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Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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very good

21 Reviews
Karl Strauss Brewing CompanyKarl Strauss Brewing Company

Type: Bar, Eatery

1044 Wall St
La Jolla, California, 92037
United States

(858) 551-2739 | map

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Added by xlperro

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 36
Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.94/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Nice-looking spot in in a nice-looking town. Very comfortable place to hang for a while. Staff very prompt and friendly.

Tried 3 of the beers - 2 hoppy IPAs and 1 lager - all were tasty and fresh, well-made.

Had the special taco plate - good, but small portion for the price.

Worth a stop if in the vicinity.

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Photo of tprinzing
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I've eaten here a few times. The first time was with my wife and dog. While not entirely dog friendly (in general La Jolla isn't really), they were quite accommodating outside. The food and beer was quite good.

The next couple of times were without dog, and with my wife and daughter. All of us loved the food. I really like the beers and I wish they distributed a bit more since I don't live in the San Diego area. The only ones I've seen in the bay area (and of course purchased) are Red Trolley, Tower 10, and Tower 20. I enjoyed more interesting ones in the brewery/restaurant (can't remember exact names since this review is months later).

My overall feeling is that the food is much better than most breweries and that the focus is more on overall experience than say just beer excellence. When in La Jolla, this is one place I make sure I visit.

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Photo of orangesol
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Stopped in here for dinner tonight. A nice corner location in the heart of downtown La Jolla, or what I can only assume is downtown at least. Atmosphere was hopping, tons of people at tables all over the place enjoying themselves. Quality was good across the board. Correct glasses and top notch food ingredients mixed with high quality fixes around the restaurant. Service was great, but also a bit overbearing. He never let my glass get empty before he was on top of us asking what I would like next. Selection was pretty good. All of their normal beers and two specialties on, a "sour" and their 25th Bourbon Barrel beer. I got a sampler of four and two were really good, the other two not so much. I went with the Piggy Bank, a triple meat mac n cheese, and it was really good. Prices were a little high on the food but my sampler was only $6. Overall a decent spot in La Jolla, glad we could finally check it out after talking about it for the last few nights.

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Photo of Offa
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

This is a good place with a nice atmosphere that is somewhat on the modern-industrial side, attractive, comfortable, and different from the usual stock brewpub feel.

Service was friendly and eager, efficient.

Quality of the beer is pretty good, most Karl Strauss beers I've had being only about mediocre or slightly better, but with some good stand outs. That was certainly true here.

Range of beers was pretty good but nothing special and the less "usual" types were fairly mediocre.

Food was good, enjoyable, with some nice variation in dishes, and prepared well.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Definitely the place to go in La Jolla, with a small outdoor area, but the indoors is actually very spacious and pleasant. Sound volume lower than average for big restaurants.

Good place for tasting beers, and the staff are quick with a sample, as others note. I took home a growler of the Doopplebock and the barmaid gave me couple samples of the IPAs while I waited for them to change the keg. Always a seasonal worth trying. Personally I like the German styles, even if their "core" beers are only a step up from the standard issue brewpub blonde-red-IPA-stout offerings.

Had a sample of the barley wine from the cask tapped the night before (Thursday is new cask night). Excellent Belgian Blackball IPA and Full Suit Belgian Brown. Mussels were good, and service was just right, both at the bar and at the table.

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Photo of harsley
4/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I liked this place. None of the beers really "wowed" me but they were all solid. They had a deal for 4 samples for $5, which was pretty good, plus we sat at the bar and got a free sample of an RIS aged on vanilla beans which was pretty well done considering I'm not a huge fan of vanilla beers. They a Red Ale that won a couple gold medals. I probably wouldn't have guessed it but it's not a style I drink a lot of so....Atmosphere was good, some TV's, nice bartender, not over crowded. Some of the menu items looked really good but we didn't get to try anything. Over all they had 10 beers on tap, one of which changes every month, plus a cask. They have bottles and growlers to go. A special they had when I was there was a full growler for $8. Good deal. If I'm in the area I will definitely go back here as opposed to La Jolla Brewhouse which is a few blocks away.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Sat in the main room but should have sat in the bar area because the lighting was a little dim.

I had the fish tacos and some appitizers. The food was good but a little expensive for what you got. I love Karl Strauss beers so theres no going wrong there but I wish they would have some other beers other than their own if not just to show support of the local brewing community.

I cant help feeling a little disconnected when it comes to Karl Strauss. Maybe because they dont currently brew their beer in San Diego but I feel the other local breweries try to make you feel at home a little more.

Not a bad place but you might as well go somewhere better if you have the choice.

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Photo of pubcrawler069
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went to Karl Strauss La Jolla on Thursday night and also Saturday evening. Located in downtown La Jolla at Wall and Herschel, not to terribly far from the ocean and La Jolla Cove.

A little on the small side, but actually very well laid out and appointed. Walking in you see the brewery and brew kettles, which I always like as a nice touch. Why hide em?

Bar is also pretty small, but there is a decent patio and being La Jolla it is quite comfortable in the evenings.

