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

Latest reviews from San Clemente

78 /100
The Cellar (Restaurant)
“Visited at lunchtime on Friday 15th March 2019. Minute patio out front, a small front room selling cheese, coffee and out sales; this leads into the larger back room where the actual bar is. Stone floor, dark and classy, long high backed bench against the wall on your right, the bar to your left. Huge selection of wines available, 6 changing taps for beers, an interesting bottle/can selection covering a good few styles, about 25 different options. My server was a pleasant young lady and the clientele were almost all tall long legged blondes from a human Barbie mold and drinking soft drinks or wine. Just one fat bloke from Shropshire drinking beer! I liked it, not cheap and obviously a wine bar really, but their beers were fine. It's only about 500 yards from Pizza Port, which is where I went next. Polar opposite in operation and looks but both worthy of visiting when in San Clemente. You would take a lady here and your mates to Pizza Port.“
BlackHaddock 767 days ago
86 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Visited at lunchtime on 17th July 2014, again in 2017, 2018 and my latest was 15th Mar 2019.I have changed the write up a little but my scores have stayed the same, it's a very good place to sit and people watch while having a diverse selection of beers on tap. Bar and brewing equipment one end, a mirrored wall and benches the other end, in between there is a spiral staircase with the kitchen and food counter behind it. Fading whitewashed walls and red tiled floor. Upstairs is a smaller bar and more tables and seating, a car park on the roof. Out front are two covered patio areas. Mixed bunch of customers, the bar tenders are always fine, no table service. Beer and food in great shape, 14 of their own in house brews on tap with 14 more guests, 1 cask offering. I like the vibe of the place.“
BlackHaddock 767 days ago
76 /100 924 CALLE NEGOCIO, STE C
“Visited late Wed afternoon on 10th Jan 2018. Nice vibe to the place, the brightest of the local brewpubs we have seen so far. Liked the lay out and the upper level provided extra space, although it wasn't required during our stay as it was not very busy. 14 taps on, we had 13 of them, all in good order. Taco stall outside, we had a selection of those for a snack, complimented the beers nicely.“
BlackHaddock 1196 days ago
“Visited on Wed 10th Jan 2018 with the wife, daughter, grand daughter and son-in-law. Fairly quiet at 16:00 but began to fill soon after. Pleasant chap serving, we shared a Flight before ordering pints. Open plan with an outside drinking area too. 10 taps behind the small bar, enough inside seating for 6 groups, easy access to the brewing equipment. Laid back sort of place, pizza from the guy out front was good, as were the beers.“
BlackHaddock 1196 days ago
72 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“Visited on Saturday 30th Dec 2017, arrived around 14:30 and it was very quiet, picked up a bit by the time we left. 18 or so of their beers on tap inside a basic bar. Plenty of space with bar stools, high tables and usual height stuff too. No food but the Bar-B-Que guy outside was steaming away and serving at 16:00, we had eaten already though. Beer quality fine, staff fine, just preferred Docent Brewing where we had been before.“
BlackHaddock 1208 days ago
72 /100 924 CALLE NEGOCIO, STE C
“Lost Winds has been open about 9 months and I took the opportunity on my drive up to LA today to check it out. They are not far off I-5 and the stop made for a nice break from the traffic. Located in an Industrial/Business Park, they are a small facility but make maximum use of their space, having a loft area with additional seating and a shuffleboard table. There were 13 beers on tap with half being Pale/IPA. Though each we’re different I would enjoy a bit more variety. The service was prompt, even when s line formed. I found the beers all good with no flaws and enjoyed the laid back atmosphere.“
BeerandBlues2 1346 days ago
82 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Visited for dinner on a Monday night with a party of 10 with kids, and another night for just beers. On one of the main streets of San Clemente, easy to find. Parking is on the roof, which is accessed on the street above the entrances. Fairly standard Pizza Port setup with food ordering straight ahead when you enter on street level. Beers are ordered at the bar near the brewing equipment on main floor, or from the larger bar on the second level. Picnic table seating on two levels, outdoor seating also available on front patio or second floor patio. Beer selection is 15 guest beers, maybe 20 Pizza Port beers. As is always the case, tons of great beers available. Cans are available to go in the first floor cooler, including two different mix packs which was great for the vacation. Cool vibe, local families, tourists and folks out for the night all intermingling and having fun.

