Knotty Brewing, Downtown
The Knotty Brewing tasting room is open very limited hours. However, they are right next door to/are the same company as Knotty Barrel, a causal gastropub and awesome day-drinking location that has extensive hours.
Knotty Barrel normally has three Knotty Brewing beers on tap; there are 10 house beers available in the tasting room. They are having some trouble keeping up with demand on the 5bbl system you can see through the windows from the “games” area on the way to the really nice back bar and beautiful beer garden. That’s a nice problem for any brewery to have, I guess.
The long bar, decorated with beer labels under the varnish, is a comfortable spot to spend a couple of hours. There is a large patio wrapping around two sides (an advantage of a corner lot). Did I mention the beer garden in back? Only open limited hours, but it is hip and makes you feel like you aren’t in the middle of the city.
The service was good. Both the bartender and the assistant GM, Rich, were friendly and ready to chat about beer.
The tap, bottle and can list in Knotty Barrel is extensive. There were some real gems. In addition to the three Knotty beers I had, I enjoyed beer from Mason Ale Works, Sierra Nevada, Black Market Brewing and Ninkasi. (Everything on tap is available in a taster.) They were out of the house Pale Ale (it is in the fermenter now), which is one of their most popular house beers.
Tom Tom (Blonde Ale, 5% ABV). This should be described as a Belgian blonde. It has plenty of clove/banana. Clear golden, crisp. People who like Belgian yeast will like it better than I did. 3/5
My Nephew (Porter, 6.5% ABV). Very tasty. Nice smoky note and toasted malts with a nose like Guinness. A touch sweet, a touch sour. Well balanced. 3.75/5
Kasie’s Stout (6% ABV). It isn’t as flavorful as the porter, nor is its mouthfeel as thick, but it is a solid stout. 3.5/5
I’ll have to go back some time when the tasting room is open to sample some of their other house offerings.
You gain entry to the tasting room itself from a separate outside door. There is a small bar, a couple of high tops and a few seats in the window–room for twenty stools and not much more.
For vibe, beer, and people, I would most definitely recommend Knotty Barrel and Knotty Brewing.
http://knottybrewing.com/ http://knottybarrel.com/ 844 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101