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Posts Tagged Oceanside

Early Look: Urge Common House

Apr 6

Zak Higson (left) and Grant Tondro of 3 Local Brothers pose in front of the new Urge Common House, opening April 10 in San Marcos

I’ve visited many restaurants before they open to the public to give sneak-peeks to readers, but few have been as impressive—even with missing furniture, construction dust and stray items strewn about—as Urge Common House, a multi-faceted brewpub opening to the public at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 10. The anchor hospitality venue of the North City multi-use development just north of California State University—San Marcos, the new spot is the third of 3 Local Brothers (3LB) restaurant group’s Urge restaurants (the second with brewing capabilities). It has a great deal to offer, including a wealth of activities, private spaces for rent and modern innovations.

Urge Common House builds off the 3LB team’s experience operating its gastropubs in Rancho Bernardo and Oceanside. The latter’s brewhouse is not visible to the public, so they made a point to change that this time around, taking a page out of Stone Brewing’s book. The floor-to-ceiling glass wall on the south wall of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido gives way to the brewery, guaranteeing visitors see and appreciate it. After checking in at Urge Common House’s host stand, guests will turn their attention to a window-wall looking in on the on-site production facility for 3LB’s Mason Ale Works, which is outfitted with 30-barrel fermenters being fed by a 15-barrel brewhouse. The brewery has been constructed with expansion in mind and will soon house oak barrels filled with maturing beer.

Just right of the brewery is a short, fluorescent-lit staircase leading to an eight-lane bowling alley equipped with a penny-encrusted White Russian bar serving 10 iterations of that classic tipple as well as a full cocktail menu and Mason Ale Works beers. The brewhouse has been situated so that a window behind that bar will provide visitors a view of action on brew-days, but the clientele here will likely expend most of their attention on rolling strikes and picking up spares. The lanes are outfitted in an onyx-colored custom surface and flanked by portraits of characters from The Big Lebowski and other bowling-inspired pieces from a local artist. There are plush leather couches for lounging, bowling balls decorated to look like billiard orbs and multimedia entertainment projected against the walls at the end of the alleys.

A private room with audio-visual capabilities can be accessed from the bowling alley. It is the smaller of two leasable spaces. The other is referred to as “The Library” and is a luxurious space with a fireplace, and dark-wood furniture and bookcases that will soon be stocked with dozens of volumes and punched up by ornamental pieces and a large oil painting. The library bar has a marbled top surreally lit by LED lights. On high-volume days like Friday or Saturday, this space might be opened to the public if not already rented for a private event.

The main dining room is split into a front and back section by a walkway lined by barrel-tops from the “Mason Snale Works” program. These areas are replete with reclaimed wood, hanging Edison bulbs and a natural palate punched up with touches of turquoise. Just beyond the primary dining areas is the main bar area, which offers its own array of seating options, including banquettes with custom-built ironwood tables, high-tops and, best of all, a lounge area with three sets of leather couches, each of which includes their own coffee-table and flat-screen television with remote controls for channel-surfing. The bar itself features 41 identical tap setups on either side (one is for coffee). 3LB’s Grant Tondro says previous Urge’s feature quality bars, but not enough seating, so he and his partners went to lengths to rectify that this time around.

In addition to indoor service, guests on Urge Common House’s patio can walk up to counter bars outside, accessible via garage-door-style windows which are uniquely setup to roll up and outdoors to provide extra shade and protection from inclement weather. The front-side of the patio sports four fire-pit tables and seating, while the back patio (which was still under construction when I visited on Wednesday) will have picnic tables, plus two crushed oyster shell-paved bocce ball courts as well as cornhole sets, and king-sized Jenga and Connect Four.

This concept was originally conceived as Urge: Craft Alley, and bound for a former gym facility in Vista. After two years of trying to make it happen, the project fell apart, forcing the 3LB team to abandon it. That lasted about a week. After reading about the project, a real estate agent sought 3LB out with the hopes of bringing the bowling- and bocce-bolstered brewpub to San Marcos. The rest is history and 3LB says it has worked out better in that they gained a few hundred square feet, were given a blank slate of a building to work with (it previously housed Stone’s barrel warehouse and a batting-cage facility, and was stripped down to the walls and support beams), have dynamic businesses around them with more coming soon, and have an invested development partner in Sea Breeze Properties.

Urge Common House is located at 255 Redel Road, and will open at 11:30 a.m. seven days a week. For information on renting public spaces or reserving bowling lanes, consult the restaurant’s website.

