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Best Beer Futures: South

Sep 16
The future home of North Park Beer Co.

The future home of North Park Beer Co.

Last week, we kicked off a four-part series exploring the most intriguing and promising work-in-progress brewery-owned venues in San Diego County. In this, the second installment, we affix our horizon-trained line of sight below Interstate 8. (In case you missed it, click the following link for a list of the most intriguing brewing projects from North County.)

North Park Beer Co., North Park: This project was the talk of the town for years, even before headman and homebrewing all-star Kelsey McNair had located a place to house his community-labeled commercial brewery. Now that he has that space, a former gymnasium on University Avenue, anticipation is reaching a fever pitch. But there’s a little more waiting to do, as grand scale renovations that will include a two-story tasting room experience and subterranean barrel cellar will take some time. The waiting should be worth it, however, as McNair’s award-winning Hop Fu! IPA will finally be available to more than just the beer judges who regularly award it gold in high-profile homebrewing competitions.

Brewery Igniter, North Park: Like many, developer H.G. Fenton recognizes the impact of the local brewing industry and the potential to profit from it by providing resources to its member companies. As such, it is installing two brew-ready business park suites in the Beeramar area. Those fermentoriums have been snatched up by Amplified Ale Works and newcomer Pure Project Brewing, encouraging H.G. Fenton to build another Brewery Igniter campus in another beer-dazzled San Diego neighborhood—North Park. Details are scarce on this project, but leasing facilities offering full brewing capabilities right off the bat seems a sound business model that should help new and established brewing companies make their dreams come true.

ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, North Park: Perhaps this piece should have been titled Best Beer Futures: North Park, for it would seem this already beery part of town will continue to get even beerier. Already home to three satellite tasting rooms (Belching Beaver Brewery, Modern Times Beer, Rip Current Brewing Co.), North Park will welcome one of the hardest-to-visit breweries in the county, Ramona-based ChuckAlek Independent Brewers. The easterly mom-and-pop raised its visibility by winning the 2014 edition of Boston Beer Co.’s Brewing the American Dream competition, and looks poised to keep its star on the rise with this bold expansion into the urban core.

NOTE: The items above have been selected from a list of public projects. There are a number of projects that are quite exciting throughout San Diego, but cannot be disclosed as they are confidential in nature and must be kept under wraps by request of the business owners.

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2 Responses to “Best Beer Futures: South”

  1. Hey guys, long time no see.

    Cool projects, but I have to say that note at the bottom is a little strange. Who does West Coaster exist to serve, the readers or the business owners?

    I know it’s complicated, but put that way it seems to me like the business owners interests are being put before getting the news out and the interests of the readers.

    (in my opinion) things shouldn’t be kept under wraps by request of business owners, they should be kept under wraps until they become newsworthy. Sometimes that will coincide with when the business owners are ready to reveal their project, other times it might be about before hand.

    • Brandon Hernández

      Hey Jeff, I figured that note at the footer of these pieces would inspire a comment like yours. By not listing these items, we are actually working to serve our readers better. This requires some explaining. I know of over a dozen projects that the people behind them don’t want disclosed just yet. The reason for this in almost every case is that they are very early in the process of making their vision a reality. It’s so early in the process that the projects might fall apart, and they don’t want to mislead the public into thinking they’re coming online, only to disappoint them. If you see it from their perspectives, that would be very embarrassing for them. It’s fun to break news and have scoops and we could do so very regularly, but rather than work against the desires of aspiring brewery owners, we choose to work with them to protect them from any potential negativity or embarrassment (unlike so many other reporters who throw them to the wolves for their own personal gain/egos). So, how does this better serve our readers? Business owners know we will treat them fair and professionally and, thus, are more willing to work with us when we come around asking questions about their future projects, rather than stone-walling those jerks who put their publication ahead of the very businesses this publication is set up to help shine a light on. I respect your comment and hope you find the same validity in my response. Thanks for reading!