Irvine Beer Guide: Your Irvine guide to beer, beer bars, breweries and brewpubs

Latest reviews from Irvine

70 /100 6652 IRVINE CENTER DRIVE
“Opened in 2019 and still looks new, it's one of those 'typical' Californian taprooms, but in a food mall rather than an industrial unit, situated in the computer, high technical belt area of Irvine surrounded by white collar workers. Visited on Tuesday 14th Jan 2020, lunchtime. Busy with office workers having meals and a beer. It's pretty foodie, but there are plenty of beers on tap too. Brewing equipment all shiny and bright, board games, patio and loads of inside tables too. Staff friendly, food was fine, as were the beers. Only complaint was the website beer list wasn't up to date and three that I wanted to try were not actually on, I did however rate four new beers of theirs on the visit.“
BlackHaddock 280 days ago
96 /100 2540 MAIN STREET
“The only and best Liquor store in the area, Good selection of spirits, lots to choose from National; imported and Craft Beer.“
AllGrainRater54 321 days ago
88 /100 2540 MAIN STREET
“It’s a liquor store, so there is no ambiance. They had a nice sampling of southern California craft beers in six packs and bombers. The staffnoffered assistance multiple times while I was only there ten minutes.“
Aggiebob 1380 days ago
64 /100 13390 JAMBOREE ROAD
“Had a hotel in Irvine, so decided to head over for dinner. Service was pretty good, but the focus here is more on the dining than beer. Tried a few of the beers and was not overly impressed. Worth a visit for a nicer dining experience, just don’t expect a ton from the beer.“
HarvesterOfSorrow 1775 days ago
80 /100 13390 JAMBOREE ROAD
“Been waiting for this place to open for awhile now, just because Taps generally makes some good beers but I am rarely in the neighborhoods of either of their other two locations. This is at least sort of close to a route I travel on some sort of regular basis.

Located in the Market Place shopping center, the place is pretty large, but probably comparable to their other two restaurants...maybe a little bigger if you include the patio. Of course, well decorated and classy interior. Well done wood, warm colors, marble, etc. Huge bar area that was packed for happy hour during my initial visit. I just found a place to stand near the bar and watch some soccer while I tried a couple beers.

Food menu is the same as the others, focusing mostly on seafood and steaks. But, they have plenty of options. Yes, still expensive.

Service was good and fast, even with a massive crowd going. Though perhaps the most memorable part of my visit was seeing one of the bartenders attempting to hand a drink across the bar and smashing the cocktail of a patron who was sitting at the bar, sending liquor everywhere. Kind of funny as an observer, but I’m sure she was mortified.

Anyway, cool enough place. Worth a visit, but unless you’re just a huge Taps fan, you probably only need to go to one location.“
brokensail 1929 days ago
82 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“My second encounter with the Yard House chain and a lot better than my first visit. This is a big one: max occupancy is 753, central bar counter holds 168. Afternoon of 25th May 2015, four of us plus a baby. Interior is dark with a large food station to the rear, kegs visible to the right through windows where subdued lighting shows off the pipes and barrels. Open plan single room with a few square boxwood covered pillars holding the ceiling in place. Functional more than pretty, plenty of staff, all three who dealt with me were fine. Beer selection was huge with some interesting options. Happy Hour prices helped with the Bill, although we arrived before the deals started. My Burger was very good and everybody else enjoyed their food. I was then left alone to try another four beers before leaving. All in all a pleasant experience, would prefer it if the place was brighter though.“
BlackHaddock 1979 days ago
74 /100 4143 CAMPUS DR
“This one caught me off guard as I was walking over to Anthill Pub. Opened in December 2014 and is a nice addition to the UCI plaza. Ambiance is like most any Eureka. Open layout that is a nice size with a medium to large patio. Service is a big fault and could just be because of a new wait staff. I’ve found no one in the three visits I’ve been here that knows much of anything about beer. The rotating draft board is big and easy to see but they often don’t list the beer style. Asking said wait staff member and non of them know the style of beer if asked. They will go to the bartender who often comes back with wrong answers. (A friend asked for an IPA and came back with a "hoppy brown" ale.) The food is exactly the same as every other Eureka, nice but a little overpriced. Beer prices are definitely up there with most being in the $8 range. It’s close to my office when I’m in OC and the beer selection is nice so I’ll go back but I wouldn’t make it a weekly trip if I was still in the area.“
thome50 2042 days ago
54 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“Visited on 7th July 2014, just as Happy Hour started (3.30). Basic layout, Pizza joint on the right, bar and brewing equipment to the left. A couple of TV screens but not much else on the walls. The Pizza half reminded me of my old school canteen it really is that regimented and uninspiring. Luckily the bar area and brewery had a bit more going for it. A chalk board advertised the selection, their own brews at the top with the four or five guest beers below. I had a six beer flight of their stuff: was not overly impressed, but had a pint of the Session IPA afterwards as I thought that the best. Snack food from the Happy Hour menu was taken, it was fine. Service was good, very quiet customer wise, but was the Monday after the 4th of July.“
BlackHaddock 2300 days ago
64 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“25 June 2014. it’s basically a "brewpub" in a pizza joint/sports bar. didn’t have food but it looked good. lots of tvs for sports. constant stream of locals of all ages. lots of teenagers and families. beer was pretty poor sadly.“
Blairgus 2313 days ago
72 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Visited December 8, 2013.

