Picking a beer from a 15+ page menu actually turned out harder than expected. This is the dilemma I faced when I visited the Public House located in La Jolla, CA. At least I was not the only guest facing this dilemma. They offer around 40 beers on draft and a bottle selection of over 350 beers from all over the globe. However, Public House is much more than simply a place that has an impressive (and intimidating) selection. It is a gathering place that welcomes anybody to come in and enjoy a couple of beers and finger foods in an area not commonly associated with craft beer.
Places that offer selections like Public House can sometimes create a pretentious, snob-like environment for the guests. However, Public House strays away from that. While their selection can intimidate novice beer drinkers, they try to foster an environment where one can feel comfortable despite being confused and/or overwhelmed by all the beer they have to offer. Justin, the server during the visit, was extremely helpful towards his guests and quite knowledgeable of the selection Public House had to offer.
During my visit I found myself at the bar sitting by an economics professor who had a fondness of bourbon-barrel beers. The professor, Justin, and I found ourselves talking about a range of random topics. I cannot recall any other time where I found myself having a conversation about the lack of Stouts in the San Diego beer scene quickly flip into a conversation about the Guillotine. Conversations like that only came out when people like Justin and the Professor interact and people like Justin and the Professor would probably only interact at a place like Public House.
Public House, in many ways, is a beer lover’s dream. They have a carefully curated selection of European beers, especially Belgian beers. A portion of these beers also came with their unique glassware. For example, the reason I came to Public House was to try Kwak which is Belgian Pale-Amber/Strong Ale. While Kwak is great beer, I wanted to try it because of the oddly tall Tulip glass with a wooden handle that was specially made for Kwak. I have tried to research it, but it seems as if Public House is the only place in San Diego that offers this experience. Also, one can tell that the people in charge of selecting the beer for Public House try to stay away from beers you easily find anywhere else. There was hardly any of the bigger craft breweries featured in the selection. Instead Public House tried to give a hand to the little brewers from all over the country. I spoiled myself with amazing selections from Acoustic Ales, Alesmith, North Coast Brewing, Wiens Brewing, and a few others. It was at Public House where I was also introduced to the Prairie Bomb Stout. If you love Stouts, you need to come over in a heartbeat and try the Prairie Bomb. And like the Kwak, there are not much local places that even sell the Prairie Bomb. But what if you are in the mood to enjoy Kwak or Prairie Bomb from the comfort of your couch? Do not worry, if they bottle it, Public House has no problem selling you the bottle to take home and enjoy it there instead
Taste rooms and breweries are definitely fun to hang out at, but sometimes you want to enjoy amazing beer in a mellow environment. Public House is that place. The people are diverse, the service is friendly, and the selection is next level. Plus, if you are a little over a west-coast IPA, Public House can show you a couple of great Brown Ales, Belgians, and Stouts. Best of all, their line-up ALWAYS changes. They have calendars already filled of new kegs they have to tap and bottles to have to bring out. When going to Public House, you are guaranteed to try something new and amazing every time.
Pro Tip: be sure to sit at street-view for some unique people-watching because La Jollans are on a league of their own.
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