82 = ★★★½ (Solid place, near the top of the list for locals and visitors)

I only use the total score, not the component parts.“
theisti 1568 days ago
“Visited around dinner time on a Friday. Just up the hill from Lost Winds. Not that well marked at night, turn at the Allsize storage sign then it’s right in front of you. Smaller tasting room, small bar right as you enter, then high top tables spaced throughout the brewery. I have never seen access to brewing equipment quite like this - people were literally leaning up against the equipment. Beer selection is 10 beers in a decent assortment styles. Available as 5 oz, 10 oz, pints and growlers. Had some bottles in the cooler to go. Locally, fun crowd. Food truck out front. Service was slammed, but still was fun, knowledgeable and happy.

76 = ★★★ (Worth the visit, must for locals, and visitors with time)

I only use the total score, not the component parts.“
theisti 1568 days ago
70 /100 924 CALLE NEGOCIO, STE C
“Visited around dinner time on a Friday. Just around the corner from Aritfex. Parking is on either side of the building. Brand new tasting room and brewery, with a very nice industrial design. The room is fairly narrow, though the space is used well with the brewery along one wall, the bar with seats on the other side, tables in one end of the room. My favorite part was the loft up above that had several more tables and seats at the rail overlooking the main room. Beer selection was 10 house beers, 6 of which were Belgian styles. Pick 6 flight is $12, we were able to get all 10 on 2 sample trays. Pints, individual tasters and growlers also available. Seemed like they were still dialing in the beer quality. Service was friendly and knowledgeable.

70 = ★★½ (Locals should check it out, visitors with extended time)

I only use the total score, not the component parts.“
theisti 1569 days ago
74 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Good pizza,super tasty beers...what else?“
Owl83 1687 days ago
86 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“Nice tap room.You can try most of their beer and get merchandise and fill your growler.“
Owl83 1687 days ago
76 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“MexiCali style building which is open and airy. Multiple rooms and levels with some hidden balconies. Service was very pleasant and a large selection of beers. Pizza was good as were the prices. Overall a nice stop.“
Ferris 1875 days ago
“This and commander in Co were the top 2 places I went to in the US. Small tap room in the industrial area of San Clemente. Good vibe to the place. Small snacks and no food trucks when I visited. Good attentive staff and easy to talk to. Beers were very spot on and easy to drink. Very cheap tasters and a lot fo different styles. Will be back when in San Clemente later this year.“
fletchfighters 1879 days ago
82 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Maybe a little too bright for me and too many kids but oh well. Pizza was top notch. A touch expensive but good for the money. Guest list was very good but came for the house beers which were wonderful. Good service at the bar. Highly suggested and very SOCAL in feel.“
fletchfighters 1879 days ago
“We came here on 19.2.2016. Small brewery in an industrial estate location. Food truck with very nicely looking burgers in front of the tap room. Service was great, gave us some beers for free. Brewers are coming from Stones and Pizza Port. No surprise beers were quite good. We had a few IPA’s, a Schwarzbeer and a Wheetbeer, all had great quality. Liked the place a lot and we will come back.“
Schlenkerla 1888 days ago
“This is a pretty chill tasting room in San Clemente, with 10-12 draft offerings, a nice outdoor seating area, and pretty solid beers. Cheap tasters are available for ticking, and it looks like they have a food truck parked right outside most evening. We visited on a Friday night, and it was busy but not packed. Service was great, never an issue waiting too long at the bar, and the bartender was chatty, but not overbearing. Worth stopping in if you’re driving up this way or if you’re doing the San Clemente beer tour.“
blipp 2078 days ago
82 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Very similar beach community feel as carlsbad. Food is good as was the beer.“
mikem409 2152 days ago
“Small tap room in industrial building. Nice little patio decent ipa.“
mikem409 2152 days ago
66 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“Small industrial setting tap room. Average beer. No food.“
mikem409 2152 days ago
72 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“My original rating here was not too favorable but on a subsequent visit I reassessed and uploaded a new review. The beer selection is smaller than other PP locations, or so it seems to me. The pizza is pretty good and the open air restaurant concept fits the SoCal life perfectly.“
BeerandBlues2 2192 days ago
“We visited this brewery tasting room on a sunny CA Sunday afternoon and enjoyed ourselves on the patio. The house beers are good and display nice variety. There is some food but only chips/salsa/guacamole mainly. The service was prompt and pleasant each time I ordered a new beer at the bar.“
BeerandBlues2 2192 days ago
“Cool tasting room, inland from San Clemente. Decent to pretty good house beers in a west coast/hoppy fashion. Quite small tasting room and parking can get quite full. Fun place with friendly service. Worth a stop after Pizza Port.“
BMan1113VR 2201 days ago
Date. . . . . . . . . . ..2.7.15
Type. . . . . . . . . . ..Brewery Tasting Room
Location. . . . . . . .Strip Mall east of Interstate 5, 5min from downtown San Clemente
Prices. . . . . . . . . ..$2 Tasters
Tap Selection. . . .11 House Beers + Cask
Bottle Selection. .None
Full Bar. . . . . . . . .No
Samplers. . . . . . ..Yes
Full Pours. . . . . . .Yes
Beer Level. . . . . ..Excellent
Food Level. . . . ...None, Food Truck Possibility
Staff. . . . . . . . . . ..Extremely Outgoing
Growlers. . . . . . ...Yes
Noise Level. . . . ..Lively
Décor. . . . . . . . . ..Modern Wood Panel
Good for Kids. . ..No
Parking. . . . . . . ...Private Lot
Cash Only. . . . . ..No
Recommended. ..Yes
Comments: Artifex is in a similar boat to Bagby. This is a Pizza Port trained brewer going solo and doing things right. Whereas Bagby has an incredible location, interior space, food, and full wait staff; Artifex is your normal brewery tasting room secluded from the town center’s main drag. However, Artifex’s beer quality is top notch whereas Bagby’s is still going through some growing pains. Practically every beer on tap here was superb with some absolute knockouts including my highest rated Irish Red Ale and Brown Ale to date; and some incredible hoppy pale beers. Styles ranged from Schwarzbier to cask Belgian blonde. Attenuation, hopping, carbonation, etc. were all flawless. In a way, it seems like all the best lessons learned from Pizza Port can be found ingrained in the Artifex recipes minus the silly styles that Pizza Port makes to cater to the lowest common denominator like California Honey and Chronic. The staff here was incredibly outgoing and wife and I had more fun here than at any other brewery in recent memory. We will be back and now when I see Artifex on tap in my neck of the woods, I won’t hesitate.“
GT 2262 days ago
62 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Cool laid back place. Food is great, beer is better, sunshine is the best. Really cool building. Wait staff could use some enhanced social skills.“
bwa5879 2282 days ago
“Visited December 6, 2014.

