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Porter's Pub

Your Rating: None
Porter's PubPorter's Pub
8 Ratings
Porter's PubPorter's Pub

Type: Bar, Eatery

9500 Gilman Drive, UCSD Student Center
La Jolla, California, 92093
United States

(858) 587-4828 | map

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Added by oggg

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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 5
Photo of demon
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Photo of LakerLeith
4.5/5  rDev +30.4%

Photo of retry4z
1/5  rDev -71%

Photo of lwwalker
4.94/5  rDev +43.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Porter's pub is situated in the middle of the UCSD campus. I've frequented Porter's since 2005; it has changed substantially (management, ambiance and layout) since I first arrived in San Diego, so this review is specific to my last several visits April-July 2010.

The current incarnation of Porter's is a hidden gem amongst San Diego beer locations. There are a number of outstanding brewers in the San Diego area, yet the San Diego scene is a real mix of beer folks, and people who have no idea of the richness in the region. Stephan, the current proprietor of Porter's (and bartender, cook, janitor, and beer suggester) knows his craft well. On my last visit, the indoor taps offered 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head, Cap'N Sig's from Rogue, Lucky 13 from Lagunitas, as well as a number of locals from Stone, Airedale, Firestone and more. Stephan mentioned plans to stack his outdoor taps with offerings from nearby Stone brewery -- in short, Porter's is slinging many of the best brews from the San Diego area and around the nation.

While Porter's sports a beer list that holds it's own against local meccas like Toronado and The Linkery, it doesn't draw the same crowds. On a Thursday or Friday night, you'd be fighting the crowds at other beer bars, yet things are fairly quiet at Porter's. There is a minor rush as the UCSD folks get off work between 4-6, but you can typically find a great beer in a quiet atmosphere if that's what you're after. The only trick is to brave the UCSD parking restrictions, which require a token effort to decipher. Be sure to chat it up a little with Stefan, you might get $1 off a pint if you play your cards right, but be prepared to mix it up a little with the suds-slinger.

I can't honestly critique the food, which I haven't tried since the latest re-branding of this establishment. It looks to be typical Pub fare -- I didn't observer any unhappy customers.

In all, this pub is well worth the visit. Great beer, laid back. Find your way onto the UCSD campus and give it a try.

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Photo of gthornton
2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

UPDATE: I have always wanted this place to be awesome like it once was. It has fallen into near disrepair. It is clear that they are far removed from the beer scene that they so desperately wish they were a part of and are trying to cash in on.

So you have 5 Stone selections, a couple of Ballast Points, and a 90 Minute on tap. I should be happy right?? I wish. The beer has always tasted off here. The beer is flat, tastes really old, I wonder what the CO2 is set to, and when the last time they changed, or God forbid cleaned, their lines.... it's bad guys...

And carrying Tailgate beer in addition to Bud and Miller... don't they know a farse craft brewery when they see one?

Food? waited 40 minutes for a chicken and hamburger special. got the chicken after 40 minutes, cold fries... wheres the burger? An hour later... still no burger... I had taked to about 4 people by this time. Sure, shit happens, but combined with this place looking shittier and shittier each time I am here, and the beer selection looking like a guy who know's very little about this awesome culture is throwing darts at a Crest Distribution Catalog, and you have a craft enthusiast who really wishes these guys would ask for help (I'm willing), and do the service to the UCSD student body that it should.

Sorry for typos... original review is still below.

NOTE: There is new management here, so be mindful of the date of the reviews... while still a good place, they have unfortunately lost aspects of their beer-touch as of late.

I haven't read the other reviews yet, but I feel like there are some things to be said about this place that speak to its potential.

By no means is this a slam, I come here several times a week, because my hours between teaching and meetings leave me with a lot of time to kill, and my enthusiasm for good beer leads me to the only place on campus with this many taps.

The pricing is average, the owners/employees always try their best (most employees are students, which is a good thing).

The food is sometimes great, and never a disappointment.

As for beer... They do have a great number of taps (about 20), as well as bottle selection, BUT no one, including the people pouring your beer, seem to have the beer itch, which is fine, but a little frustrating, because overal the beer selection can be summed up as a list made by someone that wants to do good, but just does not know what to look for/what they are doing.

From what I understand, the new owner ended firing everyone that was here before, so the person in charge of the beer ended up deciding not to pass on any of his/her beer contacts... so the owner had to fend for himself... Now if I was left with this task I would embrace the opportunity, but the new management just does not know where to turn.

Everything on tap here is of the "reliable fail safe" category... so yes its mostly good, but nothing that any BA would get absolutely thrilled about.

