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Posts Tagged Satellite Tasting Room

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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Mike Hess to open OB tasting room

May 8
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Mockup via Mike Hess Brewing

Entrepreneurial brewer Mike Hess’ eponymous brewing company has come a long way since its initial days as a nanobrewery tucked away in a labyrinth-like business park. That ever-so-humble starting point may soon have a seven-barrel system installed, while the newer North Park production brewery continues churning out larger batches. And, if all goes as planned, Mike Hess Brewing Company (MHB) will open an 1,800-square-foot satellite tasting room in Ocean Beach by the end of summer.

Located at 4893 Voltaire Street, the new venue will be equipped with 24 taps and an integrated cask beer engine, and offer beers for sale on-site or to-go in “purrowlers.” Known by many in the industry as “crowlers,” they are one-liter sealable receptacles fashioned to look and work like standard beer cans and serve the same purpose as growlers (glass jugs used to transport beer from a brewery for off-site consumption). Unlike growlers, which are incapable of holding beer at acceptable freshness levels for more than a few days, stored under proper conditions, crowlers or purrowlers (a name trademarked by MHB) provides a significantly improved rate of degradation.

Hess and company first toured and began considering the OB site (previously occupied by a dog washing operation) six months ago and were encouraged by the fact it’s by the beach, and nicely positioned at a busy four-way stop at Cable Street and Voltaire in the neighborhood’s up-and-coming north end. The owner of the site received several tenant proposals for the site, but ultimately decided to go with MHB after being impressed during a tour of its North Park tasting room.

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Cable & Voltaire

Now that the deal is done, MHB will embark on a complete interior build-out, aiming to bring lots of light into the equation, some of which will come via roll-up garage-style doors. Matching the eclectic nature of its new environs, the tasting room will be outfitted with a mix of different seating options, including picnic benches, high-top tables and drink rails. All in all, the expected capacity will be between 75 and 80 (dependent on coding).

Back at ground zero, the Miramar tasting room will likely receive a bit of a face-lift in the semi-near future. Touch ups will bring it more in line with the North Park facility’s aesthetic, though Hess intends to maintain a casual vibe so visitors still feel as if they’re enjoying beers from the comfort of their homebrewing friend’s garage.

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