Coronado Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing CompanyCoronado Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

170 Orange Ave
Coronado, California, 92118
United States

(619) 437-4452 | map

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 148
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a fine place for a few brews and/or a meal on the beautiful upscale island of Coronado, just a mile or two from downtown SD, comfortable, upscale joint, large outside eating areas, family and date friendly, they had about 8 of their own brews on tap and three guests, Stone IPA, Alesmith Lil Devil and one from Bear Republic, nice, the food was pretty good, I tried the Smoked salmon and wifey had the fish tacos, little daughter’s chicken tenders, all was better the average. One drawback was our server was beer clueless, c’mon it’s a “Brewing company” ya gotta know what the guest beers are……Anyway this is a worthy spot for brew and food on a very worthwhile island to check out… note, don’t bother going to the beaches further south, “Silver strip”?, just go to the wide beach on the south side of Coronado, much nicer

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Fresh off the plane from Honolulu, HI, Cuz Colby picked me up at the airport, whisked me to the Home Brew Mart, then here for lunch.

We entered from the rear, but I'll reorient for my loyal audience. Entering, the m.d.s. was just inside the door slightly left. The entry was lined on either side by a garden of various plants and flowers. The undulating brick top of the building was reminiscent of an old Spanish mission. To the immediate right was the restaurant area with booths along the wall, standard tables and chairs left, and a copper chimney for a working fireplace. The short bar was on a right oblique with a mix of booths and standard tables and chairs on a left oblique with the kitchen just beyond, still left. Continuing aft, down a pathway, were the lavs with the back parking lot just beyond. The copper-clad brew house was aft the back bar.

Lunch was a crab and shrimp melt sandwich (!)

Beers: Coronado Golden; Thundering Third Ale; Island Weizen; Rock Bock; 4 Brother's Pale Ale; Mother Pucker; Islander IPA; Mermaid's Red Ale.

Islander IPA would be my pick.

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Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Took the ferry from downtown SD to Coronado, and it is a short 5 minute walk here. Large crowd here, with a wait list for tables. The bar is overpacked too as people are standing two deep. Ugh. Once we got a table things moved along. Numerous beers on draft, and at the start only the standard beers were offered, when I know there were others on draft.

The service was decent, but again the crowds caused the fast paced and harried service. The food we had was good, but the beers were all superb. Next time I will hit this at a slower time and enjoy a few at the bar.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Thanks to an early start and surprisingly easy traffic on the 5-Freeway South, it was decided to visit the Coronado Brewpub, before hitting up the 10th Celebration Open Day at Ballast Point Brewing later on.

I carpooled down from LongBeach with fellow BA Alecoholic (we eventually hooked up with EyeChartBrew at the Coronado) and we have both seen the scenery before, even so, the drive over the San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge is quiet something and affords some magnificent views. Coronado Brewing is situated on Orange Avenue and very easy to find. Parking is available on the street and also at the rear of the Brewery; it all seemed easy enough to navigate around and parking was not an issue, though it was pissing down with rain when we arrived.

Which reminds me, we arrived at 10:40am…..parked out on the street and headed into an open Pub, sat around for a minute or two ignored by the staff only to find out that the place was not open until 11am! Oh yeah, well check your Website chaps it clearly states that you open at 9am on Saturdays and Sundays!!! Actually the Coronado Website is not that good and doesn’t really provide any information on the brews available here, which is rather annoying, it all looks like very amateurish and has clearly not been updated for a long time.

The décor and interior is very Brewpub in nature, but it is clean and neatly laid out. Near the entrance there is an outside covered deck-like seating are, which looked like a cool place to hang out on a hot Summers night, but the driving rain forced us inside. To the right a large seated area opened up, but we headed up to the bar which greets you as you walk inside and dog-legs off to the back of the building. Booths are up against the left hand side wall, and the kitchen can also be seen off to the far left corner. The restrooms are situated past the open style kitchen (where you can watch hoards of guys in red t-shirts cooking your order), and bar area which also leads to the rear entrance and outback parking area. Plenty of stools at the bar, this is where I always like to sit on first visits. I noted a sign behind the bar which states a 3 Pint limit rule, whether this is actually ever imposed is hard to say.

Service was cool at first, efficient but with some brevity, yet she eventually warmed up and seemed to be fine in the end, maybe the rain hit everyone with a cold start on Saturday.

A single bank of Sixteen (16) Taps lines the back counter, just below the window that allows a view of the Brewery itself, a rather large affair stainless and copper looking affair I have to say. The beer range was heavy on house brews, including SlamDunkelWeizen, Pale Ale, Weiss, Octoberfest, Hoppy Daze IPA amongst others with even a 10th Anniversary Double IPA which actually ran out during our visit, in fact Alecoholic got the last sampler of that brew!

They serve samplers here, which I like when driving, having a chance to try the brews without getting a full Pint is always welcome. I opted for a 3-sampler of, the SlamDunkelWeizen which was very good, as was the Octoberfest, but the Hoppy Daze IPA seemed a little lacking. In addition to the house brews there were Guest beers from Green Flash and Stone, including Stones 10th Anniversary. The quality of the house brews was generally good, and the “specials” spice things up a bit here from the usual safe tried and tested brewpub style range. I did note that the Sixteen Taps are flanked by two Belgian style glass washers, the ones where you turn the glass upside down and depress it onto a platter which sprays water to the inside of the glass cleaning it.

Didn’t really have any serious food in here, as it was a first stop, I just opted to share a Pretzel appetizer with Alecoholic. The pretzel was the biz!! It turned up steaming hot with a nice spicy mustard sauce and was freshly cooked, a good starter appetizer. The rest of the Menu has lots of pub fare, burgers, fries, pastas, pizza and salads with a heavy accent on fresh fish.

The Coronado proved to be an enjoyable stop, a solid selection of house and guest brews, good food and a cracking location - but they do need to update their bloody website though.

Last Visit: Saturday 14th October, 2006.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Coronado Brewing is located not too far over the bridge from San Diego on Orange ave, near the water. There is street parking on both sides of the establishment.

The exterior is brick and hanging baskets. The inside is nice, with lots of wood and brick and greenery. They have an open fireplace too which adds a nice touch. The bar area is on the left side, with restaurant seating on the right.

The beer selection at CBC is fair. They range from Golden to ESB to a couple IPAs. The beers were all average to above average. Our server told us there were no samples available but a quick trip to the bar proved her wrong.

Service was decent on a weekday evening. Despite our server not bothering to even try to get us a couple beer samples, the bartender made up for it.

The food is pretty good, I had a fish sandwich that was very tasty.

Overall the beer alone is not reason enough to visit here, but the location and food tip the scales enough to make it a worthwhile stop.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Coronado island is great for touristy stuff such as viewing the San Diego skyline, and this brewery is a 2 minute walk from a nice lookout across the water.

Nice brick structure with ample seating for the volume of customers. Most beers were rather average, as was the food. This is one of those places with the (supposedly) funny signs about free beer tomorrow, if you don't like the service then you can leave, etc.

Service was good though, and prices were very reasonable for San Diego.

Although beers are average overall, their red is above average and worth seeking in the bottle. Seasonals on tap are worth trying also.

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Photo of nickfl
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

The atmosphere is very reminiscent of an upscale chain brewpub, with a large bar and dining room and fairly generic decor. The service was prompt and friendly and the staff seemed to be quite well informed regarding the house beer.

Beer selection is pretty decent with a quite a few different beer styles represented. The house beer is fairly good, though not quite on the level of some of the more standout local competitors. They distribute across the country but the pub location seems to have a fair amount of seasonals and one offs that don't make it to distribution, at least not where I live. I didn't try the food, but based on everything else I wouldn't hesitate to eat here. The only real drawback to the place is the location, which is convenient if you are riding around on the San Diego tourist trolley, but a bit out of the way relative to everything else in the city.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Surprisingly family-oriented spot in one of the coolest spots in North America. I crossed the sky high bridge from San Diego to Coronado at the moment the sun was was setting into the Pacific just at the tip of Point Loma. Naval ship in sight just a bit further south. What a sight to behold. I had forgotten just how much I love this place because of the traffic, priciness, and more crowded conditions of this era.

Expecting a yuppy type pub I was surprised to find this spot is really about family dining and parties for the kiddies. A balloon entertainer was making animals for the youngsters as moms and dads chowed on oversized burgers, pizza, and other food goodies. The brews here are tasty as well and I found one I'd definitely go back to get, Mocha Joe's Imperial Stout, an awesome brew.

