Inside 57 Degrees wine bar just north of Little Italy, San Diegans Beau Schmitt and Kyle Chaykowski are feverishly putting together the county’s largest “locals only” tap selection. They’re calling it San Diego Brew Project, with the main goal being to create more exposure for the breweries they believe make us the beer capital of the United States.
Their plan is ambitious: 28 taps, two of which will continuously pour Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and a Stone IPA (could be Stone IPA one day, Stone Ruination IPA the next…), 80-90 local bottles that can be taken to-go or enjoyed on-premise for a small “corkage” fee, and a new kitchen set to be run by Orange County-based catering company 24 Carrots are just a few components of the overall design.
The art on the southern and southwestern walls (pictured behind Schmitt and Chaykowski in the photo above) will be replaced by two ten-foot tall roll-up windows from Garage Doors Unlimited, the same San Diegan company that worked with Duck Dive in Pacific Beach and Bootlegger in Downtown. Two long “mingling tables” being built by Schmitt’s father will go in place of the chairs the guys are sitting in.
Nearby, Chaykowski plans to place a few rocking chairs so you can watch planes land and take off with a skyline backdrop. If those are occupied, nestle up to one of several belly-high, glass-topped wine barrels (sourced locally) that will be scattered throughout. Or settle into the lounge area by the eastern entrance. Or play a game of pool next to the walk-up kitchen window. Or try out the heated southern patio.
But not just yet. Schmitt and Chaykowski still have a lot of work ahead of them to achieve all objectives, but they’re on track to at least be pouring beer in February. They recently installed 175 feet of tap lines, Glacier Designs put in the taps themselves, and the cold box is starting to fill up with local brew.
Their subcontractors (locals such as San Diego Superior Electric, San Diego Metal Craft and AP Precision Metals) have been working hard, too; Chula Vista’s AP Precision Metals just completed the bar’s metal taster flight holders, on which you’ll be able to write your beer choices with a dry-erase marker. Shaker pints, snifters and hefeweizen glasses will be ready for those who desire bigger pours. And if you like what you tasted, small cards with directions to the brewery will be available.
We’ll update this post once the beer is flowing, but until then stay updated with progress via the San Diego Brew Project website. View more photos on the West Coaster Facebook page (no account necessary).