Knotty Brewing and Knotty Barrel Gastropub- San Diego (downtown)
Address: 844 Market Street | San Diego, California
Cost: Starters range from Fried Pickles to Ahi Poke and are priced from $8.00 to $12.00. Salads are $8.50 to $13.50. Mains are a selection of British “pub grub” dishes ($13.50-$19.00) and sandwiches ($10.00-$15.00). Desserts are $6.00 to $7.00.
Knotty Barrel Gastropub has daily specials that are a good value. Monday’s Daily Special is a tasty example: for $11.00 you get a Knotty Burger and one of the brewery-fresh beers brewed in-house by Knotty Brewing.
Knotty Barrel’s drinks menu has a selection of over 100 beers (draft and bottles) from $6.00 to $20.00, specialty cocktails ($9.00 to $11.00), and wines that are available by both the glass ($6.50-$9.50) and bottles ($25.00-$37.00).
About: Located in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood on the corner of 9th and Market, Knotty Barrel recently celebrated an anniversary (5 years in May) with a beautiful expansion and addition of an in-house brewery. The restaurant and brewery are three blocks from Petco Park. Their focus is on fresh and locally-sourced food and a relationship with craft beer. The vibe is fun, relaxing, and unpretentious.
According to Ken Lovi, President of the Knotty Barrel partnership, who has been owning and operating restaurants in San Diego for over 20 years, the gastropub team has always been passionate about beer. So, along with the restaurant expansion they decided to to get into the brewery business, and Knotty Brewing was born. Knotty Brewing is the sixth craft brewery to open in downtown San Diego.
Enter the front door from the street corner to the main room and bar. There is plenty of seating inside. Knotty wood planked walls warmly accent the beautiful back bar. The bar’s long top is covered with colorful beer labels from around the world. And mounted up high on every wall is at least one Plasma/HDTV for watching sports.
In a new game room adjoining the bar area there are more tables and chairs, darts, and more TVs. Some of the tables have game tops, and folding windows open onto Market Street and an outside patio.
Out back is Knotty’s Backyard, a new, dog-friendly outdoor space with xeriscape landscaping, its own bar, and a fire pit. It is a great addition to the restaurant and a perfect place to enjoy San Diego’s temperate weather.
Between the new game room and Knotty’s Backyard out back is the new 5-barrel brewery, Knotty Brewing. Donovan Lane, who used to be Head Brewer at Funky Bow Brewery in the woods of Lyman, Maine, is making the beer.
What I Ate: For my lunch I ordered the $11.00 Beer and Burger Special. It pairs a Knotty Burger with one of Knotty Brewing’s beers. The burger is served on a rectangular white plate accompanied by a brown bag filled with crispy shoestring fries, and cute little cup of ketchup. Cheese is optional, and I asked for a slice of English Cheddar to top the patty.
Knotty Barrel’s fresh kitchen only serves local local produce and natural meats. The Knotty Burger showcases adherence to quality by Chef Peres: fresh ground beef patty, bib lettuce, tomato, red onion, toasted Brioche bun. The burger was faultless.
What I Drank: Super Fresh Pale Ale (5.2% ABV), a malt-forward British-style pale ale. It has a malty and hoppy aroma and flavor, with hint of dried dark fruit. I like the body and clean finish. This beer makes your mouth feel good. It is perfect for pairing with any of Knotty Barrel’s burgers.
Likes: I loved the Beer and Burger special. Pairing the Knotty Burger with Knotty Brewing’s Super Fresh Pale Ale was outstanding. Both food and drink menus at Knotty Barrel are reasonably priced. The new game room and outdoor beer garden is well done. Service is excellent– professional, efficient, and courteous.
The Verdict: There is real culinary flair and passion for craft beer on display at Knotty Barrel. The burger and beers are delicious and I look forward to returning for and encore. Recommended.Share This: