One of the reasons I dislike living in Minneapolis is that I am, door to door, 1,976 miles from O’Brien’s. This unassuming little pub in a strip mall featuring a Crab Hut and a Tapioca Express is about as humble as a bar can be, yet on any given weekday afternoon, there’s nary a parking space to be had, while sunburnt eccentric millionaires rub elbows with paint-spattered day laborers over pints of, unequivocally, the best beer in the world.
O’Briens is the throbbing heart of the astonishing southern California craft-brewing movement, out of which has come the first uniquely American Pale Ale, the hoppiest, bitterest, strongest beer there is. So smitten was I by it that when I wrote a review of a Minneapolis brew pub for a local paper, I spent two paragraphs on O’Brien’s.
So stop in. Say hello to the gentle giant Tom Nickel, proprietor. The place has become the Kearny Mesa branch of Rifftrax. And although it may be two thousand miles away, it’s my beloved local.
**Conor is passing on a request**
If you have a moment to spare, Tom Nickel’s weekly email newsletter has a request that I’d like to pass along. Let’s knock those Yard Housers off their high horse:
It is time again for the annual City’s Best voting at City Guide. While I am not a maniac about winning awards, I do care sometimes about who shouldn’t win awards. And right now Yard House is winning for Best Beer Selection in San Diego. I would encourage you to vote for anyone else rather than let the Yard House win. There is no way a chain pub from LA with a so-so selection of beer and multiple handles of every Macro brew you can think of can represent the best beer in San Diego. So regardless of who you vote for, please go vote here.