La Taberna Lúpulo

La Taberna LúpuloLa Taberna Lúpulo
La Taberna LúpuloLa Taberna Lúpulo
Bar, Eatery

151 Calle de San Sebastian
San Juan, 00901-1115
Puerto Rico

(787) 721-3772 | map

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Ratings by obrike:
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Reviewed by obrike from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
What can I say...the place lived up to the hype.

Finally got a chance to make my way over after my business meeting ended Saturday afternoon. Took a taxi to old town and walked about the last 4 blocks due to just insane traffic. Loved walking the streets of old town.

I sat at the bar and was engaged immediately by the bartender. I asked if they still had any Hopslam...he replied with a smile..."on tap or a can". I was hooked right there.

Unbelievable list of beers. I was thrilled to be able to try Hopslam of course since it's unavailable in Texas. I also tried a locally brewed oatmeal stout that was delicious. There were a few occasions where it was tough to get the staff's was pretty packed by the time it got dark, but they were always helpful and smiling when engaged.

The atmosphere was divey and rock and roll...loved it. Super friendly clientele and some pretty tasty fish tacos made the experience even better.

Highly recommend to any beer lover in San Juan. A must see visit.
Feb 22, 2016
More User Ratings:
Rated: 3.98 by emptyglassagain from Massachusetts

Jan 13, 2023
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Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

4.25/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
My wife and I visited Taberna Lúpulo for lunch while we were in San Juan a couple weeks ago. I must say we both really enjoyed the place. It's the most beer-focused place I visited in Puerto Rico, with 27 taps and maybe 100 or so bottles and cans (as well as a full bar). There was breweriana all over the place, and it felt very homey, kind of like a mid to upscale dive bar. Service at the bar is prompt and helpful. My wife and I got sandwiches for lunch - a Cubano and a fried chicken thigh sandwich - and they were very good indeed. I will definitely return to Taberna Lúpulo if I ever find myself in Old San Juan again!
Nov 26, 2021
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Reviewed by heymikew from California

4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25
A great beer spot in the middle of Old San Juan . It's situated near the top of the hill between the two imposing old forts and all are must visit.
The beer selection is a mix of US and other beers. They have a few brews from the local Ocean Lab brewery.
Feb 01, 2020
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Reviewed by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Neat spot nested deep in San Juan’s old city, this is a rock solid beer lovers spot. Lovely selection, friendly, generous service. A great spot to find on a busy trip with precious little down time.
Oct 25, 2019
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Reviewed by VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75
Vibe: It's an old, historic, Spanish building but inside it's just a chill place with plenty of space. It can get warm at times (it's the Caribbean and there's no AC) but that's to be expected. It can get busy and cramped at times but it's pretty relax most of the time.

Quality: The bar is owned and operated by a husband and wife duo and she's a certified cicerone. The draft system is well maintained, glassware is always clean and the beer is, to the extent that distribution allows, fresh.

Service: The service is always great. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and always willing to give recommendations and samples so you enjoy what you're drinking.

Selection: Quite easily the best selection of any craft beer bar in the whole island. Plenty of taps, bottles and cans to choose from. They have a pretty robust whiskey wall as well.

Food: The food is your typical bar fare and finger food. Everything's made to order and tastes good. It's still a bar first though and the kitchen is not the star of the show.

Overall: Lúpulo, as it's affectionately known locally, is Puerto Rico's premier craft beer bar for a reason. The selection, service, ambiance and overall experience are second to none on the island.
May 24, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by SkiBum22 from New York

Apr 08, 2019
Rated: 4.85 by MAUEX_MFA from Alaska

Jan 18, 2018
Rated: 4.41 by misternebbie from Pennsylvania

May 22, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by BarrelAgedG from California

Mar 30, 2016
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Reviewed by sholland119 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
Really a bummer based on our too high expectations. This is a cool place in Old San Juan. Open and airy with a long bar and a bunch of tables along the walls. Stools are all at least 6 inches too short for the bar so you are always at an odd angle to your food or drink.

Craft beer is about 10 years behind the continental US here so it was good to see so many quality taps. A couple of solid PR craft beers alongside Stone, Founders, Boulevard and Victory. Food was solid if unspectacular.

Service was mixed in quality, even allowing for the island time vibe prevalent on the island. We were often ignored, one of our two food orders was not put in (and no apology when we followed up), had to ask more than once for the check, or a refill on a long empty glass.

Wanted to love it, and might have at a different time, but didn't.

Jan 26, 2016
Rated: 4.04 by ChivoPepe from Puerto Rico

Dec 18, 2015
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Reviewed by socon67 from New York

4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75
Nice place and thanks to BA for the listing!

