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Ocean Lab Brewing Company

October 10, 2019

  • 7000 Carr. 187 RR2
  • Carolina, PR 00979
  • (787) 404-8070
  • Website
  • Menu

J nailed it.  Leave it to me to find the brewery whenever we travel.

It wasn’t actually me though.  J noticed a sign for Ocean Lab Brewing Company when we were walking back from lunch at Punk Burger Bistro Bar on Ashford Avenue in Condado.  She thought at first that sign she saw was the actually brewing but it was just a sushi place that served the beer….but that did set me on the path to figure out where Ocean Lab is.

The brewery is actually just outside on San Juan on the outskirts of Carolina.  Ocean Lab Brewing Company is part of Vivo Beach Club on PR 187 in the Isla Verde area of Carolina near the airport.  We grabbed an Uber from our hotel. It took about 15 minutes to get out to the club.  The parking lot is gated and there is a charge to park there.  Our driver told them he was an Uber driver and they let him pass so he could take us right up the entrance to the club.

The main restaurant area of the brewery is up three flights of stairs.  The set up of the beach club is pretty cool.  There are a couple levels of couches that overlook the pool area and the main stage.  There’s a great view of the Atlantic Ocean and we happened to walk in just as the sun was setting.  When there are shows, you can sit on any of the levels and get service from the restaurant but since we were there on a non-show night just for dinner, we went all the way up to the restaurant level.

The restaurant level is opened up to the elements on nice nights and it was nice the night we were there. The tap room is pretty dark with just string lights providing the lighting for the area.  There are large, communal pub tables in the center of the space and smaller two tops near the railing overlooking the pool.  The large bar and open dance area is in the back of the restaurant.

I didn’t even ask about flights I just went straight to the hoppy beers on the menu.  Hop Driver sounded like a hoppy beer and the waitress confirmed it was.  It’s a Double IPA that was a little dry and a little woodsy but I really was happy just to have something that assaulted my taste buds.

J went with the fruit beer on the menu since there weren’t any ciders.  She picked Ocean Blue.  The fruit flavoring is provided by blueberries which made it slightly sweet.

We both went for round two when our meals came.  This time I went lighter with the Oktoberfest Marzen.  It’s solid for the style but I was pretty stuffed by the time I even ordered this so I don’t think I was able to finish it.

J’s second beer was Mambo.  This one’s a wheat beer. I told her it’d be similar to Oberon.  It is but not quite as citrusy.  She enjoyed it though.

Both the hostess and the waitress told us they just launched a new menu and they were really excited about it.  I picked the Brewmaster Cheeseburger.  This large burger came on a brioche bun served on a large chunk of wood.  The sandwich is topped with an Ocean Lab Brown Ale spiced fondue, pickled red onions, and a garlic aioli. I added on bacon which added $1.50 to the price of the meal.   I always hate to say things are the best I’ve ever had but this burger may just well be the best one I’ve ever had.  It was so good and the thing that made it so good was the quality of the meat.  Every single bite had a salty, crispy exterior and a juicy, slightly pink middle.  I was literally smiling every time I took a bite because I couldn’t believe how good it was.  The sandwich came with a side of skin on fries on the side. They were better than anything else we had while in Puerto Rico but still tasted better with a little bit of mustard.

J’s pick was the Fried Chicken Sandwich.  This sandwich started with a super juicy, tender piece of chicken topped with melted cheese, a bacon jam, and a garlic aioli.  It came on a brioche bun with a side of fries.  J was also pretty amazed at just how good this sandwich was.  Biting through the chicken was almost like biting in to a warm stick of butter.  There was no resistance.  The chicken was fried crispy on the outside and so soft and moist all the way through.  Like me, she needed a little more for the fries but she chose ketchup instead of mustard.

The cost of our meal was a little over $56 before tip.

Ocean Lab Brewing Co. was worth the trip outside of our little bubble around the San Juan Marriott Resort.  The beer was by far the best I had on this trip and the food was amazing.  My mouth is still watering thinking about that burger.  I just couldn’t believe how good it was.



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