All Strauss beers and no guests. On Thursday nights they have a fun event for tapping of a firkin. A selected guest gets to tap it in a little ceremony behind the bar. (I didn't catch how they were selected, sounded like frequent Yelps or some such... Maybe BAs?)

I had the Rye IPA which is quite nice and well balanced. Also had the Tower 10 IPA which is okay, but a little underhopped for my tastes. The Strauss beers continue to improve, and are definitely better than a few years ago when I found them somewhat bland and boring.

Food is very good, mostly a mix of upscaled brewpub grub and a few specials. The onion rings on the appetizer menu were great, and I normally don't care for them.

Worth a visit if you are in the area.

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Photo of pwoods
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

A nice looking brewpub. Lots of wood, very clean, brewing equipment visible. The selection was only Karl Strauss beers with no guest taps at all. Quality was pretty good on most that we tried but nothing special. The waiter was good. Very knowledgeable about their brews and brought a couple samples for us to try. The food was very good. Chile lime sweet potato fries and tasty fish tacos. Everything seemed reasonably priced including the growlers. Not a bad place to stop for lunch, and while their beers are tasty, they're nothing special.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Located just off the main strip in La Jolla. Walking in the bar is to the left and dining to the right. My wife and I sat at the bar. There were a few TVs, but the bar area was nice and with windows opposite of the bar there was plenty of nice light.

They had about 12 beers on tap-including specials- Brown Suit Belgian-Brown, Wheat Wine, Imperial Amber, and a Russian Imperial Stout-we tried all of the specials and were impressed. We really enjoyed the Brown Suit (also available in 6-packs) and the Russian Imperial Stout. Thursday nights is cask night-so we will plan our next visit to a KS around this.

Service was fantastic-the bar keep knew her beer and provided us with samples of the other specials that we didn't buy without us even asking. Didn't try the food-but have at the Carlsbad location and it was good.

If we make it back to La Jolla during our next visit this will be a must visit Brewpub.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

How clever to have an address on Wall Street and have the main door on Herschel Avenue. They featured a beautiful ball fountain and an outdoor patio area on the corner. Entering, the m.d.s. was a glass case of logo items to the immediate left with the brewhouse on display behind glass to the immediate left with the black granite, "U"-shaped bar to the extreme left, followed by the patio. Off to the right was the restaurant area which seemed amazingly large, thanks to mirrored walls to the extreme right. The lavs were all of the way off in the centerline.

Beers: Endless Summer Light; Woodie Gold; Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen; Karl Strauss Amber Lager; Red Trolley Ale; Stargazer IPA.

Seasonals: Pin Tail PA-4.7; Altbier; Bock of America.

Cask: PTPA.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Nice clean and somewhat upscale place in La Jolla that has reasonable prices, unlike many competitors that line the adjacent blocks. Beers were rather mediocre across the board, and they had run out of one of their main taps (hefe-weizen) on my first of two visits. Food was above average on the whole but very good as far as brewpubs go (which can be bad at times). Service was good and we didn't have to wait for a table which was nice.

Their Hefe-Weizen is among the most banana-like that I've had in years. IPA is another worthwhile pint. They offer a cask beer but it runs out quickly, at least that's what I was told.

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Photo of tdawgydog
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

DW suggested this place for lunch after diving in La Jolla Cove. The restarant is very clean, it was quiet when we were there but presumably because it was after the peak lunch time. The beers are pretty standard, they are well done but nothing jumps out at you. I had the Saison and the Hefeweizen. The waiter also brought me free samples of the Bock and Red Ale (Free beer is a definite plus!)

As for the food we both had the BBQ cheeseburger, you really can't mess up a Cheeseburger. The BBQ sauce on the burger, which they make with their red ale was really good, unfortunately they don't sell it seperately. All in all it was a nice place that I would definitely recommend to others.

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Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I stopped by here while the wife took the kids down the street to the Starbucks. I said, why dont you head up the street and I will meet you soon...how understanding.

I stopped at the bar and did not have any food. The bartender was nice and friendly and kept me company while I drink my 2 beers. The Rye IPA and Belgian Brown Ale were pretty good. They had a total of 10 beers on tap that included 4 seasonals. If I am ever in the area again, I will probably stick my head in to see what is on tap.

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Photo of juzy
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped by here after we left a cool little restaurant, Whisknladle.

It was freakn 90+ degrees outside. We had just finished our little kayak tour of the La Jolla caves. That was fun! The next time we each get a kayak. I don't recommend renting the double!
Better to have to worry about your own balance and not your partners too!

Anyway, we stop by here for a couple of beers and to get out of the heat.

The bartender is super friendly, welcoming and knows her shit, plus it helps that she has just started dabbling in homebrewing. Fortunately it was off hours and she had time to talk homebrew with us. She was great with offering samples of everything, explaining the beers and how they taste. This was great. My biggest issue with most places is that their waitstaff has no clue about the beer they serve.

