The collection of artisanal producers in the pair of business parks near the corner of Miralani Drive and Camino Ruiz in Miramar already interact like partners. Home to four breweries, two wineries and a sake brewery, this is the most craft-saturated ultra-micro locale in all of San Diego County. And soon it will welcome its first actual partnership—a trio of businesses sharing a 3,500-square-foot space with a collective mindset and completely unique, hand-forged consumables. Lost Cause Meadery, Serpentine Cider and The Good Seed Food Company comprise this hand-in-hand threesome, all of which are on pace to open at different points within the month of October at 8665 Miralani Drive, Suite 100.
While they were searching for a site for their meadery, Lost Cause founders Billy and Suzanna Beltz met and hit it off with Serpentine headman Sean Harris at a brewery event. The entrepreneurs stayed in touch and, two months later, Harris asked if the Beltzes would like to join him and chef Chuy De La Torre as a third tenant in the space they intended to share. The marrieds followed in the footsteps of De La Torre, formerly the chef at Rancho Bernardo’s Urge Gastropub, and signed on. To a person, the quartet believe they are in the perfect geographical situation. This pertains to their individual facility, where all of their wares will appeal to artisanal-minded locavores, as well as their immediate surroundings.
The closest similar business to the shared space is Thunderhawk Alements, and the Beltzes say its owners have been extremely helpful. It’s the “Miralani Makers District”’s tangible colleagues-versus-competitors vibe that continues to lure so many small businesses to the area. A distillery is also en route for the area. It is reminiscent of San Diego’s roots from a brewery perspective and, in some ways, evokes memories of simpler times for that industry.
The Beltzes like the prospect of leveraging cider and, to some extent, beer, wine, sake and spirits from neighbors to attract cross-drinkers who might not specifically seek out mead, but will be more than happy to try it during an expansive tasting expedition. They realize mead is not as popular or understood as other beverages and aim to do a great deal of educating rom their tasting room (Serpentine will have its own sampling bar within the space, as well).
Lost Cause’s meads will be produced in 20- and 15-barrel batches located near the entrance to their tasting room. Billy has earned more than 35 medals for his meads in the past three years alone, and the Beltz’s research and techniques have been published in the American Homebrewer’s Association‘s Zymurgy Magazine and American Mead Maker, the official journal of the American Mead Maker Association. An integral part of their production process is a technique which allows them to control a slow, steady, healthy fermentation that retains extremely delicate honey flavors and aromas as alcohol builds.
Lost Cause’s initial line-up will all come in at 11% alcohol-by-volume and include:
The aesthetic of the shared facility will pay homage to Southern California and the Southwest region as a whole care of shared plants and furniture. For more information on each of the businesses’ debuts, follow each on social media.
From the Beer Writer: You know that feeling when you arrive at a bar or a friend’s house and, before you can even say a word, you’re handed a beverage that you hastily take a sip of and instantly find yourself completely blown away by? Of course you do. It’s one of those magic moments beer-lovers live for: the exciting discovery of something brand new and exquisite. That happened to me last weekend at Dos Desperados Brewery. I arrived at that San Marcos establishment to help staff one of my Beer to the Rescue fundraising events and was greeted by a full pour of a lovely golden beer with a fluffy white head, Dos Desperados Nelson Lager. Happy to be there and off State Route 78, I dove right in…and fell in love. It was the perfect beer for the sunny day I was in the midst of—light in body yet big on hop and lager-yeast character in the nose and on the palate. The limestone and floral notes from the yeast dovetailed beautifully with vinous flavors from the Nelson Sauvin making up the beer’s entire hop-bill. It was simple yet special, so much that I could have spent hours drinking pint after pint, something that wouldn’t have been too tough given the beer’s 4.9% alcohol-by-volume stat. The recipe for this all-day pleaser (which, as good as it was, is only in its R&D phase) was developed with fellow San Marcos operation, Prodigy Brewing Company, with assistance from a noted lager expert at Mission Valley’s Gordon Biersch brewpub. I’m glad to report it will be on-tap and helping Beer to the Rescue tomorrow, and soon become a staple in Dos Desperados’ year-round portfolio.
From the Brewer: “Our Nelson Lager is a Prodigy Brewing, Gordon Biersch and Dos Desperados Brewery collaboration for Beer to the Rescue that benefits the Lupus Foundation of Southern California. A special thanks goes out to Dean Rouleau and Doug Hasker for this Czech-style lager with rich, crisp maltiness and freshly crushed gooseberry flavor—think Sauvignon Blanc grapes from New Zealand, which come care of the Nelson Sauvin hops we used.”—Steve Munson, Owner & Brewmaster, Dos Desperados Brewery
In celebration of 30 years in business, the Pizza Port chain of Southern California brewpubs will be canning and releasing some of the most popular creations from its quintet of pubs throughout 2017. The first offering from the “Pub Release Series” was the award-winning imperial coffee porter, Bacon and Eggs, which debuted on March 4 at its brewpub of origin in Ocean Beach.
