Within the next few months, Miramar’s Kenamar Street will be home to three breweries. That’s pretty impressive considering that it only welcomed its inaugural brewing tenant, Duck Foot Brewing Company, in May of this year. The installation of large brewing facilities on sidling streets by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and AleSmith Brewing Co. upped the strategic value of the quiet, industrial pass-through; enough that H.G. Fenton felt comfortable opening its first Brewery Igniter campus there—a pair of twin, 1,625-square-foot suites designed in conjunction with Hauck Architecture and Premier Stainless, featuring 400-to-500 square feet of tasting room space, a cold box, brewery and cellar each. Pacific Beach’s Amplified Ale Works secured the first suite, but their neighbor, Pure Project Brewing, is a start-up that was originally slated to open a bit of a distance from San Diego…in Costa Rica, to be exact.
Co-founders Jesse Pine and Mat Robar spent much of the past two years working to the Central American nation, but insurmountable obstacles led to them looking stateside. When they did, they chose to bring their concept to the heart of San Diego’s vibrant brewing community. In doing so, they knew they’d need to bring something unique to the crowded fermentation fold. As such, unique beers brewed with an interesting variety of ingredients (dragon fruit ale, anyone?) will be their bread-and-butter. Pine, Robar and brewmaster Winslow Sawyer also plan to connect and collaborate with local farmers, coffee roasters, vintners and breweries.
Sawyer comes to Pure Project after serving as brewmaster for Santa Cruz Mountains Brewing (a brewpub formerly known as Boulder Creek Brewery). A fire that demolished the business provided the impetus for him to seek employment elsewhere. Sawyer holds an electrical engineering degree, experience with barrel-aging and sour beer production, and conducted a thesis focusing on sustainability in the craft beer industry at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The latter should serve him well, as Pure Project is a brewing company with a healthy environmental conscience.
The beers will be all-natural, eschewing extracts, chemicals, fining agents, etc. The founders plan on establishing Pure Project as a “One Percent for the Planet Company,” meaning one percent of sales will go directly to local environmental initiatives. Already, Pine and Robar have teamed up with the San Diego Surfrider Foundation. And though the seven-barrel system they are currently using was predesigned, when they have say about building their next brewhouse, the trio intends to make it as efficient as possible to leave as little of an environmental footprint as possible.
There are still some hurdles to leap over before Pure Project can provide a solid prospective opening date, but they hope to be open by December. That said, it’s looking just as likely that they will open around New Year’s Day.