Not that parking is a nightmare here. I found a spot north along the road to El Morro that the tourists\locals don't use. Once you get past that, you head in to find a craft oasis that is really cozy. 40 taps approximately of all kinds of stuff, plus a reasonable bottle list. Heck 4 Founders taps was impressive plus Stone one off's an some import draft. I went with a couple local beers (FOK Bomb is a tasty stout). Also had the empanadas which was a treat. They do not take AMEX, so be warned. Overall a highlight of my work trip in San Juan.
Oct 02, 2015
Rated: 4.46 by dleigh from California

May 24, 2015
Rated: 5 by Arturo27 from New Jersey

Nov 20, 2014
Rated: 4 by brotundkase from Puerto Rico

Nov 16, 2014
Rated: 5 by nitos7

Oct 28, 2014
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Reviewed by mkt3000 from Puerto Rico

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
This is the best craft bar in Puerto Rico by a longshot. It gets crowded on weekend evenings, but it's tolerable with friends. Good selection of US craft beers, Euro imports, and local PR beers which are getting better by the day!

To the person that posted it changed names, what happens is that the building is considered a historic building, and the Cafe San Sebastian sign has been there for decades. They normally cover it up - but the day that he was there was during the weekend of San Sebastian street festival, and they close the bar for that weekend and give the staff the weekend off so they can party as well.
Oct 27, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by the_beerist from Massachusetts

Jul 29, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Maguerodz from Puerto Rico

Jul 09, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by jorgerod99 from California

Jun 21, 2014
Rated: 3 by david473 from Puerto Rico

Jun 16, 2014
Rated: 4 by Pirillo10 from Puerto Rico

Apr 28, 2014
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Reviewed by chopolds from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3
Updating again: They are still in business, same location, and still a great place to visit. New owners, but still the same great beers, and vibe. Again. stopover on a cruise, this time had the barmaid pick 2 flights of the local beers, as they had so many on tap. She was a bit surprised at this, but did a great job choosing. Great selection/variety from Dragon Stone, FOK, Seniorial, and Zurc Brauhouse.

Just updating BA on the status of this bar. On 1/8/14 went to visit them, on a stop on a cruise ship. Had a hard time getting directions from locals. They have changed their name to Cafe San Sebastion, and unfortunately, they were closed when I was there, due to a blackout. One of the owners was hanging out outside the building to explain and apologize, and sent me on my way to a recommended pizzaria that had a few nice choices of Belgians and craft beers.
Jan 20, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Chaosfiend from Florida

Nov 22, 2013
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Reviewed by PhilSiewert from Ohio

4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4
Beer Advocate reviews steered me here but at first I resisted and went to Old Harbor Brewery. That was mediocre so I came here. I will be back. The atmosphere fits with Old Town very well. They've a great selection! Also like their empanadas. Definitely the place to go in San Juan.
May 22, 2013
Photo of deanlambrecht
Reviewed by deanlambrecht from Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5
First, note that all scores are relative to what a beer enthusiast might expect to find in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Even then, this is as fine a selection of beers that one may find anywhere on the globe. Truly an amazing selection of mostly California brews and a great deal of German beers that I can't get in Minnesota. A real treat to find in a nation/territory where light beer is otherwise king (Medalla Light is the main beer in PR, and it's not great).

I only had time for a quick one, so I went with the Ballast Point IPA (unavailable in MN, so I was thrilled to try it). More qualified opinions on that particular IPA are widely available, so I'll just say that I thought it was excellent.

Service was fine. The hours were disappointing, however, as they don't open until 6:00 p.m. (at least during weekdays), but that's pretty standard for bars/restaurants in Old San Juan. But they don't post the hours, and when I poked my head in the open door to enquire about hours at approx 5:00 p.m. one afternoon, the response was very rude and unwelcoming. But everyone has a bad day, so I'll just chalk it up.

Bottom line, one will not find a better beer bar in San Juan as of January 2013. I recommend this place very highly.
Jan 17, 2013
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Reviewed by EDNOSE from Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
They have moved recently to Calle San Sebastian so don't get confused by an old address.

Fantastic tap selection ... Well over 20 available when we visited. The folks could not have been nicer and displayed good beer knowledge across the board. They even offered suggestions of other places on the Island to check out.

You really can't believe you are not in the contiguous 48 when you see the selection! A must visit.

The menu is limited but contains a good handful of local flavors. During our second visit of the week we had the chicken wrap which was good as well as the burger which was a patty of beef, bacon and chorizo. The burger was awesome!
Mar 24, 2012
Photo of brystmar
Reviewed by brystmar from Texas

4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
If you crave craft beer in San Juan, this is where you come. Met the owner Chris, and he couldn't have been a nicer beer geek host.

Servers were quite knowledgeable when questioned; amazing beer selection (considering the alternatives); and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere mean I'll be back multiple times this trip. I'll be shocked if I find a better place for beer on the island.

Enjoyed a Rochefort 10, North Coast Old Stock, Ballast Point smoked Helles lager, and a Lindemans sour that was about as expected for Lindemans. Highly recommended!
Nov 19, 2011
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Reviewed by crusian from Oregon

4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Bottom line on this place... if you want a good beer, this is the place. If you can find it. Scary looking hole in the wall, but knowing it has good beer makes it easier to to in. Guys that work there like good beer and like to talk about it... and movies. Bring some good stuff for them, and they will hook you up. They get a lot of stuff, but not a lot of great stuff.
Food was really good and cheap too. I got 2 bottles of beer, a pesto chicken wrap, and an order of beer fries. $17 can't beat that.
Place is very dark at night, but the guys have flashlights, lol. Great guys, great food... great prices.
Nov 08, 2011
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Reviewed by msnow34 from South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
Visited here on saturday early evening 10/1. It was there first anniversary and a ballast point tap takeover.
The place is a hole in the wall, the name is scribbled on the door with a sharpie(owner explained they would have to get an expensive permit for a sign) We almost walked right by even knowing where we were going. GF actually did!

Very small place maybe four or five small tables and a small L shaped bar with four taps. We were greated by a young ex-pat who would later turn out to be the owner. We originally thought he was just a regular.

Food was good although they were out of the empanadillias(SP) that i initially ordered. GF had the burger which she was estatic to have after eating all the "wierd" puerto rician food i "forced' her to eat. Our server wasn't well versed as to what they had as he stated he didnt work there very often.
The owner however really knew his stuff. There was a line on the beer list about not serving beer cold. It was classic.

We were very impressed by the place and it got the GF seal of approval which is big considering all the breweries, beer bars and bottle shops I've dragged her into the years and a nice break from drinking Medella Light.
My only dissapointment was it wasn't closer to where we were staying and I could only have two beers, due to have to going back out to try to brave the Puerto Rican traffic.
Did i mention their beer prices on bottles were mostly five dollars including tax!!
Worth seeking out, just make sure you have the address and the name as you will walk right by if not prepared.
Oct 04, 2011
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Reviewed by MrSoto from Puerto Rico

4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Now Taberna Lupulo is the place to drink beers at Old San Juan. No better place to truly enjoy beer. Great selection, ok pricing. At least the service is really good, even when the place is packed. And it gets packed often. The staff knows beer and will help you if needed. They use proper glassware and respect the beer and the customer. The food is awesome, props to the chef. Nice mix of bar food, beer inspired food and overall what puertorican drunks like to eat. The only downside is that the place is small, gets crowdy and hot.
Sep 21, 2011
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Reviewed by mtstatebeer from West Virginia

3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
Visited twice on my latest trip to PR. A definite recommend to anyone visiting the island, or Old San Juan.

Small bar, with a nice (local) vibe. Not a tourist trap like many places in OSJ. Bartenders are extremely helpful with selections. It is nice to see beer advocacy in PR. Old Harbor was the only place, until now, to get decent beer on the island.

Good selection. They have a wide range of styles. Nice IPA/DIPA selection, mainly Cali beers. They do their best on glassware, but have limited space (hence the beer in coolers). I saw Bells, Bear Republic, Moylans, Caldera, Abita, Ommegang, a decent German and Belgian selection, and many more on the menu.

Had fried potatoes, just for a snack. They were good, but I'll refrain from rating food because I (nor anyone else in my group) had any of the sandwiches or other treats.

Good value compared to any other place in OSJ. Most beers (12 oz.) were between $4-5. Anywhere else, you would pay $4-5 for a Medalla...

Visit this place if you are in Puerto Rico and you want to drink good beer.
Jun 01, 2011
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Reviewed by vikinggod from Missouri

4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
I recently visited San Juan and this was one of my stop's. A very small place, many of the beers are stored in small ice chest's. They have a extensive beer list that mainly consist's of American craft beer's, along with Belgium and German beer's. They had a pale ale and a stout on tap from a nearby brewpub, Old Harbor Brewery, I believe these were the only local beer's they had.

The food here is pretty good, they were out of the chicken sandwich I wanted, despite they had just opened but the hamburger I ordered was very good. A very friendly staff with quick service. It has a cool vibe and is a place I will visit again should I ever be in San Juan.
May 16, 2011
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Reviewed by Redrover from Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
I visited twice during my recent visit to Puerto Rico and would have gone more if it was closer to where I was staying. Located in a corner building fairly close to the old fort. It is tiny but welcoming. There is a small L shaped bar on your left that seats maybe 10. There are maybe another 5 or 6 small tables to share. They had great tunes on the sound system and a TV by the bar.