Stopped in on the way to a concert. This is the largest tap set up I’ve seen so far. They have that wall in the center of the bar for the taps to be mounted on but they actually have it broken into two, each completely surrounded by taps. Despite the fact that most of what they carry is Anheuser the sheer amount of taps means that they have more good choices. For the first time I saw Bruery and Bootleggers at a Yard House. Naturally they have some Stone, Ballast Point, and Firestone present in addition to the usual Belgian suspects like Delirium and Chimay. Service was surprisingly friendly and bordering on helpful. Prices are high for both food and beer but especially for food. We didn’t eat. Parking is plentiful here at the mall. On a Sunday evening the crowd wasn’t too bad but it was still fairly loud.“
t0rin0 2511 days ago
74 /100 13130 JAMBOREE RD
“Rating from when I stopped in a few years ago:

I was hoping that they brew beer at this location and upon seeing the fermenters I thought I had chosen a BJ’’s location wisely. But when I asked the bartender I found out that they just ship it in from other locations. I also saw a collection of Belgian bottles on the shelves in the back room but after hearing the list from the bartender, its nothing you can’t get at Bevmo.

The place was packed but nice and comfortable. A little loud but I guess thats what you get with a trendy place like this. The pizza that we had was spectacular. We ordered the BJ’s special or what ever its called. We also got two beer samplers in order to try all 11 of the BJ’s beers on tap. There were some pretty good ones like the German style hefe, the pumpkin ale, and the IPA. I hate to say it but the Berry Burst Cider was actually pretty good as well. The bartender filled the last 3 samples with Stella, Leffe, and Lindemans Lambic. Now I don’t want to complain about the sample sizes but they were 5 oz each and after drinking most of the 14 samples, and after having been at Back Street an hour before, I was pretty buzzed by the time we left.

All in all everything was good about this place; I think we got out of there for about $35.“
t0rin0 2600 days ago
78 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“I’ll first point out that the "value" score is a somewhat combination of the beer versus food value. The beer value is very good. Some of the best prices around. The food prices are horrible for what you get. A crappy sandwich and tortilla chips (which are actually really good) go for $8+. The special a few weeks ago was a "big chicken burrito" which was approximately the size of a childs bean burrito with a few pieces of frozen chicken. Still, you can bring in your own food and order beer as you go. I’d suggest this as there are a number of options around the area.“
thome50 2748 days ago
74 /100
OC Winemart (Beer Store)
2272 MICHELSON DR
“Small store just down the street from John Wayne Airport. All beer is kept in coolers, which is a big plus. Kind of an interesting selection. Some Russian River beers, lots of Bootlegger’s, Bruery, and Eagle Rock stuff, a smattering of San Diego beers, and some interesting imports (mostly Belgian). This is mainly a wine store, though. They do have a wine tasting bar with the automated pours and pay cards. They also have tasting events which are posted on their website. Pretty cool store, actually.“
brokensail 2858 days ago
68 /100
Trader Joe’s - Irvine (Grocery Store)
4225 CAMPUS DR
“Decent sized store with the typical selection of foods available at all Trader Joe’s. Not a huge selection of beers, but a handful of shelves by the registers. They offer a handful of singles in addition to the six packs, which they said is okay to pick singles from. Service was friendly, as it always is at Trader Joe’s. Beers are all very well priced, which is nice. Nothing super rare or anything, but always something decent to drink.“
brokensail 2858 days ago
68 /100 15315 CULVER DR, STE 190
“Another stop on my 6 bevmo tour de Mirror Mirror 2008. I must have spent all of 10 minutes in this place. Smallish beer selection and the service had no idea what I was looking despite having access to it. Bevmos are decent for getting into beer and for stockpiling on certain releases and in the case of some of the better Bevmos you can find interesting beers but this sadly is not one of the better ones.“
t0rin0 2900 days ago
78 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“Rating from 2007:

This place seemed kinda out of place for being right in the middle of Irvine. The main dinning room had a bunch of long benches and a counter where you could order pizza. The bar area was basically just a counter in front of the fermenters. It was pretty busy when we went in on a friday night.

