The big orange arrow welcomes you to this otherwise-unassuming spot. Inside, the room is bright and airy. It feels special. The large bar had at least twelve people for most of my stay, plus there is extensive seating at tables and a secondary bar counter. You can see the tanks from the tasting area. One of the bartenders brought her dog. Both the bartenders I interacted with were helpful and friendly. The beer was very good, and they had a wide selection.
Extra Special Brother (English Bitter, 5.2% ABV). The sharpness was nicely balanced by the sweet malts. That metallic taste you get in Newcastle, for example, was present but not too strong. They use an unusual yeast (“006” according to the bartender) which added a nutty component. 3.5/5
Sibling Rivalry (IPA, 7% ABV). They offer several IPAs, with Little Brother being one of the most popular. On the bartender’s recommendation, I tried this one, her favorite. It is a funky, straight-ahead Northwest IPA. 3.5/5
Little Sister (Russian Imperial Stout, 11% ABV). This was true to style. Very nice. 3.5/5
BBA Little Sister (Russian Imperial Stout with vanilla and cocoa nibs, aged in a Woodford Reserve bourbon barrel, 11% ABV). I ordered “Little Sister both ways” to compare them. Little Sister by itself is good; with the additions and barrel aging, it approaches excellent. It felt and tasted thicker, with the cocoa, vanilla and bourbon adding a lot to round out and complete the overall impression. 4/5
As the steady and enthusiastic crowd showed, Bitter Brothers does it right: They serve very good beer in a nice environment and provide good service.
http://bitterbrothers.com/ 4170 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117