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Bar with wide selection of Belgians on tap?

I'll come right out and say it - I'm not the biggest fan of IPAs. There, let the stoning begin :)

Sometimes, it seems rather tough not being a hophead in these parts. So, fellow CHers, where can I go to get my Belgian beer fix? I'm looking for stuff like Tripel Karmeliet, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Maredsous Dubbel/Triple, Gouden Carolus, Orval... is there a bar that has a large selection on tap? Failing that, what about bottles?

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  1. Toronado in North Park, and O'briens on Convoy. They are your best bet. They both have a good amount of bottles, as does Hamilton's in South Park. Small Bar has had Abt 12 recently as well.

    Many of the other beer bars have a good supply of Belgian bottles to make up for the lack of drafts.

    1. Also Hamilton's in South Park. I used to go fairly often, but have stopped going there because it is just far too loud and uncomfortable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: notjustastomach

        ....not to mention dark as a cave!!! ;)

      2. Belgian beer on draft is less common here than you might expect. O'Brien's, Hamiltons, and Toronado all have large Belgian bottle selections. Those are the places I'd go.

        1. Stone in Escondido has about 50 taps and at least of few of them are Belgians. Your best bet would be to use Tap Hunter. With a bit of driving, you should be able to access quite a few Belgian beers. Have fun!


          8 Replies
            1. re: steveprez

              Hey, that reminds me...does anyone know where I can get a decent kolsch on tap?

                1. re: Josh

                  Josh, sometimes I could strangle you, but this had me ROFL this morning :D

                  1. re: Josh

                    A Berliner would strongly disagree, Josh. Kölsch is a regional beer of Köln (Cologne). I've read that a few microbreweries in the U.S. have become quite good at reproducing this brew. This being the San Diego board I figured someone here might actually be able to point me to a source a bit closer than central Europe.

                    1. re: nileg

                      Sorry, it was a joke.

                      Mission Brewing used to make a great Kolsch with their previous brewer, but he's no longer brewing there.

                      Ballast Point's Yellowtail Pale Ale is technically a kolsch.

                      1. re: Josh

                        >Mission Brewing used to make a great Kolsch with their previous brewer, but
                        >he's no longer brewing there.

                        Sorry to hear that.

                        >Ballast Point's Yellowtail Pale Ale is technically a kolsch.

                        Perhaps, but in my opinion it's a shade and a half better than meh. About two years ago I met a friend at the Gordon Biersch brewery in Mission Valley for a chat and they actually had a pretty decent kölsch. I was quite surprised. Of course I haven't seen it there since.

                        I was introduced to kölsch while dining out during a business trip to Cologne, where it is served in tall, thin 20 cl glasses carried to your table on giant circular trays packed with filled glasses. The locals were quite proud of their namesake beer and made sure I had plenty of it. Good stuff.

                    2. re: Josh

                      You must be thinking of a Berliner-weisse.

                2. Try Small Bar on PArk Blvd, near the intersection of Adams. They have a great selection and good food too.

                  1. O'Briens and Toronado are great places to start. I know they are were pouring Malheur 10 and 12 recently. This beer shouldn't be missed. I guess it was one of Michael Jacksons (beer critic)favorites. Obreins has the Malheur brut and dark brut in 750's all the time.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mmjgam

                      Ritual Tavern IIRC seemed to have a very nice Belgian list. Across the street from Toronado so you get a twofer.

                      Now where'd I put my war rocks...

                      Ritual Tavern
                      4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                    2. If you or anyone else finds Oerbier anywhere in San Diego, notify me immediately.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jmtreg

                        Oerbier is sold in bottles at places like Holiday Wine Cellar and Pizza Port's bottle shop. You *may* be able to find it at South Bay Drugs.

                        South Bay Drugs
                        779 Palm Ave, Imperial Beach, CA

                      2. Representing North County, try Encinitas Ale House.

                        1. O'Briens is having a Belgian Beer event during San Diego Beer Week on Sat 11/6:

                          O'Brien's Pub will host a night of amazing Belgian beer on tap with lots more great beer available in the bottle. Malheur 10 and 12 will be on tap for sure with hopefully some Rodenbach Vintage and Boon Kriek. There will be lots of rare Belgian bottles released just for this day including Drie Fonteinen Kriek and Geuze! Look for great food specials as well.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JRSD

                            Thanks for the heads up. Marked it on my calendar - will definitely be there. I really love lambics.

                          2. Does your belgian have to come from Belgium? If it is belgian yeast based then lots o possibilities exist. Pizza port and Lost Abbey in particular do several belgians. If I am correct, port Carlsbad won best belgian at the gabf last week.

                            The Lost Abbey
                            155 Mata Way Suite 104, San Marcos, CA

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: SeanT

                              Certainly not - I've been enjoying Lost Abbey's Red Barn and Abbey ales, but only in bottles so far. I read about PP Carlsbad's nice medal haul at the GABF, but really haven't seen any of Pizza Port's stuff around in the few months I've been here - I gather they only serve stuff at their place up in Carlsbad? Only problem with that is that it's quite a schlep to get there...

                              The Lost Abbey
                              155 Mata Way Suite 104, San Marcos, CA

                              1. re: shouzen

                                You can try the Pizza Port's in Solana Beach and/or Ocean Beach. They typically "share" beers with other Pizza Ports and also have guest brews.