We didn’t try the food but the pizzas looked good, can’t say much more about it than that. We tried the beer sampler of everything they make. It was actually 2 samplers of 6 different beers. Didn’t think much of the hefe, the regular pale and IPA were alright. The coffee beer might be popular with the coffee drinkers but I personally didn’t like it much. Basically the beers are decent (though with a few bad ones).

The service was pretty good; the bartender and the waitress were pretty helpful. I enjoyed the place and will probably stop in again at some point. We spent $34 on 24 samples of beer and 2 pint glasses + tip. Not bad.“
t0rin0 2903 days ago
72 /100 6416 IRVINE BLVD
“Small but acceptable draft selection. Fairly basic stuff like Stone IPA, some Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, and a local tap or two. Bottles include the Belgian stand-bys and a handful of American beers, too. This place is more of a restaurant, though. Burgers and fries are quite good, but can get a little pricy depending on how you order. Good service and a nice ambiance, though.“
brokensail 2913 days ago
74 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Been here a bunch for work functions and a couple times just to eat. The typical enormous beer selection, most of which doesn’t rotate. They do have some good stuff that you can usually count on, though. Food is pricey though usually pretty good. I really only go here when I’m not paying. Place gets really loud, though, which I’m not a fan of.“
brokensail 3007 days ago
70 /100 13130 JAMBOREE RD
“Pretty straightforward experience here. A BJ’s is a BJ’s, afterall. Well done interior, decently friendly (though slightly clueless waitstaff), mediocre house beers, and the same food everywhere. Kind of on the expensive side for what you get. This is one of the nicer ones, though.“
brokensail 3007 days ago
54 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“I’ve come here a handful of times and it gets worse each time. The house beers are typically awful, the atmosphere in the bar area is depressing, and the service is just kind of meh. Not really worth it unless you’re a serious ticker.“
brokensail 3007 days ago
74 /100 15315 CULVER DR, STE 190
“Fairly decent as far as BevMo’s go. They tend to get the various Firestone and Deschutes special releases, and the like. Service is sufficient; I don’t really ever ask for help in a BevMo. Like most BevMo’s, I really only go if there’s something specific I’m looking for that I know they have.“
brokensail 3007 days ago
54 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“I really wish I had known this was cash only before I visited. Located in the UCI City Center, it took me a while to find the place. Once there I ordered a beer from the bar but had no way to pay since I didn’t have cash and had to leave. The food smelled good and I liked the laid back vibe.“
Dixonian 3069 days ago
66 /100 13290 JAMBOREE RD
“The restaurant is fairly nice by all accounts, particularly on the inside. The outdoor area is a place where people can bring their dogs--hence the Lazy Dog. I am a bit unsure as to how to feel about this. We sat outside because it was a nice day, but some of the people were rather obnoxious with their animals and their attention to them (or lack there of). If nothing else, this was an interesting people watching experience. The house beers are brewed by Bayhawk (Hefeweizen and Porter), and Firestone Walker (Blonde, Pale Ale, and Amber). They range from decent to not good. There are also about 10 other beers on tap with the usual BMC along with some more familiar craft offerings. The food menu is rather eclectic with options varying from "Asian inspired" to the hamburger to pizza to salads. Normally with so many options, the quality suffers, but the food was actually pretty good. I had the Portabello Pita sandwich (good, but not outstanding). The prices aren’t too bad for beer or food, either. I wouldn’t mind stopping in here again, I just would opt to sit inside next time.“
brokensail 3102 days ago
