About a week ago, my wife and I were exploring San Diego and wandered over to Pacific Beach.  As noted on Wikipedia, “Pacific Beach is a neighborhood of San Diego, bounded by La Jolla to the north, Mission Beach and Mission Bay to the south, Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.[1] While largely populated by young people, surfers, and college students, the population is becoming older, more professional, and more affluent due to rising property and rental costs. “P.B.,” as it is known as by local residents, is home to one of San Diego’s larger nightlife scenes, with an expansive variety of bars, eateries, and clothing stores.”

While walking down Garnet Avenue, we looked through the windows of an establishment called Barrel Republic and I was excited to see a vast array of beer taps.

Barrel Republic is located on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.
Barrel Republic is located on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.

Upon entering, Robert (Barrel Republic’s Manager) greeted us and explained that Barrel Republic currently had 40+ craft beers on tap that are changed regularly.  The BIG difference from other bars is that patrons pour their own beer and are charged by the ounce.  Hence, you can sample the beers in any quantity you wish!

craft beer, barrel republic, san diego, pacific beach
Barrel Republic currently offers 40 or more beers on tap.

How does this work?

Each patron is issued an identification bracelet (your driver’s license and a credit card are scanned to get the bracelet).

An ID bracelet is issued to each patron.
An ID bracelet is issued to each patron.

Fresh clean glasses and a rinsing station are provided.  Use a fresh glass for each beer you sample.

Fresh clean glasses are provided for each beer.
Fresh clean glasses are provided for each beer.
Rinse your clean glass PRIOR to using it.
Rinse your clean glass PRIOR to using it.

Tour the beer taps.

Each beer tap seems to yell "Pick Me!".
Each beer tap seems to yell “Pick Me!”.

Each tap has a display that provides detailed information about the beer (including ABV and IBUs) and the cost per ounce for that beer.

Each tap has a display providing information about the beer and cost per ounce.
Each tap has a display providing information about the beer and cost per ounce.

As you approach the selected beer tap, you hold the bracelet next to a scanner for logging and then pour the amount of beer you wish to drink.

Hold your ID bracelet next to the scanner to start pouring.  The scanned is the black rectangle seen in this photo.
Hold your ID bracelet next to the scanner to start pouring. The scanner is the black rectangle seen in this photo.

The poured beer is measured as dispensed and logged to your tab. Sample as many beers as you wish up to a maximum of 32 ounces for your visit.

beer, Barrel Republic, Pacific Beach, San Diego
Pour the amount you wish to drink.

This is a great concept and a fantastic way to sample new beers.

Not certain what to try?  Every employee at Barrel Republic is at least a Level 1 Cicerone.  They can provide great advice on the beers available.  Robert was our guide and expert.

You can also eat at Barrel Republic by ordering through their guest chef food trucks.  During our visit, the Organic Food Truck was the guest chef.  My wife had the lamb and I had Lobster Mac and Cheese.  Both dishes were absolutely delicious!

IMG_9649
Perfectly prepared lamb.
Lobster Mac and Cheese - Boom Yummy!
Lobster Mac and Cheese – Boom Yummy!

In their own words,”Barrel Republic is the Mecca for craft beer lovers to come for freedom: the freedom to pour, freedom  to compare, freedom to be amongst other like minded craft beer enthusiasts.”  I absolutely agree!

Thank you Robert for being our tour guide and for making our visit so informative, fun, and delicious.

3 thoughts on “Barrel Republic – San Diego, CA

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