I had to stop in San Clemente anyway so this was a logical next stop (after Mexican food). It’s right down the hill from the Left Coast facility, so it makes a convenient 1-2 combo. They have a smallish tasting room but it’s a nice place. Actually the building and brewing setup are fairly large but the tasting area is really just the one corner of the building. There is some patio seating outside too. The major downside was the skunk spray that really stunk the place up. Can’t really hold that against them but it was definitely distracting. As it turns out the brewer here used to brew for Pizza Port Solana Beach. He was our bartender and was very friendly.

They had nine different beers pouring and a nitro version of the Bog Trotter Irish red ale. The Hoppy Colada was probably the best. The No Name IPA and Rye-Diculous weren’t bad either. I got a kick out of the imperial oatmeal stout called Dave. I can now I say I’ve had the elusive Dave on tap, but not really. There’s also a Spaceballs reference on the menu: Dark Helmet. All around decent lineup.

Since I’m in San Clemente a few times a year I’ll stop back in at some point. Nice area and decent beer scene when you include Pizza Port.“
t0rin0 2316 days ago
“this is a new brewery not far off the Pico exit in San Clemente. When were there, they had 10 beers on tap. The two that stood out were a wet hopped APA and a toasted coconut black IPA. The others were decent. this will be "once in a while" place. Decent ambiance, nice folks“
JohnC 2341 days ago
“A little out of the way, but not too far from the freeway and just an exit or two before Pizza Port (if you’re heading south).

The tasting room is certainly on the small side. They have done a really nice job with the place, though. A few tables near the bar and a small ledge around the window to set a drink on. They also have a pretty neat patio area out front that was jam packed.

During my stop they had eight beers on tap. They charge about $2/taster pour and full pours are in the $6 range. Not horrible, not cheap either, though. The brewer was there serving drinks so he was helpful in answering questions about the beers. The beers were mostly decent, particularly their hoppy stuff. Other beers were just kind of meh.