I had their IPA, solid. Good beer. Tim went with a specialty beer, a black lager. I think it was the winner of a homebrew contest they held. Anyway, he probably had about 3 of those. Really good, nice and roasty, tasted a little of espresso, but she said there was none added, so they managed to get that flavor straight from the grains. Nice job.

We were waiting for our dinner reservation time at another restaurant, so we settled the tab and left just as the dinner rush was starting to come in.

Glad we sat at the bar and had the chance to meet this person. It made the experience memorable and thus they get good scores, mostly for her, but for good beer too.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located in the downtown La Jolla, this Karl Strauss location seems a bit less inviting than some of their other locations.The serivce is, nevertheless, just as friendly and helpful as their other establishments. I guess it just seems like much more of a restaurant than a brewery.

Beer selection encompasses many different styles, though there were less than have been available at other locations at different times (maybe just a seasonal thing). I had & enjoyed the Imperial Russian Stout with dinner: one of their beers which is (I believe) only available at the restaurants.

Food was good and enjoyable. Portion sizes were really good for both La Jolla and more upscale brewery/restaurants, as were the prices. Though I'd opt for one of their other locations, this is definitely recommended if you're in the area and want some good beer.

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Photo of mltobin
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

The outside of Karl Strauss in La Jolla is very inviting with a beautiful fountain on the corner of the building. Tucked a few streets away from the busiest part of La Jolla, the crowd here is not oppressive.
I ordered the Stargazer IPA which was pretty good. It was a copper tone with a medium sized head. A fair amount of hops with a spicy after-taste. I had a burger along with it, lettuce, tomato, onions, nothing too far out. Solid food.
The male bartender on hand lacked any understanding of beer and the varieties that his employer had on hand What made up for that was two helpful and cute waitresses. They knew more about beer and also were helpful about giving information to me about the San Diego area.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Went to the La Jolla Karl Strauss location with two friends for dinner tonight. I'm extremely familiar with La Jolla so I don't consider this hard to find, but others might. It's a large place, with a bar and a variety of seating styles; Pretty good atmosphere, it is a restaurant first, and it's well lit and spacious enough to fit a lot of people (who were absent tonight). The back wall is a large glass window looking onto several fermenting tanks and assorted brewing equipment, which adds a bit of feel. I wish it were a bit more cozy and dim, but it is a chain kind of place.

I ordered a Stargazer IPA "brewer's pint" (22oz) and an En Fuego burger. The burger was damn good until near the very end when the peppers started to catch up to me. Nothin' was gonna stop that freight train of heat. I spent the next 10 minutes sweating and streaming tears. Pretty damn good food :)

I found the IPA to be reasonable, and the Red Trolley Ale to be sickeningly sweet and undrinkable. Service was almost completely absent, which annoyed me because the place was nearly empty.

A little pricey (it helps to have a friend pick up the tab), a little ritzy, worth checking out if all the other brewery restaurants are closed.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This place is pretty nice. Contemporary architecture and decorating.

A little hard to find and difficult to find a parking spot around "Smell Me" La Jolla.

I engaged myself in the house sampler. Beers served way too cold, beers were all drinkable but rather bland and all together not very exciting at all. There was one beer "Hooch" which wa a poor excuse for a dopplebock. Stargazer IPA (barely) But from the Summer gold to the Downtown After Dark Brown, all the beers tasted the same. Too sweet!

The food was good, my date and I first had the bonless honey mustard chicken wings, pretty good.

I ordered a burger topped with sauted mushrooms and onions, very tastey. My date ordered a spicey "La Fuego" burger which was too spicey for her to even finish.

This place was allright, the service was very nice but the beer was just too boring for me and the food a little expensive.


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Photo of OStrungT
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This brew pub is located in downtown La Jolla, a more upscale area of San Diego. It looked fancy from the outside. It was kind of hard to find parking. On the in side, it looked like I would expect any restaraunt to look in downtown La Jolla. I looked at the beer menu and was not too impressed. They had a few lighter beers, but they were very limited on the dark beers. The darkest one they had was a porter. I asked for it, and was told that they were out. So I had to go for the brown. It was decent, but not exceptional. The food selection was very limited. A few burgers and salads. The wood fired pizza was good. All in all, it was an average place, not too great, but not terrable either.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This is an upscale location in the upscale kinda town of La Jolla. The setting is in the financial and business area of La Jolla and it is a beautifully designed and appointed store. Sharing building space with the Fresh Seafood Restaurant and Bar, Strauss makes the most of its footage by using mirrors to increase the visual area of the interior. Great use of chrome and glass make the street view very appealing in the southwestern motif and brown slate and dark woods complete the interior.

The beers here are the same as at the other Strauss outlets in San Diego County, being largely lager oriented and basically middle of the road types of brews. Somewhat pricey, the food and beer menus satisfy the folks who patronize these spots - good emphasis on food, the beer is there to fill out the menu and at least, partially, satisfy the beer drinkers.

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Karl Strauss Brewing Company in La Jolla, CA
3.79 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
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