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April Events Sampler Flight

Apr 3

There’s no fooling around—April is brimming over with beer-related events worth attending. So much so that highlighting a mere five was very difficult. Consider this the tip of the iceberg. Peruse this flight of recommended happenings, then check out (and continue to check back on) our full events page.

April 8 | Brand Refresh Party: The team behind Legacy Brewing Company decided to give themselves a makeover, making tweaks to their eagle-ensconced logo, but they weren’t done there. They’ve redone the interior design and exterior mural-work at their Oceanside brewery, and are ready to show it off with beers that are—you guessed it—brand new! | Legacy Brewing, 363 Airport Road, Oceanside, 1 p.m.

April 15 | Mission Valley Craft Beer & Food Festival: The seventh annual manifestation of this local beer-and-food throw-down figures to make good on the over-the-top reputation its earned behind beer-loving chefs who’ve been in on it from the beginning, plus a cornucopia of culinary and craft-beer creations from throughout San Diego County. | Qualcomm Stadium Practice Field, 9449 Friars Road, Mission Valley, VIP: 12 p.m., General Admission: 1:30 p.m.

April 18 | Campaign Pre-Launch Party: 45 events comprising 2017’s Beer to the Rescue campaign benefiting the Lupus Foundation of Southern California will take place in May, but this April shindig on the patio of Gordon Biersch will offer a preview of the fun to come, and feature head brewer Doug Hasker’s just-released Maibock, and his band, The Barnacles. | Gordon Biersch, 5010 Mission Center Road, Mission Valley, 5 p.m.

April 20 | Fermented Pairings: Some things are just so good you have to do them again. Case in point, an educational event exploring the vibrantly flavorful overlapping of beer and the lavish, yeasty and cake-textured confections of North Park’s Nomad Donuts. Learn about both through thoughtful consumption at the 16th installment of White Labs’ fun and experiential saga. | White Labs, 9495 Candida Street, Miramar, 6 p.m.

April 25 | Beer Dinner No. 1: The ale-and-lager game at North Park Beer Co. is made even better by on-site meat-men, Mastiff Sausage Co. Step up to NPBC’s second-floor mezzanine and watch as these entities come together like never before in an inaugural, five-course beer-dinner that will include smoked duck breast, lamb kofka, Bavarian bundt cake and, of course, beer! | North Park Beer Co., 3038 University Avenue, North Park, 7 p.m.

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Oceanside’s Horus Aged Ales to feature 100% barrel-aged portfolio

Feb 28

Kyle Harrop of Horus Aged Ales

You may not have heard of Kyle Harrop, but plenty of brewers in San Diego and beyond are familiar with him. A fervent bottle-sharer and festival-goer for more than a decade, he’s made lots of industry-friends—many of whom he met before they entered the brewing game—and is preparing to make his own jump into the pro-ranks with his work-in-progress operation, Horus Aged Ales (4040 Calle Platino, Suite 120, Oceanside). Everything from brewing to barrels to blending, packaging and even the logo will be 100% him. That’s not an unfamiliar scenario in nano-rich San Diego County, but what is unique is that all of Horus’ beers will be barrel-aged.

Harrop says he has solid recipes for IPAs, but his sours and fruited beers have garnered the greatest compliments by the aforementioned industry insiders. From a consumption perspective, he finds the wares of inspirational entities Brasserie Cantillon, Funk Factory, Hill Farmstead and Side Project both delicious and fascinating. Thus, wild, Bretty and buggy brews, mixed-fermentation and spontaneously fermented brews will make up Horus’ portfolio. Those beers will be available at a tasting room in Oceanside’s Rancho Del Oro neighborhood outfitted in a “bird of prey meets Southwestern” motif featuring rustic custom tables, hawk paintings and photographs, and Mexican blankets hand-cut by Harrop’s wife. The entire facility comes in at 3,200 square feet, and provides room for next-phase additions that include puncheons and fouders.

Harrop with Derek Gallanosa during a brew day at RB’s Abnormal Beer Co.

