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San Diego’s satellite tasting room projects

Apr 19

The future home of Little Miss Brewing’s tasting room in OB (three doors down from Culture Brewing’s satellite)

Breweries make the best margin by far when selling their beer in their taprooms. With a county expansive as San Diego, getting customers to a single location can be a challenge, but the satellite tasting room model—one where a brewery opens a non-brewing sampling space in a geographically removed community—has proven quite successful in helping brewing companies reach new customers, move inventory and generate additional revenue. Many satellites have been sent into orbit throughout the county in recent years, and quite a few are in different states of planning at present. Here is a breakdown of such projects by the neighborhoods they may someday call home.

Bay Park: As announced earlier this week, Grantville-based Benchmark Brewing Company has signed a lease on a space. The family-run business had been exploring the prospect of opening a satellite in Oceanside, but ultimately decided to stay within the City of San Diego.

Carlsbad: A collective of artisans will someday share space with crops of produce, wine grapes and hops at the North 40 development. Numerous tenants have been reeled in over the past two years (and many have walked away), but Miramar’s AleSmith Brewing Company and Carmel Mountain’s Second Chance Beer Company are signed up, with the former hoping to sell house-made cheese with its beer.

Chula Vista: Fresh off the high of moving into Twisted Manzanita Ales’ former production brewery (and distillery) in Santee, Groundswell Brewing Company is working to open a sampling space on downtown Chula Vista’s main drag, Third Avenue…right across the street from soon-to-debut Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company.

Encinitas: Though a community that’s openly resisted brewery-owned venues, this beachy berg has two breweries slogging against the tide for space on Coast Highway 101: Point Loma’s Modern Times Beer Company (across from La Paloma Theatre) and Solana Beach’s Culture Brewing Company (next to Bier Garden of Encinitas).

Marina District: Developers have spent the better part of the past year curating a list of breweries to share space at The Headquarters at Seaport Village. Planned as a central courtyard surrounded by six identical yet uniquely appointed brewery tasting rooms, it has proven challenging for a variety of reasons, but would create a concept unique to San Diego.

Normal Heights: Longtime craft-beer champion Blind Lady Ale House will soon have some sudsy company in their ‘hood care of Miramar-based Little Miss Brewing, which is hard at work on two fun-and-games equipped tasting rooms within San Diego proper.

North Park: Another interest with two satellites in the works is Second Chance, who recently revealed plans to open a tasting room on 30th Street in North Park, across the street from popular beer-bar Toronado and doors down from the site of Ritual Kitchen, which announced last week that it will soon shut its doors after 10 years in business.

Ocean Beach: Little Miss Brewing’s other upcoming satellite will join the county’s most tasting room-dense community, on the same block as Belching Beaver Brewery, Culture, Helm’s Brewing Company and Kilowatt Brewing Company; and a short walk from OB Brewery and Pizza Port OB; and a quick drive from Mike Hess Brewing Company’s sampler.

Pacific Beach: Downtown’s Mission Brewery is geared to cash in on partygoers’ thirst for beer, installing a tasting room on Garnet Avenue where it intersects with Gresham Street. PB is currently without a brewery satellite after Twisted Manzanita’s closed down when the company folded last year.

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Best Beer Futures: North

Sep 10
Plans for the Urge Gastropub being constructed in Oceanside

Plans for the Urge Gastropub being constructed in Oceanside

Over the month of September, we’ll single out some of the most promising upcoming brewing industry projects on deck in San Diego County. With roughly 60 such work-in-progress breweries, brewpubs and tasting rooms on deck, splitting the standouts is a necessity, so this series will break them down by geographic region, beginning with those in the North County area. Check back over the next several weeks for summaries on exciting enterprises in the west, east and south portions of the county.

North 40, Carlsbad: It’s a project that’s been in planning for some time, but once realized, will provide a site housing an artisanal collective of sorts near the iconic Carlsbad flower fields. This 43-acre “urban farm experience” will be home to fruit and olive groves, vineyards and hop fields, the cones from which will be provided to a trio of local breweries that will occupy satellite space within the North 40’s 110,000 square feet of commercial space: AleSmith Brewing Co., Iron Fist Brewing Co. and Mother Earth Brew Co. The caliber of those resident brewers lends added worth to a concept that is plenty exciting all on its own.

Mason Ale Works, Oceanside: The team behind Rancho Bernardo’s Urge Gastropub and Brothers Provisions are putting the finishing touches on a second, North County coastal version of the former. Located along the popular Coast Highway the O-side version of Urge will be a brewpub where former Port Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey head brewer Mike Rodriguez will make a long-awaited comeback with mostly West Coast-style ales brewed on a 10-barrel system. Barrel-aged and sour ales are also in the business plan, as is are plenty of guest taps, an innovative cocktail program and an on-site speakeasy.

Belching Beaver Projects, Vista & Oceanside: Never underestimate the power of hoppy ales and peanut butter-flavored stouts. Belching Beaver Brewery has used both to rapidly expand its three-years-young empire, first to include a North Park satellite tasting room and, soon, a 6,600-square-foot brewpub installed in a former Vista bank building and, more importantly, a new brewery in Oceanside that will up annual production to as much as 60,000 barrels. Throw in a soon-to-be-established wild ale program headed by former Toolbox Brewing Co. head brewer Peter Perrecone and there’s lots to look forward to with this company.

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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