Worth a stop at least once. Not sure I’d necessarily make it part of my normal least they had some pretty enjoyable beers though.“
brokensail 2396 days ago
68 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“We visited this brewery beginning of May 2014. Located a bit outside of St.Clemente in a kind of industrial area. The tap room is separated from the brewery, therefore brewery not present in the drinking area. Was quite crowded and not too easy to get our beers. Staff not very friendly. I liked the beers, especially their IPA’s are great and they have many of them. Due to the beer quality I recommend this place, although atmosphere and staff have improvement potential.“
Schlenkerla 2524 days ago
90 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Beer selection is the winning formula here. Great beachside atmosphere with very good pizza and salads. Only minor issues include noise (difficult to have a conversation) due to kids in bar and need to add a beer server to alleviate cue times.“
RealSclenkerla 2662 days ago
94 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“We visited the first time on 4.1.2014. I am a big Pizza Port fan and love their other 3 places as well. This brewpub is located in the beautiful San Clemente. You can enter the pub from two different levels, a nice bar upstairs. Walking down to the lower level you can see the great brewhouse. Downstairs you have a great view to the sea, especially beautiful during sunset. The bar is located directly in front of the brewhouse, which gives a great beer ambiente. Beers are great as in all Pizza Ports. Pizzas can be ordered at a separate counter. Compared to Carlsbad this pub is smaller and also a bit louder. Slightly prefer Carlsbad, however love this pub as well.“
Schlenkerla 2663 days ago
84 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Pizza needs work. Ceasar salad is good. I loved the beers. This is a Hop forward joint.“
mrhoppy 2666 days ago
74 /100
The Cellar (Restaurant)
“Visited December 5, 2013.

I didn’t even know about this place until recently, yet I’ve not only driven by it a few times I’ve even walked right by it a few times. It’s an interesting set up for sure. Located in downtown San Clemente, you’ll find plenty of rich kids and people that own multi-million dollar houses a little higher up the hill, but they’re all dressed like surfer bums. The people seemed nice enough but not being an owner of a $60,000 Mercedes made me feel out of place. This restaurant doubles as a bar and a deli. They serve food but most people were there either drink beer/wine or stopping in to take some cheese to go. You can try seven cheeses for $24, a charcuterie board for $17, or get your own meal from $10 to $25. I didn’t do any of that since we had just eaten up the street at Pizza Port.

The beer list is good. Actually, the bottle list is good. The tap list is small. I appreciate the presence of Chimay on tap as well as a real hefe (Paulaner) but there are only six taps to choose from and on this night they didn’t have a good IPA. Luckily I had just had a pint of Claudies at Pizza Port as well as a few samples of some hoppy beers so I was more in the mood for a hefe anyway, but this is southern California, get a good IPA on tap.

All in all this is a nice place and some day when my salary has an extra digit I might stop here more often. Until then I’ll eat at Pizza Port.“
t0rin0 2683 days ago
70 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Well, the brewpub doesn’t look much good, but it was sort of nice in there anyway. Quite a few exiting beers on tap, both their own and guest, and also quite a few rather boring ones. Not much service, but friendly what was there. A quite nice place, but not worldclass.“
yngwie 2808 days ago
84 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“No idea how I could have missed reviewing this place in the several dozen trips here. Most recently visited on April 27, 2013.

The beer is usually good, never bad but not always amazing. As with all Pizza Ports they do hoppy well. Ryan (the newest brewer) did a beer a coffee stout a while back that was very good for the style. Not sure if they make it anymore since it was made by the old brewer but the IPL / Claudie’s Lager was really good and I’d drink that every time I went if it was available. They usually have a few guest beers as well but those are pretty random and normally not anything I really care to drink (with the occasional exception of Pliny or Blind Pig).

The food is always good here, however fattening. Eat here, drink here, and walk to the beach from here. Complaints include food taking forever to get made, the place being packed, and the setting sun blasting you while you try to eat, oh and the food is not cheap.“
t0rin0 2914 days ago
76 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“Visited April 27, 1013.

Finally, they have a tasting room. For years I assumed that they only way to get their beers was at Oggis or the couple of bottled offerings that show up at Bevmo occasionally but it always confused me that a brewery that must make a ton of beer wouldnt have a tasting room. Sounds like the tasting room just opened a few months ago. Unfortunately it’s hidden in a warehouse at the far end of San Clemente. The good news is that it’s in San Clemente and that it’s only a few miles from Pizza Port.