Though his is a one-man operation, collaborations are a big part of the company-culture. Harrop recently completed brew-sessions at New Orleans’ Courtyard Brewery, Pomona’s Homage Brewing, and Rancho Bernardo’s Abnormal Beer Company. The latter yielded a Belgian-style quadrupel conceived by Harrop and head brewer Derek Gallanosa, both of whom are self-proclaimed beer-geeks who are doing well in their professional transitions, thanks in great part to relationships forged in their days as recreational connoisseurs. Harrop recalls many tasting sessions, including a standout evening in a Carlsbad Motel 6 where he, Julian Shrago and Bill Sysak tasted their way through some rare offerings. Shrago has gone on to become one of the most award-winning brewers in the country at Los Angeles’ Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, while Sysak is known the world over for his beer-knowledge and is in the process of building his own interest, Wild Barrel Brewing Company, in a site down the street from San Marcos’ The Lost Abbey. Harrop has stayed in touch with many such ambitious ale appreciators, and has future collaborations lined up with El Segundo Brewing (located in his original home-town), Monterey’s Alvarado Street Brewery, Phoenix’s Wren House Brewing, Miami’s J. Wakefield Brewing, Richmond’s The Answer Brewpub, and Great Notion Brewing in Portland, Oregon. And here at home, he’ll brew an old ale with Rip Current Brewing in San Marcos and multiple beers with a future Vista concern called White Fence Brewing.

When asked where and when beer-fans will be able to taste these collaborations, Harrop says to keep an eye out for upcoming information about an event “like nothing else the craft-beer world has seen before” at which each of the beers crafted by him and his network of allies will be available. As far as Horus’ barrel-aged stock, those will be released in 750-milliliter bottles, numbering anywhere from 150 to 650 total per-batch. Those will go on-sale online and occasionally be distributed to popular bottle-shops. Horus’ first bottled beer, a sour ale, is scheduled to debut at Bine & Vine in Normal Heights.

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Q&A: Jade Malkin

Feb 14

Co-owner, Little Miss Brewing

Last year, Little Miss Brewing debuted in Miramar. Though the brewery has a tasting room built into it, that wasn’t part of the original business-plan. Owners Jade and Greg Malkin, bar-owner transplants from Arizona, intended to keep that purely a production-facility and construct satellite tasting rooms with an activity-fortified bar atmosphere in which to introduce their beers to the public at-large. The couple is currently at work on the first two of those venues, which are located in Normal Heights and Ocean Beach. We recently spoke with Jade to get a better idea of what to expect when those spots open later this year. Read more »

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February Events Sampler Flight

Feb 1

In the beverage-industry, they say it takes until March for beer-consumption to rebound to normal levels after the holidays. Good thing San Diego’s beer-slingers didn’t get that memo, because February is jam-packed with a broad array of fun events celebrating local ales and lagers. Check out these standout events, and see a full list on our events page.

February 4 | Sour Saturday & Fourth Anniversary: Squeeze into one of the smallest but coolest beer-bars in San Diego for the ale-equivalent of an acid-drop. Cast your line and reel in a variety of sour beers tapped in celebration of this pier-mounted saloon, eatery and bait-and-tackle shop. | Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle, 1776 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 10 a.m.

February 4 | National 2×4 Day: Wyoming-based Melvin Brewing is tapping its award-winning 2×4 imperial IPA (it’s taken top-honors at the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival and multiple Alpha King Challenges) across the country, and Hamilton’s Tavern is where you can taste it and other Melvin hop-bombs. | Hamilton’s Tavern, 1521 30th Street, South Park, 12 p.m.

February 11 | Brewbies Festival: Brewers from throughout Southern California will not only show up in-force to help raise funds for the Keep A Breast Foundation, many of them will bring creatively crafted, pink-hued beers brewed especially for this fest, one of the best in our county each year. | Bagby Beer Company; 601 South Coast Highway; Oceanside; VIP: 12 p.m., General Admission: 1 p.m.

February 11 | Carnival of Caffeination: Like beer? Like coffee? Like beer and coffee infused into a buzzworthy beverage? Then head to this fest celebrating all you hold sacred via top-quality beers from breweries plucked from around the country, and watch as stimulants and depressants go head-to-head! | North Promenade; 2848 Dewey Road; Point Loma; VIP: 11 a.m., General Admission: 12 p.m.

February 18 | Winter Brew Fest: Because winter in San Diego is pretty much like every other season in San Diego from a weather standpoint, this night-time fest won’t center around brawny stouts and strong ales. Come expecting an array of all styles, including SD’s sun-ready IPAs. | San Diego Hall of Champions; 2131 Pan American Plaza; Balboa Park; VIP: 6 p.m., General Admission: 7 p.m.

February 25-26 | 10th Anniversary Beer Fest: For a decade, SD TapRoom has gone big in the bday department, throwing suds-soaked parties over multiple days. The big 1-0 will be no different thanks to 100 specialty beers, including Pliny the Younger and venue-exclusive Boxcar Speedway. | SD TapRoom, 1269 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach, Times Vary

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