Yesterday, Mission Brewery owners Dan and Sarah Selis announced the launch of a stock-purchase campaign. Sale of stock will take place over a two-month window via online applications on the WeFunder site. With the exception of an ill-fated and illegal attempt by Kearny Mesa’s defunct Magnetic Brewing, this is the first time a San Diego-based brewery has explored a venture of this kind.
In the past, Mission Brewery was limited in the types of investors it could bring aboard by Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Previously, investors needed to be accredited and possess a certain income and net worth, but Title III of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, which went into effect May of last year, allows the Selises to entertain applications from the general public. The Selis’ investment goal is $1 million, and the minimum investment individuals may make is $200. Beyond the minimum, WeFunder calculates the amount each investor may invest based on their income and net worth.
“Investing in Mission Brewery doesn’t just help the brewery, but it gives San Diegans the chance to become a part of the local San Diego beer scene as more than just a consumer or homebrewer,” says Dan Selis. “Most beer lovers dream of opening a brewery. I was homebrewing for about 25 years before I started Mission Brewery. Now, people can have the chance to make becoming part of a brewery a reality and own a piece of Mission Brewery.”
Mission Brewery opened in 2007 as a resuscitation of a San Diego beer-making brand originally established in 1913. That operation closed in 1920 at the onset of the Prohibition Era. For a time, its beers were produced in the historic Mission Brewery Plaza in the Five Points area of San Diego. Manufacturing now takes place in another historically significant location, the old Wonder Bread factory just east of Petco Park in downtown’s East Village area. Mission’s production for 2017 is projected to reach roughly 18,000 barrels, and its beers are currently distributed in six states: California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
From the Beer Writer: There are a number of fruits I have always thought to be perfectly suited as flavor-enhancers for sour beers: pineapple, apricot, Meyer lemon (a sweeter variety of this citrus fruit). But my hands-down pick for the most pucker-ready produce is passion fruit. With sometimes bracing, citric tartness, just a touch of earthy sweetness and even a bit of natural funk, the flesh of the fruit tastes like a sour ale all on its own. In fact, I find myself describing a number of sours as tasting like passion fruit. It would seem the brew-crew at Mission Brewery agrees. Their current limited-edition seasonal release is Mission Passion Fruit Gose, a salted, kettle-soured ale of Germanic descent given added fruitiness by passion fruit added during primary fermentation. The result is an intensely tropical beer that comes on strong with a burst of salinity that gives way to flavors of passion fruit with a touch of lemongrass and the aforementioned mild-funk in the finish. Logical and lacking complication, it’s a beer that tastes good and goes down easy in large quantities.
From the Brewer: “In spring of 2016 we started brewing one-off kettle sours fairly frequently for the tasting room. In doing so, we experimented with a couple different fruit purées and really enjoyed how the subtle fruit character played off the ‘sour’ flavors we were getting from the lactobacillus. After finding a limited supply of passion fruit purée, we knew it would be a winner in one of these kettle sours. Passion fruit has a certain funk to its flavor-profile, and certainly meshed well in this beer.”—John Egan, Head Brewer, Mission Brewery
Throughout the month of August, Mission Brewery (1441 L Street, East Village) is offering patrons a chance to thrust a proverbial boot up a deadly disease’s posterior. It’s the company’s mission (pun intended) to raise money for children with cancer to attend a camp put on by local non-profit, The Seany Foundation. Though small in many senses, this organization makes a big impact in the families it touches, something Mission marketing manager Melissa Hill has seen first-hand through a personal connection with the founding family. And thanks to time spent at Camp Reach for the Sky last week, multiple Mission staff are excited to do all they can.
The primary means of fundraising will be a Pilsner malt-based session India pale ale (IPA) hop-bursted with four pounds per barrel of Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic. Hop bursting refers to massive hop-additions in the very-late stages of the brewing process. This beer, which was developed by Mission lead brewer Bobby Oliver and brewer Cody Morris, is called F@!* Cancer IPA. It’s on-tap right now, but will have something of an official coming-out party tomorrow during a charity kickoff event taking place from 5 to 9 p.m. In addition to the beer, there will be board and camp-style games, a prize-wheel and live t-shirt screen-printing by Shirts On Tap. Admission is free, but a donation of five dollars is kindly suggested.
Fundraising efforts will continue the entire month. Ways in which customers can donate are by purchasing the beer ($7), buying a beer for the kids ($3, and they, of course, will not actually be giving any underage drinkers any adult beverages), checking out a board-game from the tasting room ($1) or by depositing money in an old-school donation-jar (any amount). Since being founded in 2006, The Seany Foundation has raised more than 3.8 million dollars. It’s primary goals are to bring relief and happiness to children with cancer as well as the families who care for them. Mission hopes to raise $13,500 this month; the cost to send 25 kids to Camp Reach for the Sky.
