The KNB logo says “Bistro — Bar — Bottle Shop — Brewery.” They are many things, and as may be typical in such situations, they aren’t all things equally. “Brewery” has become a lower priority for them. Although they maintain a brewing license and a 1.5 barrel system, they don’t use it often and often don’t have their own beers available on tap. That makes this a rather tricky location to check off your list of San Diego breweries if, like me, you are trying to visit them all. In fact, on my first visit in July 2017, they were out of their own beer and were not currently brewing. Their brewer has a lot on his plate with other things, I was told. My bartender’s advice was to call ahead (619-286-0321) to check what’s on tap.
While this situation might have been frustrating for me, in the end I quite enjoyed my visit to KNB. It is in an odd little strip mall next to a grocery store in Del Cerro, just across the highway from SDSU. There aren’t any easily visible signs, but look for the awnings to the left of the grocery store and you’ll be heading in the right direction. Those awnings provide shade for a good-sized patio. Inside, you’ll be impressed that three walls are packed to the gills with booze of every variety, all the way up to the (very high) ceilings. There are FIFTEEN beer fridges, containing a lot of good craft beer including hard-to-find varieties from major breweries. In addition to the bottle shop aspect of this place, the restaurant is comfortable and seems to be popular. The bar itself seats about eight and has an excellent rotating tap list with 32 handles. I was lucky to have gone there on a Wednesday, when pints are on special for $4. You can also get 25 wines by the glass, and of course you can drink anything you buy in the store (with a small corkage fee). My bartender, Zach, was friendly and engaging, and very knowledgeable about beer.
Obviously I’ll need to come back to try their beer, at which point I’ll update this review!
www.knbwinecellars.com 6380 Del Cerro Blvd, San Diego, CA 92120