Great service at the bar and seemingly good service all about as the place bustled with customers and servers at the dinner hour. Nice decor with plenty of dark wood and slowly rotating ceiling fans. Reasonably easy on-street parking in this beautiful little peninsula. Nice.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

This was the 6th stop during a recent trip to San Diego. Located a 20-minute ferry ride from downtown in Coronado – which is not an island – Coronado Brewing is housed in a generic looking building a few blocks from the ferry disembarkation. Upon entry, there is a dark, crowded dining area with a crowded L-shaped bar, where the locals congregate. The glass enclosed brewing tanks peek out from behind the bar.

During my lunchtime visit, there were some 14 house crafts, including five core beers available – I quaffed the Island IPA, Mermaid Red Ale, Four Brothers and something called Black Sails. The food was decent and filling (I had an Albacore Tuna Melt, if you must know.) The service was attentive

The reasonable Happy Hour prices made up for the $4.25 boat ride across the harbor. Of course, many CBC beers are available downtown, but why give up a chance to take a ferry boat?

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Photo of crossovert
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Easily acessable from the ferry form the convention center. It was a packed bar around 3ish, I got the last seat. I just ordered a sampler it was 10$ for 5 4 oz pours. You could only get the regular lineup. Thankfully that includes the Islander and Idiot IPAs, the rest of their beers sucked, but they know IPAs. They had a few other IPAs as specialties, didn't try them though. The service is friendly. One of the bartenders was interested that I liked beer and got me a brochure. There were tons of locals getting growler fills.

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Photo of rousee
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Decor and atmosphere-wise this is the finest "brewpub restaurant" I have ever stepped into. This place is within a few blocks of the ferry landing on Coronado or near the Marriott over there. Very easy to get to from downtown by using the water taxi 619-235-taxi-$6 pp- each way. I liked it so much, I went to this place twice. Coronado is absolutely beautiful and is one of my favorite parts of San Diego.

The first thing you notice about the west coast CBC is that it is a real nice family restaurant. They also brew some fine beers. They were nothing exceptional but certainly worthy of a growler or 2. You can visit their website if you'd like to see what they have on tap now..

They also have happy hour when you can get their food and beers for a discounted price. Definitely not too expensive anyway--but this is one of those really good happy hours which i missed by about 5 mins. (I think its only M-F)

The kitchen in this place is really what makes it stand out. It is an example as to how beer and good food work so well together and these guys are extraordinary in the food dept. The open-air atmosphere adds to it. They have fresh tuna for xtra cheap when its on the happy hr menu. The wood grilled pizzas are amazing. As you are smelling them--you will realize you have to order one

Next time I'm in SD, this will be on my immediate agenda. San Diego has such a great beer scene, I cant recommend CBCs beers over PP or RR --but it is a fine establishment. Somewhat of a diamond in the rough. And theres this dive bar right next to the place which is pretty fun too.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.83/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped here for lunch recently while visiting San Diego and spending an afternoon on Coronado Island. The place has kind of a generic brewpub/sports bar feel and was bustling on a weekday afternoon.

Service was ok I guess, took a while for the hostess to show up and had a friendly but somewhat flightly waitress who wasn't particularly well informed about the beers on offer. That's fine, I can figure this stuff out on my own. Fodd was well made and tasty bar menu food; excellent beer battered onion rings, also had a delicious chicken calzone.

The beers were solid and I enjoyed the fact that you can get them in small pours or full pints. Had the Idiot DIPA which I thought was very good and should get more attention than it does, there's just a sea of stellar IPA's available in San Diego. The cherry porter was quite nice as well, while their Four Brothers was serviceable.

Prices were fair I'd say, nothing outrageous. Worth a stop if you're on Coronado.

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Photo of Floydster
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

My girlfriend took me here after a day at the beach in Coronado, walked into this brick building and saw what looked like a nicer restuarant, brewing equipment behind the bar in the middle to the back, crazy how a small place like this can bottle their beers and keep up with all the demand, cool atmosphere that has a mix of tourists and locals, which I could tell from all the people with growlers, service was good and they were helpful the majority of the time, I had a glass of the 13th Anniversary Smoked Brown Ale which was pretty good, other things they had on draft were a wheat, Red Devil, Islander IPA, and a few guests including Airdale's seasonal Holiday Porter, they had a special for growler fills the following days for six dollars two liter fills, which was a nice deal I would take advantage of if I lived in the area, food looked good, saw a lot of either fish and chips or chicken strips going by, prices were reasonable and especially for the area, I would go back in the future, recommended

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Visited 26 Nov 2013, around 2:00 - 3:00pm

An impromptu day trip on our first full day in San Diego (staying in nearby Chula Vista with my wife's family, actually) resulted in a damn good hour+ spent as a late lunch. A fortuitous right turn at Orange St (we meant to go left toward the famed historic hotel and beach, which we visited later) meant a U-turn, after which my eagle-eyed wife stated: "oh, that place looks cool...oooh, and it's a brewery!". SIL and MIL agreed to go, especially after some rave Yelp reviews were read aloud, curbside.