There are a few pleasant surprises here and there, but it is clear that the management does not quite get it, and that the employees are not interested in improving their own beer pallats.

So, overal, I will continue to support this place, but until they step it up, I will be disappointed by their inability to fulfill their potential.

A good example just happened... I told a fellow coworker that I would be in here from 1-5 to collect student papers, and to come join me... we have before... but this time he looked at the selection, and said, "I think I'll just go to Toronado."

 3,532 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
4/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I go to UCSD, and Porter's is great for between-class or post-busy day brew and grub. It's a little pricey for a college kind sometimes, but reasonable in the realm of beer-drinking.

When I was a freshman, I wanted to drink at Porter's all the time, but I wasn't 21. Now that I am and don't live on campus, having a brew is great between class or after a final is great, but it's just a ways from all parking and never in the area I seem to be in.

More relevantly, however, the music is quiet to non-existent, with ESPN and FSN on a couple flat screens. TVs are well-placed and visible, with the food coming out in pretty short order. Usually I finish a pint, have my food come, and get another.

The beer selection is pretty good for a campus bar. They recently have been having Old Numbskull, Old Guardian, and a few other Barleywines on tap which is kinda rare to find in an average bar. They have the traditional Bud/Coors, but there are plenty of Stone, Ballast Point, Alesmith, etc Microbrew IPAs and Ales as well. Usually have Guinness and Newcastle too, and the servings are fairly priced for the most part.

Selection is good, around 20 beers on tap and several more in bottles, but ask for the special and they're more than happy to sample for you too. Nice staff who know the beer they have if nothing else, and some know a bit more than just outside their taps. If you're around UCSD, check it out and Drink Local as they say. You won't regret the brew or the people.

 1,482 characters

Photo of sleazo
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

If you happen to be on UCSD's campus, give this place a try. They have a great tap selection with tons of West Coast micros icluding port brewing and stone. Usually one of the beers is on special for $2.50. Nothing is more than $4 so the place is very affordable. Atmosphere is very crunchy collegiate. A lot of kids on their laptops doing work, playing foosball and hanging out. They do not blast the music which i like. I wish my campus had a place like this, or maybe i dont, i dont think i would have graduated.

The Zuchini sticks are good here, the rest of the food is decent enough. Great beer at great prices, too bad parking is such a bitch on campus.

 660 characters

Photo of oggg
4/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Porter's pub is a beer bar is located at the Student Center on the UC San Diego campus in La Jolla. It's been around for something like 8 years. It's kinda hard to find, you'll just have to check a map or ask someone how to get to the student center. Parking is almost impossible at the metered Student Center parking area. If you have a UCSD parking permit, you can park near Muir or Revelle and walk 5 minutes.

The bar portion is quite small and seats maybe 4-6 ppl. There are over a dozen small tables. You seat yourself. There's a foosball table with battered men with taped up injuries, but games are free. There's beer memorabilia all over the bar. The crowd includes some old fogey professors, lots of grad students, and a few older college kids. Usually a few people studying, a few people flirting, a few people chatting away. Nice casual atmosphere to relax and enjoy a pint.

There are 25 taps on the wall in plain sight. There's a list for the $4 beers and the $3.50 beers, and the happy hour specials. They've got Bud/Heinekin/Corona/Pacifico/Guinness, but they also have 2 taps for PizzaPort (Sharkbite Red and Cowabunga Cream Stout), 1 for Coronado Brewing (Mermaid Red), and lots of West Coast brews, including Redhook ESB/IPA/Brown, Lagunitas IPA, Reaper, Anchor Steam/Porter, Red Racer, SNPA, and more I can't remember. Very nice assortment, leaning toward pale ales and india pale ales.

The bartenders have at least had an opinion about the beers they are serving, but they aren't always right. They're nice enough though. You order your drink and bring it back to your table.

The grub almost uniformly costs $4.75 -- various sandwiches (I had the Killer club -- based around breaded chicken), fries, fish and chips, chicken tenders; that sort of thing. Portions aren't big, but are sufficient since you're having a pint too.

On Mondays, grad students of UCSD get $1 off drinks. I think there's a $2 Bud night, but I didn't see that many ppl order Bud. Lastly, there's a gym, basketball courts, tennis courts, and sand volleyball courts all nearby, so you can have a drink before or after =)

Summary: this is a nice little barebones beer lovers pub most accessible if you have a UCSD affiliation.

 2,233 characters

Porter's Pub in La Jolla, CA
Place rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 8 ratings
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