San Diego Brewing Company

The other brewpub we made it to in Southern California (the first being Oggi’s) was San Diego Brewing Company, which apparently doesn’t have a website. Located in a strip mall (like much of San Diego), I wasn’t as impressed with it as with Oggi’s (read my Oggi’s review), but they do have an amazing selection of beers.

That is, they have something like 50 different beers on tap, and of those, a half dozen or so are their own beers. Though tempted to try some of the other beers they had, I went with the sampler of local brews. Unfortunately, they were out of their Paddle Out Pale Ale, so I had two samplers of the nut brown. My impressions:

  • Grantville Gold: Very, very light and thin. My sister-in-law likes it, but it was a little too light for my tastes.
  • El Hefe-weizen: Rather bland for a hefeweizen, didn’t have the fruity overtones or much wheaty flavor; I liked Oggi’s better. Not terribly impressed.
  • Old Town Nut Brown: This was pretty good, which is a good thing since I had two samplers! And actually, when I was done with the samplers I ordered another pint of this. Good color, it was toasty, nutty, sweet, flavorful but not too strong. Very drinkable, this would be what I would order regularly.
  • Cocoa Porter: This was very good also. Chocolatey, rich, with a good thick mouthfeel and foamy head, but it didn’t have the over-roasted, almost burnt flavor I’ve noticed in porters these days.

The brewpub itself is a sports bar, though with a cozier atmosphere than Oggi’s—more of a brewpub feel than a sports bar feel. This was the night of the first Presidential debate, so the big screen in the back corner was showing that, although you couldn’t hear much of it.

The service was okay but slow—our waitress disappeared a few times but I think she was busier than usual. This was a Thursday night, so I don’t know if this means the place is usually that busy or something else was going on, but off the cuff I’d say don’t go there if you’re in a hurry.

The food was disappointing, though. Nothing was wrong with it—it was just very plain and so-so. I ordered the Irish pub steak, which has grilled onions and mushrooms on top and mashed potatoes on the side (they may have been garlic, but I don’t remember—the meal was that un-noteworthy), and the best I can say is that it was entirely average, and bland. Everyone else said similar things about their food.

So, it’s a decent place to go for a beer—a very good variety of them—but I wouldn’t go out of my way for a meal. If you go there with these expectations, you won’t be disappointed.

Contact info:

San Diego Brewing Company
10450-L Friars Road
San Diego, CA 92120
Phone: 619-284-2739
Fax: 619-284-0428