Highway 101 is littered with small businesses, just blocks off the Pacific Ocean and Breakwater fits right in with the surfer/skateboarder vibe. While the music changed from Reggae to Classic Rock as the bar tenders changed shifts, I wondered why there was no beach/surfer music or punk/ska. The service is place your order at the bar and then seat yourself and has a similar feel to several Pizza Port locations, though the food is better at the latter. I enjoyed a couple pints and some wings before leaving, and it is nice to see guest drafts alongside the house brewed beers. A decent enough stop but somewhat forgettable in our San Diego beer oasis.
Visited early evening of 26th May 2015. Long thin room with food counter before the bar. Surfer Dude vibe with a US Marine Corps clientele (the huge Camp Pendleton main gate is only a mile away). My house beer six glass flight was lovely, the starter combo plate was good, although the hot sauce on the wings was over the top and too spicy for beer tasting duties. Basic design and wooden furniture: smart and modern it is not, clean, tidy and friendly it is. Only down side was the food waitress, slow uninterested and lazy: barman was fine.
We capped a day spent around Oceanside with a sun soaked walk to Breakwater Brewing (from Bagby’s), and filed into to the thin and comfortable restaurant. It’s definitely a casual affair, with a little surfer rock theme, less polish and more beer. I love the little touches like the two player Pac Man machine, one of those horrible mini-game touch screen machines, and a gruffer looking clientele. But the beer here is pretty high class. For our visit there were more than a few barrel aged beers, the iconic Kalifornia Kush, and even a goze. Most were good, one or two were great, and all were surprisingly fancy styles given the atmosphere. We arrived with full bellies and skipped the menus, but eyeing our neighbors plates it was clear that the food makes a good pairing too. But I think the quality to stress here is in spite of an interior that doesn’t fit the current trend of raw lightbulbs and IKEA style threadbare walls, they’re dishing out quality beers served without pretension in a beautiful sun drenched part of the California coast.
Type. . . . . . . . . . ..Brewpub Level. . . . . . . . . . .Medium Location. . . . . . . .Excellent, Downtown Prices. . . . . . . . . ..Low, $1 Tasters Tap Selection. . . .15 House, 10 Guest+ Bottle Selection. .Unknown Samplers. . . . . . ...Yes, 6 for $6 Full Pours. . . . . . .Yes Beer Level. . . . . ...Average to Below Average Food. . . . . . . . . . .Yes, Pizza & Burgers Food Level. . . . ...Low Staff. . . . . . . . . . ..Inconsistent Growlers. . . . . . ...Possibly Noise Level. . . . ..Medium to Loud Décor. . . . . . . . . ..Outdated, Chain Brewpub Look Good for Kids. . ..Maybe Parking. . . . . . . ...Restricted Street WiFi. . . . . . . . . . ..No Cash Only. . . . . ..No Recommended. ..Yes Comments: Breakwater despite being outdated and with inconsistent beer that is anywhere from very good to very bad, they have a lot of house beers on tap including special cask only one-offs. With 6 for $6 tasting flights, it is super cheap and a no-brainer if you are going here to get your tick on. But if you are wanting to pound a lot of good beer, you should probably go to Local Tap House down Pacific Hwy or soon, Bagby Beer Co. Staff are pretty slow and carefree, which can be infuriating.