Tried most of the dozen or so taps and surprisingly about 2/3 of them were new to me. They even had a barrel aged version of Voodoo, a pils, and a Berliner. Most of the beers were at least alright and I could see myself stopping in again sometime to see what’s new and since I am in the area a few times a year.

Prices were reasonable, service was friendly, and they had pretzels but no real food. I guess that is an excuse to head to Pizza Port afterwards (which is the next exit down 5).“
t0rin0 2914 days ago
78 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“Kind of hard to find as you have to go around the corner and to a separate building from where the actual brewery and Oggi’s/Left Coast sign is. Good sized tasting room with a nice open feeling to it. Long bar with plenty of tables. Service was quick and fairly friendly. Flights are 6 beers for 10 dollars, but you can also buy individual samples (most beers are $2), as well as full glasses. A handful of draft only beers as well as some of the typical bottled offerings. Cool place, but the beers aren’t that great.“
brokensail 2916 days ago
86 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Very cool beach town brewpub! Most of the Pizza Port locations can be classified as such, but you really can’t overstate how awesome it is to spend a day at the beach and then saunter over in your flip flops to a world class brewpub. Stellar! Great beers on tap. Very good pizza. Vacation destination at it’s best. Cheers!“
joeneugs 2919 days ago
86 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“We stopped by this Pizza Port location as we were doing a self guided beer tour of California. Nick was the man behind the bar and he made sure we were well taken care of. We had 2-3 samples in front of us at all times until we had sampled their whole line up of beers. The pizza was great. This was a great stop for us.“
Gription79 2937 days ago
100 /100 1245 PUERTA DEL SOL
“Had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at Left Coast Brewery’s new tasting room in San Clemente this past week. Left Coast is part of Oggi’s Brewing and they have some amazing beers coming up in the brewery only tasting room. Met with some of the family owner/operators and very personal and knowledgeable. I believe they will be open this week, evenings and weekends so check out their website for full details! Had a personal Brewery Tour and enjoyed learning about their variety of taps and upcoming offerings.“
Caposeashell 3001 days ago
82 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Not sure whats not to love here, odd double bar, pick up counter layout with surf boards and picnic tables a plenty.. good house beer, good guest taps, reasonable prices 10-20 dollars for varying size pizzas, bartender was willing to chat beer and be friendly, parking was no problem thanks to some great local tips. I really enjoyed it, the only thing to push this from an 80’s joint to a 90’s would be samplers of house beer in legit sample size glasses, not 2oz ones.“
jmikolich 3009 days ago
88 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Maybe this one is not the best but is the only one that i visited two times during my stay, loved it cause i think there is nothing like surfing in San clemente and then have a beer and a slice of pizza! The girl at the bar was very friendly and i bought a growler that i finished on the sea! For sure i’ll be back as soon as possible!!!“
iacopino_IpA 3113 days ago
92 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“The most elbow room and seemingly most comfortable of all the Pizza Ports. Like the others, a great selection of guest brews and their own made onsite. The brewery here is in the main room, directly behind the bar. Knowledgeable and helpful bartender. Kudos“
iankuhn 3149 days ago
70 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“similar in character to the other Pizza Port locations: open eating space, small bar, a mix of geeks and families having lunch, and a small outdoor patio to enjoy. 8-10 taps of Pizza Port offering with a small number of guest taps.“
3fourths 3174 days ago
90 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Like all the Pizza Ports, sort of an interesting mix of customers. Ranges from kids with their families to local beer lovers to degenerate drunks like myself. Service, food, and beer are always great. Always a good place to stop and have a beer and some pizza.“
brokensail 3186 days ago
88 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Neat variant of the Carlsbad location. Nice upstairs area with plenty of nooks for getting nice views of the area. Loads of good beer on tap and decent pizza. Visited during RBSG and the service was excellent for the amount of people they had descending on this place. Wee done!“
nbutler11 3191 days ago
78 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“Great place down the road from the ocean. Nice pizzas, good atmosphere outside and in, with a nice selection of beers including a few guests. Would like to go back and hang out a while.“
KyotoLefty 3196 days ago
82 /100 301 N EL CAMINO REAL
“The only pizza port with two floors! Otherwise pretty similar to the others although it does have a nice seating area on the outside by the entrance where you can watch the day slip away while you enjoy the excellent beers made there and the guest beers.“
peteinSD 3262 days ago
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