Nine more beers are slated for release as part of this series. The schedule as it stands at present is as follows. Brewpubs or origin for each beer are listed in parentheses.
Each of the beers listed above will be put up for sale at all of the brewpubs on their corresponding release dates. The next four beers will be released on their respective brewpub’s specific anniversary date, starting with Solana Beach, which will celebrate 30 years in operation with two days of festivities this Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26.
From the Beer Writer: After taking most of the past six months off, Beer to the Rescue returned to action this week (on my son’s 21st birthday, perfectly enough) with the Tuesday release of Pure Project Delphyne. Before even having opened their doors, the founders of Pure Project Brewing expressed a desire to participate in this Lupus Foundation of Southern California fundraising campaign, which saw more than 30 Southern California breweries contribute a portion of proceeds from specialty beers in 2015. In joining the cause, Pure Project head brewer Winslow Sawyer was kind enough to appease my personal tastes. His brewing MO is to select interesting ingredients—usually fruits of a citrus or tropical variety—then select an ideal beer-style for showcasing each. In this case, he took my requested ingredient, dragon fruit, and incorporated it into an effervescent, lightly sour Berliner weisse. The result is a blushingly magenta brew with a body well suited for summer and a generous touch of soul.
From the Brewer: “Delphyne is a bright, refreshingly tart ‘sunshine beer’ featuring lactic and sourdough-like notes on the nose. Based on a traditional German Berliner weisse, it’s brewed with raw, organic dragon fruit we sourced from San Diego-based operation, Pitaya Plus, whose non-GMO farms are located in Nicaragua. This exotic ingredient provides both color and depth of flavor. Berliner weisses—which were the most popular beverage in Germany during the late 19th century—are typically fermented using a mixture of yeast and lactic bacteria, but for this charity beer, I used a vegan yogurt to sour the wort before boiling, then utilized a German ale yeast for fermentation.”—Winslow Sawyer, Head Brewer, Pure Project
Note: Other breweries scheduled to brew beers for Beer to the Rescue include AleSmith Brewing Company, Bay City Brewing Company, Bitter Brothers Brewing Company, Bolt Brewery, Kilowatt Beer Company and White Labs. Stone Brewing is also providing the charity the opportunity to reach people as part of its 20th Anniversary Invitational Beer Festival next month. For more information about upcoming beers and events, follow Beer to the Rescue on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@BeerToTheRescue).
From the Beer Writer: The Lupus Foundation of Southern California (LFSC) has been blown away by the massive outpour of support provided by nearly 30 different San Diego County breweries via the Beer to the Rescue campaign. Thanks to these companies crafting beers for big release events benefitting the charity, its visibility has been propelled to new heights and a significant amount of money has been raised to help with the many victim assistance efforts and the research it helps support. So, it was an honor for executive director Hollaine Hopkins and numerous Beer to the Rescue volunteers, myself included, to get to assist in the making of this beer, an amped-up version of Council Brewing Company’s popular tart saison flavored with California-grown peaches and nectarines. Council owners Curtis and Liz Chism invited us to clean, break-down and puree the stone fruits one Friday afternoon, giving those directly touched by the charity a behind-the-scenes glance at all that’s gone into the production of the beers that have made 2015 such a great year for the LFSC. Click here to pre-order a bottle of this beer.
From the Brewer: “When we were approached by our good friend, Brandon, to be a part of the Beer to the Rescue charity campaign, we knew we wanted to do something big to help raise awareness and funds to support the LFSC. In an effort to create a truly unique and memorable beer, this special release is a higher alcohol version of our popular Tart Saison series of beers, which we are calling Imperial Beatitude. We partnered with a local beer aficionado to bring us hand-picked, organic peaches and nectarines from Masumoto Family Farms located in California’s Central Valley. These fruits are absolutely delicious and lend their juicy character and natural tartness to the beer. When combined with our house culture of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus, they create an incredible beer that tastes like you’re biting into a peach or nectarine. The heavy use of flaked rye and the Brett funk create a creamy, cheesy flavor that pairs very well with this beer. We hope you’ll enjoy this beer as much as we do.”—Curtis & Liz Chism, Co-owners, Council Brewing Co.
From the Bottle: We’ve gone big with our Beatitude Tart Saison in the name of charity, brewing an imperial edition of our Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus-stoked flagship sour ale for Beer to the Rescue (@BeerToTheRescue), a charity benefiting the Lupus Foundation of Southern California. French oak and sumptuous, freshly harvested organic nectarines and peaches from Masumoto Family Farms bring nuances of creamy, tangy cheese and stone fruit preserves that marry beautifully with spiciness from Belgian yeast. Enjoy this complexly delicious beer knowing a portion of proceeds will improve quality of life for sufferers of lupus, a chronic auto-immune disease affecting one-in-forty-five people throughout Southern California.