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Highpoint in Ocean Beach

Posted: November 18th, 2016 | Bars & Happy Hours, Columns, Featured, Food & Drink | No Comments

By Dr. Ink | Come on Get Happy!

It’s touted as the tallest outdoor patio on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, which becomes indisputable once you gaze beyond the ledge with a beer under your nose and look down at all the other rooftops in the vicinity. The ocean and the palm trees in front of it steal the view, and you suddenly feel as though you’re on top of the world.

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Fried pickles with blue cheese crumbles

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The Long Time Coming cream ale

OB Brewery opened in July to the tune of three floors and at least a half-dozen beers made onsite. Each is produced in 18-keg batches, so they tend to stick around longer compared to the nearly 15 outside labels occupying the guest taps.

Those undergo rapid rotation, and most are local. On a recent afternoon, the list revealed Stingray IPA by Coronado Brewing Company; a pilsner by Barrel Harbor Brewing; and the wildly sour Quad Raven from Stumblewood Brewing Company.

But it was the Long Time Coming house brew that seemed like a good palate quencher on this hot, autumn afternoon. As with all the other beers sold here, most priced at $6 a pint, they’re $2 off during happy hour.

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OB Brewery’s top floor is a draw. (Photos by Dr. Ink)

A fine cream ale it was — not overly fizzy, and finishing with a wisp of sweetness from agave. The other house choices included an oatmeal stout (Night Moves), a red ale with orange zest (Salt Water Crocodile) and an obligatory IPA named Hop on Board.

A tap takeover by New English Brewing was occurring the day of my visit, and I was able to sneak in a couple of tasters, courtesy of the general manager who was working the mini bar on the top deck. A guy next to me was sampling the same brews as me, and uttered an apt description for the nitro Barrel Brown aged in whiskey barrels.

“It’s like drinking a Guinness and a shot of whiskey together,” he said.

I wholly agreed while noticing the beer’s boozy nose right off the bat.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-2-57-33-pmSeveral appetizers tailor-made for beer drinking are available for $5 during happy hour, such as garlic-spiked hummus, Sriracha-honey wings and fried pickles.

I ordered the latter, a deluxe recipe featuring buttermilk batter, blue cheese crumbles, a flurry of chives, and stone-ground mustard aioli on the side. The pickle slices were big and fat and pretty much filled the deep serving bowl.

In a city that cries for more rooftop decks, OB Brewery is a delightful addition to the neighborhood’s main drag. It is the brainchild of Mike Tajran, who also owns Newport Pizza across the street.

With numerous seating options from top to bottom, Tajran and his team will soon be turning the second level into a game lounge that will include shuffleboard, foosball and popular table games.

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