A single story brick building with bold lettering and a colorfully painted mural above and nicely landscaped, Coronado *is*, indeed, a pretty little brewpub from the outside. Inside is a bit more dimly lit and "pub"-like: a large central bar, a room full of booths, an open kitchen, a room behind the bar full of copper and stainless tanks. But we were able to snag one of three tables on a small patio, fronting the sidewalk, so as to enjoy the splendid weather and sidewalk entertainment.

Larissa was our server and did a nice job offering advice on food and beers ("happy hour starts in 5 minutes if you'd like to have water until then." (We did and it was worth it for cheaper food and $3.50 pints!) and gently steering us away from some menu items (love honest opinions from a server!). I chose shrimp tacos (loaded and delicious), SIL got the "small" nachos (huge!), MIL did the Cobb Salad (liked it)... but wife "won" with a terrific Lobster Mac & Cheese - worth every penny ($15.50)! Big menu and some very good Happy Hour discounts (2-6pm).

So, beer? Yes, there's a lot of it! Having only had one beer EVER from Coronado prior to this visit, I was really impressed with both the variety of beers and the quality of what we tried. Wife decided on the Rye Dogg (after trying my taster), SIL picked the Orange St Wit and I got the Silver Strand Saison (very tasty). We also tried some VERY generous sample ours of Scotch on the Rocks, Señor Saison (pretty great, with jalapeños and sage), Old Scallywag Barleywine and an intriguing one called Beer-No-Grigio. All very tasty.

Really liked everything about this visit. We'd definitely return --- and SIL who lives in the area stated she definitely wants to go back soon. Recommended!

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Had a good vibe to the place felt like a spot for the locals and still felt welcomed.

The food was pretty good and so was the beer. Everything was decent and really enjoyed there only barrel aged offering.

They took care of really nice people, got to meet the owner which made us feel like home after. Nice experience.

The beer selection was like an average brewery slash restuarant. Basic styles, there IPA was decent nothing out of the norm.

didn't really get to hit the menu like we should have but the chicken tenders were good with there volcanic spicy sauce. Defenitely would wanna have some more of those. Reasonable prices for the quality of beer and food that there producing.

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Photo of ecoboy
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5

South of San Diego, this brewpub is worth the trip over the bridge into the charming streets of Coronado, home of the eye-widening Hotel del Coronado.

I fully expected an over-yuppified brewpub so close to a famous resort hotel, but was impressed by the easy excellence on display. OK, so I don't need a cigar humidor at every brewpub, but... I am a fan of an establishment that gives you a choice of rooms/settings depending on your mood, and Coronado has a bar area, seating and outdoor patio with warming units and open fireplace. The latter was a perfect spot on a Thanksgiving weekend for a couple of pints and appetizers. If it's your thing to worry about, servers and patrons all seemed sorta, uh... attractive. Enhanced the atmosphere for me, although grubby patrons might feel out of place.

Happy Hour prices were delightfully inexpensive ($2 pints of their brews), with appetizers beyond the ususal batter dipped stuff.

The Pale and IPA were all I tried alewise and in neither did I detect any off notes. The IPA had that wonderful west coast USA super-hoppy character.

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Photo of 86sportster883
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped here for lunch with about a half dozen folks during the 2011 NHC event in San Diego. This is a decent place with about 6 or 7 drafts on tap. Beer selection was somewhat limited, compared to other brewers in the area hovever, the service was attentive and helpful, the atmosphere was busy but casual, the food was good and I would certainly go back. Not the greatest selection or quality of offerings, but certainly a place worth checking out. I had a cup of NE clam chowder ($3) along with the Tent City spinach salad ($11). I enjoyed both with a pint of the Islander Pale Ale.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped in on a Wednesday afternoon. Place had a fair number of patrons. The atmosphere was generic chain eating establishment (think Applebees). Probably would have been better to sit out front on the patio. Selection of all Coronado beers plus a handful of local/regional beers. Ordered two appetizers, the hummus and guac. Both were tasty and well prepared. The biggest disappointment was the server, who didn't have much beer knowledge, and seemed to be in a hurry to get us served and out the door. Would I return? Sure, decent beer, food was good. I'd make sure to sit at the bar or ask for a different server, though.

