Encinitas Ale House

Encinitas Ale HouseEncinitas Ale House
28 Ratings
Encinitas Ale HouseEncinitas Ale House

Type: Bar, Eatery

1044 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, California, 92024-5059
United States

(760) 943-7180 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by mbunje on 01-21-2010

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by JamLand:
Photo of JamLand
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

On a recent visit to San Diego, I went here to kill some time while my wife had an interview nearby. From a brief review of the area, appeared to have the best selection available. I thought they had a decent selection overall, but was hoping to try more local beers, as I am not from the area. In addition to their draft list, they had a pretty lengthy bottle list. However, upon inquiring about some of the stuff on the bottle list, they seemed to be out of everything I was interested in such as their Alpine and Russian River listings.

I was there right at open with not much of crowd, so I can't speak to the atmosphere much. The place was small, so I wouldn't think it would take too much to get a lively crowd in there. Service was very friendly and attentive.

Overall, a nice to place to stop for a couple of beers, but I wouldn't say there is any reason to seek this place out if your are in the area.

 913 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of caveman
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Great Spot. Anyone in area must stop and check it out. Small but worth it

73 characters

Photo of MickeyHops
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of beertootsie
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Favorite San Diego Spot. The draft list is amazing and can leave you wishing you could come every day...which I guess it's easy to do! The 80 Beers Club is amazing and if you live near by I definitely recommend you get in, the perks are amazing! They have taken customers to Belgium, Austria, Hawaii, Germany and tons of other amazing places! Santana burger is to die for...or the Kobe...or the Buffalo...or the Elk...you get my point. Even their pizzas are unreal! Favorite!

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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of Sdmiken
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Excellent selection favoring Belgian styles and amazing food. A must hit when in North County SD!

98 characters

Photo of Soto
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of SDRedDevil
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of rnhd63
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of SDReaper
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I walked in here randomly with my father about 2 weeks after it officially opened. I have since consistently been going back.

Draft list is impressive and updated daily (assuming a keg kicked in the meantime). Large bottle list and while some reviews state it is never in stock, I would pose the question if they thought that Alpine and RR would always be in stock once someone realized the bottles were there. High profile bottles will never last long. Specials change every day, usually 2 different types of burgers (the trio being one of my personal favorites).

The service is tough to beat. It may be due to going there so often but when the staff knows you by name and knows your beer palate it just feels good to be there.

It is a small location, which is unfortunate, but it allows for a more personal feeling/interaction.

I am a twice over 80in80 member and can say that the other beer drinkers are always friendly. They have 3 televisions in case you just need to watch a game and they will always try to find the game you are looking for.

 1,052 characters

Photo of BreweryRun
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of _morandi_
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of the_encinitan
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of JIMMER
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of jeff1973
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of JoshKaufman
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of hops_and_waves
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

They have a good, but not great beer selection that tends to be heavy on Belgian ales. So, if that's your thing, it's a great spot. They also have some good local beers on tap. Also, close to some great surf spots. Their Burgers are AWESOME. Seriously, some of the best, if not the best burgers I've had in San Diego County. Delicious french fries as well. It's pretty small and kind of dark. Pretty laid back atmosphere when I've been there.

 442 characters

Photo of CDCNAM
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of MeadGuyfromMD
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of StoutSnob40
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Came here for a Russian River Framboise for a Cure event, and since it took place on a Monday night, we were lucky to walk in and find a table right away. I suspect this place gets very crowded and the seating is fairly limited. It's a pretty cramped space, with some of our chairs impeding the walkway for the servers. It was also very loud.

The beer was good, and they update their tap list daily. However, they need to update their god damn bottle list. I tried to order 3 different beers. All out of stock. Don't even bother asking if they have the Alpine beers listed on the menu. They won't. They do have about 300 bottles, including some Cantillon and some rare Eclipse, so you're bound to find something that is actually in stock.

The food was pretty good. Not like, mind-blowing or anything, but my Wagyu burger was pretty damn delicious. I wasn't impressed with the service, though. Towards the end of our meal, I ordered another bottle, and by the time they came back 10 minutes later to tell me they didn't have anymore, we were done and ready for the check. But whatever, I got the Russian River beer that I came for.

It is pricey, though.. With 2 beers and 2 entrees coming to around $70 with tip. I'd be back, but only if we ended up walking past it by chance.

 1,280 characters

Photo of mookihouse
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Small pub. 7-8 tables and maybe 15 seats at the long bar. This places is pretty full from Happy Hour to close. Last call is early (10pm?) Their tab list is one of the top 3 for North San Diego Coastal area. Food menu offers many options and above average quality. They always have around 30 taps going on with about 1/3 Belgium offerings. Both beer and food price are average or just a little higher than average. Service have been good and consistent. They get PtY during the annual release but they offer it to their 80-beer-in-80-days members first before opening to the public. Overall this place and the Carlsbad Pizza Port are the best craft beer options near I-5 in North County San Diego.

