The city of Vista always has been the home of Mother Earth Brew Co., but the 3-year-old brewery is returning to its roots when it re-opens its original and tasting room on Thibodo Road.
The grand opening is set for 4 p.m. today and will be open Thursday-Sunday.
Last year, Mother Earth moved into a larger downtown location on Main Street to accommodate its growing legion of followers. The Thibodo location remained as Mother Earth’s brewing facility, but it was closed to the public.
The move was a disappointment to some of the brewery’s original fans, many living in the surrounding Shadowridge community. Mother Earth promised to return, and now after some modifications, the brewery is doing just that. Owner Dan Love said he’s excited to have two tasting rooms, one being in the modest industrial park location just south of Highway 78 where it all started.
“Thibodo is for Shadowridge and it will attract a lot of the regulars,” Love said. “Main Street attracts a lot of new people to the brewery, so I don’t think Thibodo will detract from downtown.”
The Thibodo location has expanded to 5,500 square feet — the brewery took over the School of Rock next door — and will accommodate a new 20-barrel system, which should be operating by July, Love said.
All of Mother Earth’s iconic 1960s and ‘70s memorabilia still adorns the walls and now there are seating areas where there weren’t before.
“It still has the feel that people are used to, but it’s not just one big rectangular box like it used to be. Now it’s a bunch of little boxes with places to actually sit down,” Love said.
To commemorate the re-opening, Mother Earth brewed Thibodo IPA, bittered with Polaris and Galena hops and dry-hopped with Mosaic and Belma.
Meanwhile, Mother Earth continues to gain momentum, particularly with its bottling line.
In bottles alone, the brewery is producing 600-800 cases each month, and Love said he hopes to land a distribution contract by October.
“We’re growing every month,” he said. “We can’t produce enough to keep up with demand.”
As for awards, Mother Earth is racking those up too. Hop Diggity, its popular double IPA, was a Silver winner at the Denver International Beer Competition and a Bronze winner at the San Diego International Beer Competition.
A Belgian-style pale ale brewed by Vista resident Tim Taylor took top honors in Karl Strauss’ homebrew competition. The beer, named “Bleke Citroen,” will be brewed at one of the company’s brewery restaurants in August and then entered into the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competition this October.
41 entries were received, with second place awarded to Gonzalo J. Quintero for “Pickle Tickle,” an experimental pickle saison, and third place to Colin Weir for “Coco Starkbier,” a tropical, dark European lager with coconut. The recipes for all three winners are now up on the Karl Strauss website.
“The creativity and range of styles that we saw was really impressive,” says Matt Johnson, Head Brewer, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “The overall quality of the beers was outstanding—it was hard to narrow it down to only three winners!”
The company had six employees, including the Quality Control Manager, and two Certified Cicerones, judge the contest, as well as three guest judges.
Even politicians know great craft beer when they see it.
California Assemblyman Brian Maienschein named Urge Gastropub in Rancho Bernardo the 2013 Small Business of the Year for the 77th Assembly District.
“I am proud to recognize Urge as an outstanding business that has offered the residents of Rancho Bernardo and the surrounding communities a truly unique dining experience,” Assemblyman Brian Maienschein said in a statement. “Urge is a great place to spend time with family and friends, and I appreciate their commitment to the community.”
The annual California Small Business Day recognized Urge for its commitment to customer service and business ethics, as well as longstanding support of the community. Urge has donated more than $50,000 in gift cards and goods to local charities throughout Rancho Bernardo and Poway. Some of the beneficiaries include Home Aid San Diego, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and various youth organizations at Rancho Bernardo High School.
After the success of Bottled & Kegged: San Diego’s Craft Brew Culture at the San Diego History Center, which opened April 6 and runs until next January 20, the San Diego Museum of Man will debut its own beer-focused exhibit just down the road.
“BEERology (as we’re calling it) will open on August 24th and will run for at least a year,” said Hope Carlson, Chief Development Officer, in an e-mail to San Diego Brewers Guild members this afternoon.
“We’re telling the story of the history of beer around the world, from millet beers in China, to thick Sumerian beer, to the spit beers of South America, to the beer that built the Pyramid of Giza in Ancient Egypt, all the way up to the start of the craft that is now flourishing in San Diego.”
Brewers from overseas obviously enjoy San Diego beer. Just last week, Sebastian Sauer from Germany’s Freigeist Bierkultur visited Coronado’s brewpub to collaborate on a hoppy hefeweizen with brewer Ryan Brooks.
This week, Australian brewers Steve Brockman and Steph Cope will release the beer they created with Monkey Paw’s Cosimo Sorrentino and Chris West. The idea for Anzac, the “Aussie Pale Ale,” was born after the TwoBrewersAbroad.com bloggers/brewers met Monkey Paw’s owner Scot Blair at Societe Brewing Company’s tasting room.
Anzac, which debuts this Friday, has several Australian attributes: an Australian yeast strain from White Labs, Lyle’s golden syrup, hand-toasted coconut, and a malt bill with golden oats typically used in war-time staple, the Anzac biscuit (cookie) staple.
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that is equivalent to our Memorial Day in the U.S. Anzac Day is honored on April 25, but there were no big celebrations in San Diego. “We felt that we and our fellow expatriates deserve to celebrate our own fallen soldiers,” said Cope, “and what better way than a beer.”