I like the décor and really appreciated the friendly service. The bartenders were great and the owners were very glad to talk beer with their customers. They told me they are looking for a bigger space & I hope they get it as they are doing a great job!

Lots of good beer to choose from. Good selections from Belgium & the US. Everything I had was in topnotch shape and served in the correct glassware. All bottles and no taps at the current location.

If you ever find yourself in San Juan, you have to search out and enjoy this gem!
Apr 18, 2011
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Reviewed by PRpitmaster from Puerto Rico

4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
A great light that has been turned on at the end of the Beer tunnel in Puerto Rico. These guys have a great selection of american brews and a few european staples. There are no traditional imports on the menu, no Heineken, Bud, Corona, Coors, or even the local Medalla Light on the menu. If you are in Old San Juan you definitely need to stop and have a brew.
The space is small but inviting with great decorations. There are a few tables and plenty of space at the bar. The staff is very knowledgable about their selections and are very helpful in recommending a beer.
There is a small menu available, they make a great burger and a few other items, including mozzarella sticks, fried cheese, fries and croquettes.
Feb 18, 2011
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Reviewed by MacPhisto from Florida

4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
I just moved to the Island in January - I reluctantly prepared myself to live full-time in the beer wastleland that is Puerto Rico. Then I got word of this place - what a godsend! Very good selection of brews from across the US and EU, and very reasonably priced! The place is pretty popular with the locals too, so it tends to get crowded but nothing that isn't manageable. Two American guys own the place, and after talking with one of them, Preston, it sounds like they're looking to expand to another (larger) location in San Juan. This is basically THE beer bar at the moment in San Juan and on the entire Island for that matter!
Feb 16, 2011
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Reviewed by weedkiller80 from Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Visited twice while in San Juan for a conference the week of Jan. 23. The first night we went the taxi driver took us to the intersection and we looked around and did not see it so he drove around, called someone, talked to people on the street and eventually figured out we were right the first time; we just couldn't see the name on the window. Small, unassuming place but it is there.

My colleague and I were looking to have a few beers and a bite to eat. Unfortunately we caught them on a night when the cook didn't show up so we were limited to fried queso. And the large cooler had just broken so they were trying to put everything in coolers. A bit chaotic for them but it didn't affect the staff's attitude. They were super helpful and we enjoyed several good beers including Ballast Point Sculpin, Racer 5, and Moylan's IPA and DIPA. I was impressed with the selection and the prices were fair as well. They had a full menu the second night we stopped by and I enjoyed the burger made with chorizo- very tasty!

What a gem in Old San Juan. These guys are passionate about craft beer and the locals seem to be very interested in trying new things. It's great watching people experience a Belgian ale for the first time. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Feb 08, 2011
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Reviewed by Gmann from New York

4/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
I too ran into this little establishment during the San Sebastion festival, aka crazy ass street party. I wasn't there long and didn't soak everything in but I felt I needed to give props to a place dedicated to good beer that is surrounded by nothing but coors light and medalla. The thing that caught my eye was a Maui Brewing Co poster in the window so I checked it out. To my surprise this place had a bunch of other good beer as well. I spoke to one of the folks working there, who was clearly into good beer, and he told me they have upwards of 136 different beers. However, because of the festival they were limited in what they had. I wish I could remember what they had but it was kind of nuts in old San Juan that day. I had the Maui Bikini Blonde Lagar. The place didn't seem all the big, more of a small corner bar, but the atmosphere was great at the time due to the festival. If I am ever in old San Juan again, I will definitely be returning to this place.
Jan 28, 2011
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Reviewed by sairbaysah from Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4
Visited Taberna Lupulo during the San Sebastian festival on 1/15/2011.

I love drinking Medalla Light on the beach but after a week I was happy to find a place with a solid selection of craft beers. I was surprised by the variety this place has - everything from quality pale lagers to good stouts. Taberna Lupulo's bottle selection is par with any beer bar back home.

One thing that was really cool about this place was how the staff was so excited to educate (and give samples to) patrons who only knew Medalla or Coors Light. It was really fun to drink a few different IPAs with a couple Puerto Ricans who had never tried them before. I think they'll be back for more.

Overall a great place. Enjoy your Medallas but when you are ready for some good ol craft beers and a cool bar staff to chat with head to TL.
Jan 20, 2011
La Taberna Lúpulo in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Place rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 45 ratings