 696 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

You can't just start a day buying a bunch of beer, only to tease yourself that you aren't going to be drinking any of it until much later. Compromise that with a visit to a watering hole filled with goodies. With extra time to spare before the Exponential Hoppiness release, I drove further south on the Coast Highway, finding that the Encinitas Ale House had just opened their doors when I arrived. You'll need to park on the street if you want to visit.

The place has an intimate feel. The bar is large enough to accomodate 20 people, many tables are scattered about, especially towards the back. Brewery signage hanging on the walls of the place. A number of large format bottles of different beers sit at one section of the bar (and I'm talking about 3 liter bottles and larger, not measly 750s).

A friendly bartender got the flow going for the place. I spotted a couple of Founders bottles in one of the coolers and asked if they were for sale. Unfortunately, no. But she did explain that the owner will spontaneously opens these types of bottles and share them with customers, which I think is really cool.

I got around to seeing a beer menu, and the selection was nothing short of outstanding. 30 taps get the adrenaline going, and nearly one-third were from Mikkeller (including Barrel Aged Texas Ranger!). Me thinks there was a Mikkeller day not long ago. There were also drafts from Great Divide, La Chouffe, Beer Here, Wells, Telegraph, and Unita. Because the tap selection wasn't enough, over 200 bottles are available. In the bottle are Alpine, Ommegang, Blanche de Namur, Petrus, Oud Beersel, Dieu du Ciel, Bruton, Baird, and many more. To sweeter (or sour, depending on your viewpoint) the pot are some grey market beers, including Boulevard, Bells, Ska, and Perrenial. Complimenting the great selection are 30 different pieces of glassware, reasonable serving temperature, and fresh pours. In general, the prices are fair.

One of its claims to fame is suppose to be their burgers. I wasn't ready to eat, so that will have to wait for next time. And their will be a next time. The selection and serving of the beers is awesome, it's closer than San Diego to my Orange County residence, and I feel comfortable drinking in this setting. Without a doubt, a must stop.

 2,287 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

On tap: two nitros, eight IPAs, couple of Pilseners, twelve Belgians, and some Belgian stylers from Great Divide, Allagash, Goose Island, and North Coast. You can get 5 oz pours of anything, including the Belgians for $2.50, which seemed to be popular.

Handy location on old 101 near Swami's with a bunch of other eating and drinking places in the vicinity. Noisy and a bit smelly-- beery floors, dishwasher fumes, perfume, disinfectant. Lots of stools along the long bar, a few tables out on the busy street. Seems to be pretty busy even in the early evenings with the young and restless crowd.

The salmon salad I had was OK for ingredients but too much sour dressing. They have wild boar burgers and venison burgers with an egg on top. Salads, more burgers, fish and chips, tacos.

I like finding local beers, but they do have more Belgians than most beercentric places in San Diego County.

 896 characters

Photo of Brewzer1010
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Fairly typical beer bar atmosphere...tons of beer signage, handles hanging from the ceiling, a bunch of glassware behind the bar, etc. Additional points for the crowd, as it lacks the hipster scene I see at many other SD spots. Minus points for the size of the joint, it's tiny...it feels like it's 100 degrees in there during the summer when crowded.

Definitely a high quality establishment. Great beers, great quality food.

Service can be hit or miss, however most of the bartenders and servers know their stuff, and are happy to make some suggestions if necessary.

The selection is pretty deep. Definitely a focus on Belgians and other European beers, however they do well with local offerings as well. Somewhere around 30 taps and an ever growing bottle list (150+).

The food is very good. The burgers are fantastic, as are the pizzas. I've eaten here plenty of times and I don't recall ever being let down by the food.

Just be prepared to spend some $$. The draught offerings run a bit more expensive than what you would typically see around town, and the tasters are not free. Bottle pricing is actually quite good, with a few exceptions.

 1,149 characters

Photo of MrIncognito
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This was such a great find in Encinitas. I would definitely come back here again, 100%, if not just for the burgers.

Huge selection of beers and I was please to see they had Pliny the Elder on tap. Heavily favors Belgian styles and big beers, but they had pretty much all styles covered on their list. Would have liked to have seen more local brews, especially visiting there as a tourist to CA. I'm not too disappointed, though.

The service and food are excellent. The burgers are unreal and absolutely huge. They have a very creative lineup of burgers, and other entrees for that matter. My wife had the steak salad and there was an entire skirt steak covering her salad. Awesome! I would have loved to try pretty much everything else on the menu.

The place was a bit small and loud but it was a really cool bar scene. Not a ton of room at the bar but enough seats along the walls and towards teh back to seat everyone on a Tuesday night. The bathroom is in a strange place, but I found it really fun. You have to literally leave the restaurant and out onto the sidewalk, take a right, pass the bush, take a left down an alley, and there it is.

PS - they've got an 80 beers in 80 days challenge that I would be all about if I lived nearby.

 1,247 characters

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Encinitas Ale House in Encinitas, CA
Place rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 28 ratings
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