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Photo of DrJay
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We kind of stumbled on this place after checking out the Del Coronado. And I'm glad we did. Even though it was a little chilly, we decided to sit in the covered patio area. The heaters and fire pit were going, so it was actually quite comfortable. The indoor seating looked quite nice, very clean, with a large bar in front of the brewing apparatus sitting opposite the open kitchen.

Eight house beers were on tap during our visit and these covered the standard brewpub styles, as well as a barleywine. No guest taps were apparent, but bottles of their red, blonde, and porter were available. Samples of all their offerings were available for $1.25 each and were a great way to get my family to try some different beer styles.

The food menu was surprisingly large, with plenty of pub-fare. Everything tasted great and the servings were on the large side. Great value. Our server had a decent knowledge about the beer and food they had available, and she made some helpful suggestions on beer choices for my father and sister (they tend to think my suggestions are going to be too far out for their tastes).

Overall, a great place to stop at and I'll look to go back the next time I'm in town.

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Photo of rowew
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We stopped in for lunch on a cloudy Saturday. They have a small outdoor patio area, along with a larger semi-enclosed patio area with a fireplace. I love the decor - lots of brick, stone, and just enough stainless steel to give it a slightly modern feel. Service was prompt, and they answered any questions I had about the sampler I ordered. The food was great - we had a sausage platter that contained 3 different varieties of german sausages, and some tangy grilled saurkraut. The beers were all quite tasty, and they had 8 different varieties brewed there to try. Nice causual, laid back atmosphere - definitely worth a visit!

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in here for dinner on a Monday evening. The place was only about half full including the outside seating. Upon entering, there is a large dining area to the right, the bar and a smaller section of tables and booths are to the left. About a dozen or so tables outside for enjoying the beautiful weather. The beers I had were fresh and tasty. The Idiot IPA was much better fresh from the tap than the bottles I have had. The food was decent, too. I had the turkey burger which actually had some flavor to it and wasn't dry like many are. The service was so-so. Our waiter had his good moments, but seemed to disappear for extended amounts of time. He also failed to mention the special and seasonal beers on-tap even after I asked him what else was available. Not a bad place, overall. I would give it another shot on my next visit.

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Photo of botham
3/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Coronado brewing company is in an excellent setting, but in the end falls short of what one would consider a great place to drink a beer. expect many families and patrons who do not drink regularly; actually, think of the clientele at Applebee's.

atmosphere is similar in decor to an Olive Garden meeting a Chili's. a kind of quasi beach mexican feel with louvered windows out front and a general hue of deep red. tables and booths are throughout with a small bar area as one enters.

quality and service are decent. the waitstaff do not know much about beer and are pretty slow with service. the beers themselves are all served in tumblers, and none of the four styles that this BA tried were anything of note.

selection is good. ten or so styles with three seasonals and seven standard brews.

food is along the lines of an Applebee's or a deep bar menu; nothing special.

overall, this place feels like a chain, with a very non-local aura. very odd since, the location and nature of the establishment could be wonderful. if one is in the area, make a stop, but there are other better options in San Diego.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 5

This place is located about half a block away from the water in Coronado. The outside is brick. It looks very nice. There is a parking lot in back, but it is usually full, so parking can be hard. It is set up like your average brew pub. There is a bar, and inside and outside seating. You can see the brewing equipment and the kitchen from the dining area. The servers are friendly and somewhat knowledgable. The selection of beer is somewhat lacking. They usually have eight house beers, and sometimes they have one guest beer. The beer selection almost never changes. The food is simply wonderful. I cant get enough. The chicken spinich wrap is amazing. I have tried almost everything on the menu, and I can not complain about anything. This brew pub is great. Since I work only a few miles away, I go there when ever I can for lunch or after work. If you are ever within 30 miles of Coronado, you need to stop in. You will not be let down.

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Photo of ndolover
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is in a nice touristy area across the way from the San Diego marina. It hase the typical wood and brass decor. A very small bar...maybe sits 8. Then they slap a 3 drink max on you. I did only have 2 beers: 1 being a Stone black IPA(VERY tastey) and then an IPA. The beer selection was limited but looked good. No beer engines that I could see. Nursing a hangover I just went with the peperoni pizza which was good but nothing to write home about. The service was good, and friendly.