Since opening for business in 2007, Mission Brewery (1441 L Street, East Village) had never executed an official launch-event for one of its beers, until this week when it held a coming-out party for its latest India pale ale, Plunder IPA. Taster-glasses, plastic doubloons, finger-foods and branded party favors were everywhere, along with posters and other visual elements displaying the beer’s skull and stacked gold-coin logo. It was an effort both complete and entertaining, and it coincided with something else owner Dan Selis and company wanted to show off, The Cellar and Loft by Mission Brewery—a brand-new, 4,500-square-foot, two-story public area that’s ready to receive.
Mission Brewery’s headquarters is built within the historic red-brick building that once housed a Wonder Bread factory. Sited across the street from Petco Park’s Tailgate Lot, it’s in a prime location (unless the Chargers’ recently unveiled downtown stadium plan is executed, which would seem to make Mission’s future in its current facility a bit cloudier). And now it has even more to offer thanks to the new addition, which is accessible from 14th Street as well as a segue at the merchandise store on the southern end of the main tasting room.
The ground-level is equipped with a bar with a dozen taps (bringing the total tap-count at Mission to 66) dispensing various Mission beers, including Plunder, which came across to me as a modern IPA (not over-aggressive in its bitterness, with flavors and aromas of mango and peach) with old-school East-Coast appeal (touches of caramel and toasty malt in the finish). There are a few high-top tables and chairs near the bar, plus two raised round booths bathed in natural light from a pair of skylights on the second floor.
The top-story’s footprint matches the downstairs in area, minus the two circular cut-outs letting the sunshine filter from the skylights. Outfitted in diagonally affixed reclaimed-wood on one wall and historic red-brick on the other, with floor-to-ceiling glass on the west wall giving way to an unobstructed view of Petco Park, it is quite an event space, and can be rented out for private soirees of all kinds.
All I all, the new space is well thought-out and nicely executed. It’s good to see a company that’s been around awhile and quietly gone about its business make some waves. Next up, a portfolio-wide packaging re-brand that will clarify the brand and bring a lot more color into the mix. Look for new bottles to hit shelves over the course of the next few months.
From the Beer Writer: Regardless which of the “happy holidays” you celebrate, ‘tis no style more fitting of current Beer of the Week status than a Christmas ale. This is Christmas after all and one needn’t align with the Christian faith to get in on a heart-warming, winter-ready, robust and flavorful brew like Mission Holiday Ale. Produced by Santa’s little helpers at Mission Brewery in downtown’s East Village, the beer fits the figgy pudding bill right off the shelf thanks to a beautiful bottle featuring a gold Christmas tree ornament adorned with a holly-berry red Spanish warship. Kudos to the clever artist who added snowflakes shaped like Mission’s cross logo to the equation. But beyond aesthetics, this beer rings true with holiday ale appeal thanks to big flavors of dried dark fruits like raisins, currants, prunes, dates and (Mission) figs, with bittersweetness up-front that gives way to slight smokiness in the finish. That multi-layered depth makes this quaff a refreshing alternative to eggnog, spiked cider and mulled wine. Also, the fact it slides snugly into a stocking cannot be overlooked. Cheers and Merry Christmas from West Coaster.
From the Brewer: “As the temperatures begin to drop, we find most of our customers slow down a bit on the lighter beer styles and prefer a more robust offering. While we offer porters and stouts, when we decided to brew the Holiday Ale, we looked to a more complex flavor profile that would both pair beautifully with a holiday meal, but also stand on its own. Looking to dark fruits, figs, and candied sugar, a dark Belgian ale seemed to be the natural choice. Our Belgian dark strong ale is a full-bodied beer that will happily accompany you into the winter season. It is our second Belgian-style offering—the bigger, bolder brother of Cortez Gold. The higher alcohol content in this beer will keep you warm during those frigid San Diego nights. That 8.6% alcohol-by-volume is balanced by a hefty grain bill featuring a plethora of roasted malts. The Belgian yeast gives this beer an incredible flavor profile that features plum, dried cherry, raisin and fig. It’s dark, smooth and rich—our version of the perfect cold weather beer.”—John Egan, Head Brewer & Operations Manager, Mission Brewery
From the Bottle: This Belgian-style Dark Ale delivers the promise of the holidays, both indulgent and delicious. Dark, rich and smooth, this ale is sure to delight the senses. Complex aromas of raisin, plum and fig, with light Belgian-style spiciness, Mission Holiday Ale proves to be an indulgent treat for the holiday season. Here for a limited time; give a little, keep a little.