Brewskis Bistro and Pacific Beach Brewhouse

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The recently opened Brewskis Bistro and Brewpub at 310 Fifth Ave. brings to two the number of good reasons to visit San Diego's downtown at night. Their layout featured a copper and stainless 14 bbl. system situated in the center of the horseshoe-shaped bar and extending to the rear of the building. Two rows of dining tables ring the high ceiling, open room and with every table and bar stool filled, the noise level was definitely noticeable. The menu offered traditional pub fare as well as house specialties such as the Brewski Chicken; chicken sautéed in wine with spinach pasta, artichoke hearts, and topped with parmesan cheese and red pepper. The brews are all filtered and use ale yeast and U.S. hops. One liter mugs were a popular serving size.

The Aztec Amber was a clear amber color with light carbonation and body, an even malt/hop balance, and a short, hoppy finish. The Red Sails Ale was a clear , deep ruby color, with light carbonation, medium body, malt over hop flavor and excellent mouth feel. The Stringray Stout had light carbonation, a medium body, a dry, hoppy palate, and a nice dry finish. A standard pint cost $2.95 and happy hour is from 4 to 6 PM. There is small a outdoor area with patio seating and if the same customers I saw, return in warmer weather dressed in summer attire, this place warrants many future visits.

Meanwhile, back a the beach, was Pacific Beach Brewhouse at 4475 Mission Blvd. Open less than one year, one finds a distinctive "beach" atmosphere which is very relaxed and accommodating. New additions to the interior design include brewpub T-shirts from around the country displayed on the ceiling. The beer selection recently stood at six. The Pacific Beach Blonde used 20% wheat, was a light straw color and gave a tart, hop flavor. The S.D. Weiss was golden, crisp, light in flavor, body and carbonation, a real thirst quenching summer beer. The Crystal Pier Pale Ale was straw-colored and malty in both aroma and flavor. The Brewmaster Special was the Oktober Beer, straw-colored, malty sweet, and very smooth. The Over The Line Stout was opaque, displayed a creamy whit e head, had a smooth chocolate malt flavor and a slightly roasted aftertaste. Overall, very nice. Beers were $2.50 per pint with "to go" boxes available, hours were 11:30 AM to 2 AM. After a hard day at the beach, walk across the street, have a cold one, and check out the non-smoking back bar at Pacific Beach Brewhouse.

NOTE: As a result of a name/trademark dispute, Brewskis became Riptide Brewing, then folded. Look for HOPS! Bistro & Brewing in its place.

NOTE: In 1995 Pacific Beach Brewhouse passed away and is no longer with us. :(

RJ's Riptide Brewing Co.
310 5th Ave.
San Diego, California

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - June, 1993

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