on the right hand side. All the seats are very comfy green swivel armchair affairs with castors, a unique touch & highly appreciated. Lots of coasters, & some Bar Towels, adorn the false beams & a small 45 degree false tiled-roof that runs all around the real ceiling, which helps to give a pub feel.

The range is excellent. There are two Beer Lists, one for draft, & one for bottled. Draft beers include many local offerings with a solid focus on hoppy beers. The bottled list has a great selection of Belgium Beers, all served in the correct Glassware which is a welcome refined touch, still quite rare I find. I started with an Oud Beersel Gueuze, & finished with a Rochefort 6 - the latter quite a rarity given its bigger brothers' dominance.

But the best was yet to come, a lone black-handled Beer Engine, with a homemade pump clip fashioned from a reversed coaster with the words “Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard” written on it. Could it really be that this legend was right here!? It was! I recall that we had at least two pitchers on our Table, before it ran off. I had 2 pints, & the effects of the oak aging were clearly evident, the beast had refined edges with a little more complexity.

We also ended up sharing some fine “beery snacks”, which were great, especially the Baked Potato covered in some fiery cheese. *We also happened to drop on a Mike’s Beer Cheese Tasting. Our luck was limitless it seemed. A plate of 3 mixed cheeses & crackers was summarily ordered. It proved to be a huge hit with the group. The Double Napalm Bastard cheese was awesome.

Quite simply - we were spoiled from start to finish. The service was very pleasant from the waitresses, & even the workaholic Tom Nickels himself at one point.

All this, as well as BA friends; 'xlperro', ‘EyeChartBrew’, ‘chuck’,
‘mzwolinski’, & we even had the company of the lovely ‘BeerWench’ for a while. What more could you ask for?

A cracking Beer Bar and my favorite bar of the whole days SD Pub Crawl. It was a real shame to leave it.

**HIGHLY Recommended**

Last Visit: 12 July ‘03.

 5,014 characters

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I finally got to go here when came down for the weekend to watch a Charger game.

This place is phenomenol! The inside is quaint, cozy and just the place to hang out with good friends and drink good beer. It reminded me of a cross between Hollingshead-Orange and Heroes-Fullerton.

I came right after the Wet Hop fest they had so there were some gems still on tap along with many of the local favorites that you cannot get elsewhere... actually, it seemed everything i drank i couldnt find much elsewhere ie the Alpine pure hoppiness and some of the wethop brews. It was very hard to make a decision... in a good way.

I unfortunately didnt get to try any of the food. I was looking forward to those garlic fries. I also saw the chalice of doom on the shelf and just bowed "i'm not worthy". Oh, I also picked up a bottle of Hansens Oude Geuze to go.

I need to come back here with some friends and get a hotel for the evening so I could just sample everything.

 968 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've been wanting to visit O'Brien's for a long time now. I figured I'd check it out before the wet hop festival. Finally checked out OB's for the first time tonight.

It was little bit hard to find amongst all the asian shops and plazas down convoy st.

Place was great. Awesome relaxed atmosphere. I loved the big seats and the big screen TV, I felt like I was kicking it in my livingroom.

Great local beer selection and a huge import bottle selection.

I enjoyed some IPA's Alpine's Pure Hoppiness, Russian River's Pliney the Elder and Alpine's Whale.

Food was pretty good, good sandwiches, great prices. I had the Cordon Bleu chicken sandwich, pretty tastey.

The help was friendly, and the place had a nice mature, relaxed atmosphere.

Since I live only 5 miles away, I'll be going back!
Great Pub

Cheers!

 831 characters

O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
Place rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 159 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.