I would reccomend this place if you are in Coronado, but it is more of a family brewpub with a 3 drink limit. =)

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Photo of warmstorage
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

CBC is pretty darn, uhhhh, okay: as many have noted, the quality of the beers is very average. That is, they are fine, and drinkable, but nothing here is going to blow you away: they tend to safe styles, and safe interpretations of these safe styles. I've never seen a "big" beer on, despite eight or nine tap handles and plenty of apparent capacity.

Golden Ale: very light, and telling that they admit it's a "gateway" beer, and is the most popular beer they sell. It's crisp, served too cold, light, has a cheap grain bill, and finishes a little harsh, like a cheap pilsner style.

Islandweizen: (hefe style) Here, I'm torn, because I tend to prefer American interpretations of hefe: a little sweeter, a little bolder, with more banana, cloves, and estery zing. CBC's Islandweizen has little of these characteristics, and the tasters often as not come out with a large lemon slice in them for a 5 oz. glass. It's also served too cold, and is... uninspired.

Four Brothers Pale Ale: perhaps the best of their standard, year-around beers, Willamette and Cascade hops result in a pleasant floral bite and nice hop nose, and this is a fine example of style (basic APA) after it warms. Again, not a great example, and it's certainly not competing in the West Coast APA style, but rather is a british bitter style, with American hops.

Island Pale Ale: this alleged IPA style is usually a significant disappointment. it comes out ice-cold, like all of their beers, and I usually think that if I just let it warm a bit (to at least low cellar temp) that it'll wake up, but it never does. The IPA also follows along British style lines, and lacks the true hop pronouncement of the West Coast, American IPAs, instead putting forward significant carmel flavors with only hop hints. It finishes a little dry and with almost notes of copper, and after tasing it perhaps ten times at CBC, I would not bother with it again unless it was reformulated.

Pt. Loma Porter: We usually default to this, since it's a decent example of style: roasty, a little dry, light bodied and colored (perhaps 35 SRM) for style. (They advertise it as "nearly black in color", which is nonsense). It has carmel notes and roasty/sweet flavors, minimal hop content, and feels like they are relying on black patent for all of the flavor, and hoping for come chocolate to come out ot if. While we drink a lot of it, it's only because it's one of their better beers, and not because it's great in its own right.

They have another couple of beers that I've had, but don't recall well enough to fairly rate, since they often seem to not be on when we go: Outlet Stout, Mermaid Red Ale, and Brown. I recall liking the Outlet Stout, and beign completely bored with the Red and Brown.

The atmosphere of this place is perhaps its best selling point: varied places to sit, from a nice, high bar, to family-friendly tables near the bar and kitchen, to a very large, semi-outdoor covered area, much of which looks out on to Orange Ave. My favorite place to sit, by far, is the half dozen or so tables on the patio on Orange Ave, with great breezes and people watching.

Service is typically great, friendly, and reasonably knowledgeable, if a little harried (often, they look a little overwhelmed, and people who look like floor managers can be seen seating and running food). The bartenders are perhaps the worst of the service, but only in that they are very average, and clearly favor the super regulars (for a time, I went in as often as twice a month, but the regulars here seem to be dailies...)

The food is excellent, albeit slightly expensive (but typical for Coronado, and for that matter, consistent with downtown San Diego.) The current menu (updated 2/2/05) can be found on their web page, The artichoke dip, onion rings, spring rolls, and giant pretzel are all excellent starters. While the flautas taste wonderful, it's a pretty skimpy side for $6.95 (or $5.95 at happy hour.) The veggie burger is very good, the pizzas wonderful, though additions and substitutions for burgers and sandwiches are pricey at $1 to $1.50 for already $9-$10 burgers.

The happy hour is wonderfully long (2p-6p) but of limited value (only a buck off of pints, pitchers, and appetizers.) it's the only time I bother to go anymore, since the food is pricey, and the beer not good enough to bother paying $4.25/pint for.

Overall, if you're in Coronado anyway, it's a fine place to go, and it's worth including on a local pubcrawl, but it's not worth going out of your way for. In the San Diego area, think Pizza Port, or even Karl Strauss (stick with their big beers.)

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Coronado Brewing Company in Coronado, CA
3.76 out of 5 based on 7,383 ratings.
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