Very cool place with amazing atmosphere. Great people and great beer. I stumbled in here about 1AM on my first night after flying into SD from the east coast...doing the SD craftbeer crawl all weekend. My goal the first night was simple...try my first Pliney and Blind Pig on draft. Got the Pliney at Toronado’s...but each bar sent me to another for the Blind Pig...this was my fourth and I was running out of luck...and time! No Blind Pig here...nonetheless...really glad I found this place...had a few beers...took a few great pix for my Instagram craftbeer account...and then headed off into the night with their recommendation I try Whistle Stop (Bingo! got my Blind Pig about 1:45AM!). I would come back here...for the beer of course...for the cool vibe...for all the interesting décor...for the great staff! Do the same!
Stopped in for a few brews based upon the good reviews here. They had a pool table in use. There was a friendly customer telling us about some of the beers. Unfortuneately for me and my friend, the tap handles were on the back wall and hard to read. As far as we could tell, there were about 20 handles of a good cross section of high quality beers. There was no beer list. Friendly bartender. We enjoy a couple and the bartender said while they had no food, there was a pizzeria a couple doors away we could bring in food from there. Neighborhoods a bit rough, while we were waiting for our taxi to return to squad cars arrived in a pincer movement and with lights flashing to do something in back.
Sunday night. Maybe 20 people other than me. Some hipster, some not. PBR 24ozers all around, but I am drinking a (slightly old) Alesmith IPA--can you even find fresh pints or bottles nowadays? Either way, it was five bucks. Gogol Bordello plays in the background, the "Stand By Me" song following. 24 taps--Curieaux, PP Midnight Sessions, Damnation, Racer 5, Bashah, Black Butte, and Delirium the standouts right now. Dark, divey, playing a DVD of Blazing Saddles, and that’s good enough for me. Also a fair amount of booze that you’d find at a regular bar, so non-beer geeks can be happy. Shit dude, they do have Anchor Old Potrero for six bucks a shot. Nice. Also, no BMC on tap. Pretty small. The bartender seemed to know his shit and was friendly enough. No food.
Live wire is a cool dive bar if you happen to end up there. Juke box aint half bad, the crowd is a bit hipster, but that’s ok. The beer selection isnt anything amazing but it certainly is one of the best dive bar beer selections...in fact, sometimes I find strange things on tap that I havent seen anywhere else.
Wish they’d expand the bottle list. I feel this place pulls of one of the most progressive beer programs I’ve ever been to. Yes you can get a PBR tall boy, but right along side Pliny the Younger, or St B abt 12. Seen them launch new breweries, Russian River Brewing’s 1st account in San Diego... and new brews from Airdale. No other beer bar around has cocktails, thus a friendly place if you are with someone who doesn’t want beer. No "food" on site but Pizzaria Louigies just moved in and Mama’s Bakery are within 25 feet and serve up great food for great beers. Not to mention prices. Day in and day out the cheapest prices in town on the best beers. Throw in the super comfortable bar chairs and booths and you’ve got a winner. More often than not i’ve walked in and seen a beer and said "wow they have this on tap, never even seen this on draft before". Great service to boot.
cazort (25) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | August 12, 2008
This place is certainly unique. For a little dive bar, this place has an amazing number of beers on tap. And for a beer specialty bar, this place is...well? A dive with a neighborhood feel. Being in a walkable neighborhood is a huge plus, and it’s right next to Mama’s wraps, if you want to get some kickass Lebanese food. Not only this, but their happy hour is $1 off ALL beers, 7 days a week, and lasts from 5-8PM. Talk about ideal! I love it! And they do have a great jukebox with some random old school music in it. People tell me that this place gets insanely loud later at night, but during happy hour times it is pretty laid back, so you can get whichever atmosphere you want! This place is really worth checking out.