70 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“This is the first Yard House location I ever visited and is partially responsible for opening my eyes to what good beer is and can be. I know enough about beer now to know that they don’t get anything rare or spectacular but always have a few go to brews on tap. The food is phenomenal and they have decent happy hour specials. This location has decent wait staff but no one really knows much about beer outisde the typical "light and dark".“
Dixonian 3372 days ago
100 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“Best real beer selection in the area and lots of people who love beer. Awesome regulars and hot bartenders.“
catt 3615 days ago
90 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“I transferred to UCI during the relocation of the Pub so I never caught the old one. I have to say the new pub has been salvific in making my time at UCI bearable. I may have a slight bias since this is a place I feel like a regular but I rate it after visiting a decent amount of places, in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties. In the city of Irvine itself this pub is definitely the best place to grab a beer in town. Don’t let the on campus status of the place deter you, if you want to miss the rush of 21 year old obnoxious fledgling drinkers you can do it easily by avoiding happy hour. By 8pm most of them have usually cleared out with the exception of nights of major sporting events. Early lunch hours and post lunch rush are also lulls that can avoid the younger bum-rush. Food here is solid for a pub, it’s fairly deep fryer centered but it goes well with the beer. My value rating is based on beer pricing, food is a bit pricey but if you can afford it I feel it’s one of the best eateries on UCI’s actual campus. Beer pricing is some of the best I have found in orange county given the quality. Sure there are solid dives in Tustin that are a bit more affordable but beer quality is sacrificed. Elsewhere I find any place offering a decent or comparable selection charge 6 to 7 dollars a pint so from what I’ve found thus far the pricing here is great.. The beer selection is phenomenal for the size of the place. Scott puts quite a bit of time in keeping the place well stocked with high quality micro-brews. He also maintains a good seasonal rotation. Every beer enthusiast I’ve met there is always wearing a huge smile when facing the menu. The only reason I dock anything from the score regarding selection at all is simply due to space constraints. Storage space limits how many beers are on tap, regardless of this if you’re seeking a great quality beer from any end of the spectrum you’ll likely not be disappointed here. So long as i live in the area I imagine I’ll continue to frequent this pub, the place is usually what I compare other bars, pubs, breweries and beer gardens to. Also, parking expenses can be avoided with a small walk. Closer parking would be nice but I feel like students would exploit it.“
BryonS7 3649 days ago
88 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“I first walked into this pub 8 years ago. It was in a different location and had pool tables and a patio, but other than those perks, the new pub is as good or better than the old location in every way. For one thing, the new pub, has several flat screen TVs and more seating. When you consider the beer selection and the 7PM happy hour cutoff and the prices, there is really no other option in Orange County. College campus or not, this is the place to be for beer drinkers of any age. Among the great beers served on tap recently: Stone Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Alesmith Wee Heavy, Pliny the Elder, Stone Vertical Epic and all for great prices. Those are just my personal poisons. I’m sure any beer aficionado will easily find something worth quaffing. Still rustic, still affordable, and still a swill-free zone after all these years.“
mcbeyond 4014 days ago
66 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“(Visited 07/2008): Lamppost/Back Street is located on Culver drive not too far from I-5 in a strip mall, and I actually had trouble finding it the first time I went by. Parking is plentiful in the lot.

