Many know Ryan Brooks for his work as brewmaster at Coronado Brewing Company. During his tenure, that interest has won numerous awards, including Champion Mid-Size Brewing Company at the 2014 World Beer Cup. That’s dream-come-true territory, but Brooks isn’t finished dreaming. He’s about to realize another long-held aspiration—opening his own brewery. The name of that business will be SouthNorte Beer Company, and it’s scheduled to debut this summer.
Brooks will get by with a little help from his friends, most ostensibly his family at Coronado Brewing. That company’s founders, brothers Ron and Rick Chapman, are key investors and that’s where the initial brewing of SouthNorte’s beers will be done (the search is on for a separate facility to house the business). But he’ll also garner inspiration from friends he’s made spending a great deal of time exploring the craft-brewing culture south of the border. As the name implies, SouthNorte will combine elements of Mexico’s burgeoning beer scene with the craft culture here in San Diego. A press release describes the business as “an American brewery that blends the rustic flair of Mexico with the art of San Diego craft brewing.” Brooks sees pulling from two cultures as a way to extract the best from both and end up with the finest end-result.
In the course of my reporting on the San Diego brewing industry, I have met a number of brewers from Baja locales including Tijuana, Ensenada and Mexicali. Nearly all of them have mentioned receiving assistance, tutelage or encouragement from Brooks. He is something of a cult figure down there who has forged many legitimate friendships during innumerable cross-border visits. Few would be better suited to bring this intercultural vision to life and it should be exciting to watch…and taste.
Rick Chapman is the President of Coronado Brewing Co.
What new equipment have you received?
Just yesterday we tilted up two 120 barrel fermentation tanks from Premier Stainless. Two more 120s are on order, and they should arrive late October.
What does that bring your production capacity to?
With the two tanks added yesterday we’re on pace for 30,000 barrels per year, which should keep us ahead of distribution for a short while.
How many states do you currently distribute to?
Right now we distribute to 13 states. We’ll be in 16 by the end of this year.
New beers in the pipeline?
We’re bottling and kegging Hibiscus IPA in September, Stupid Stout in October, not to mention the release of our Bourbon Barrel Aged Stupid Stout later this winter. We will also have some very cool, unique and never-before-seen beers featured during SDBW. You will have to come to the events to find out!
Any specific Beer Week events you are looking forward to?
All of them! We are so grateful for any of our customers to give us the opportunity to feature our beer during such an important time of exposure in the San Diego craft beer scene.
Here are the SDBW events we’ve planned:
Friday November 1st – Regal Beagle
Sunday November 3rd – The Waterfront
Monday November 4th – Queenstown Public House
Tuesday November 5th – Pizza Port Bressi Ranch
Wednesday November 6th – Raglan Public House
Thursday November 7th – JRDN at Tower 23
Friday November 8th – Regal Seagull
Saturday November 9th –Small Bar
Sunday November 10th – Tap Room
Ingrid’s 1 in 8 formally finished up its tour of San Diego with a firkin at Blind Lady Ale House. This version of 1 in 8 was flavored with oak chips soaked in Ballast Point’s Three Sheets Rum. Coronado Brewing Co.’s Rick Chapman, Shawn DeWitt (also VP of the San Diego Brewers Guild), Sean Farrell, Clinton Smith, as well as Ballast Point’s Colby Chandler and Blind Lady’s Mr. and Mrs. Lee Chase were on hand as Ingrid Qua of The High Dive presented a check worth $2800 to Mary Beth of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This total came from the sale of the kegs; each individual bar is donating between 20-100% of the proceeds.
We’ve had tremendous fun chasing this beer around town. Check out all the photos from this event over on our Facebook.