The outside is not much to look at, and there is a small patio. The interior is segmented into a bar and a pizza place. The bar is on the left and runs almost the whole length of the place. They use a chalkboard hung across from the bar seats to show what they have.

The beer selection is decent. Back Street has 7-8 beers on draught including a couple seasonals, and they are available in a sampler. The beers are above average for the most part.

Service was good on weekday evening. The bartender was friendly and able to explain the beers available.

We did not try any food on this visit.

Overall I don’t think Pizza Port will ever feel threatened by this place but it’s a decent stop in the Irvine area. “
Dogbrick 4253 days ago
72 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Huge place with a TON on tap, unfortunately not a ton of good stuff. There wasn’t much I hadn’t tried, but they did have St. Bernadus ABT 12. Gotta love that! For the newbie to craft beer, it would be quite a great place to visit. Lame sample policy though. The have 2 pre selected lists with around 5 beers each to choose from and that’s it. You can’t pick and choose what you want to sample. Good and interesting food and we got lucky with a fun and spunky waitress who was pretty knowledgable.“
AgentSteve 4295 days ago
70 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Very helpful waitress. Very wide selection, but mostly crap. Had a few great beers and even less I wanted to try.“
fidel 4296 days ago
80 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“Stopped by recently to check out the new re-opened Anthill Pub. The Pub smells and looks brand new, but is currently lacking much atmosphere & uniqueness. Still a good place to sample a great selection of California mico brews and other no swill beers. Hit up happy hour from 4-7pm for even better deals.“
hoffshow 4469 days ago
66 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Rather large Yardhouse. As usual, there are about a million taps, but only a few are any good. I had Anderson Valley David’s Triple and Fransiskaner Dunkel. Pricey food, but you have to know that when you go to Yardhouse. “
fordest 4567 days ago
90 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“The Pub is on its way back, opening in September of this year. Though I will not be part of the management team, Scott Winterstein, my former manager, will be running the show. Expect the same tap beer selection (i.e. Alesmith, Stone, Hoptown, North Coast, etc.) and upgraded food provided by tri-tip champion Tim Haskell.“
theoryhead 4923 days ago
64 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Went to this one st. patricks day of last year so it wasvery busy. They have a ton of taps with some very good stuff. they have all the crap as well, but you just have to ignore that. I cant remember exactly what I had, I think I had delirium nocturnum, maybe great white, and st. bernardus abt 12 on draft. I had a pretty good time. i’d go back.“
mgumby10 5020 days ago
66 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“The greatest thing about this place is the spectacle of 100+ tap handles located behind the bar. I used to get frustrated with the large beer selection because there are far too many pale lagers and amber ales littering the menu. Recently, they have added a few new belgian styles to spice up their menu a bit. I hope they will add a few more local brews to their menu in the future and offer a bigger selection of porters, stouts, and IPAs as well. The food is good, but its usually so busy visiting here on a Friday or a Saturday is definitely out of the question. Too bad they discontinued the novel of ordering beer by the yard. The 1/2 yard serving is still pretty cool, but not the same novelty as the full yard glass.“
awaisanen 5219 days ago
62 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“Small, quiet place thats usually teeming with baseball fans that have just finished competing at the city fields located near by. Every once in awhile, a unique and somewhat uncommon style can be found on tap depending on the season. This place is infinitely better than the majority of chain brewpubs found in the area, as the beers are all decent examples of their styles. The pizza is pretty good too, and I love to catch my favorite sporting events that I can’t get with my limited cable subscription while hanging out here.“
awaisanen 5219 days ago
76 /100 13130 JAMBOREE RD
“The best BJ’s I’ve been in yet. Of couse La Mesa leaves a lot to be desired. Much better selection of beer, and barkeeps that know what they are talking about.“
fordest 5244 days ago
70 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“nice place, good food, a nice patio, lots of tvs to watch. Service was good, selection was good, but the beer w/ the exception of the IIPA was pretty blah.“
MIBRomeo 5339 days ago
64 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“Had a BBQ sandwich. It was good and very cheap. The potato salad was also good. Good service. All but "The Hopfather" were bland boring beers.“
1FastSTi 5339 days ago
50 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“Yes, it looks cool to get 1/2 and full yards of good beer. But this place is expensive and overrated. On top of that, they won’t let you get the higher ABV beers in the big sizes. Sure you can order as many pints as you want, but no yards? They do have a decent selection and some good food though, but the crowds keep me out.“
BigBastard 5560 days ago
74 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“Sadly is no more at this moment. They are closed for renovations. But, I’m looking forward to their reopening because this was the place for great beer cheap! Also the only place to get Craftsman brews in Orange County.“
herbjones 5612 days ago
62 /100 13130 JAMBOREE RD
“Probably the best chain brewpub on the west coast. Your not gonna find much variation from place to place with the exception of a special brew here or there. Food is good to great. Very kid friendly.“
herbjones 5612 days ago
64 /100
Yard House - Irvine (Restaurant)
600 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE
“This has the normal range of Yardhouse beers, which is a good selection. However, it is extremely loud inside.“
JohnC 5623 days ago
76 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“There beers are pretty bland. None have any hop flavor. Pizza Port blows ’em out of the water.“
PieTaster 5883 days ago
38 /100 14450 CULVER DR
“I am hard pressed to find a worse brewpub. All that comes to mind is Sport City in La Jolla, CA. I didn’t obviously care for any of their beers. The good thing was an outdoor patio.“
Eyedrinkale 6061 days ago
68 /100 13130 JAMBOREE RD
“Note: BJ’s have locations in Irvine, Brea & Laguna Hills. Very good food & service. BJ’s is a chain, so it’s worth checking their website for other locations. Some have cask nites. Their house brews are all pretty good. They are family-friendly.“
JohnC 6130 days ago
84 /100 200 STUDENT CENTER
“This is a hidden gem. BTW, their website is now http://www.ags.uci.edu/anthill/ They have declared themselves a "macro free zone", so no BMC!! Great prices, nice variety of micros. Cask nites. The only down side is having to pay $5 to park at UCI. The food is average pub grub.“
JohnC 6130 days ago