In closing out my bi-annual preview of upcoming brewer-owned businesses showing the most potential, I’m focusing on the East County. Problem is, the list hasn’t changed since the last time I previewed the expansive east in September 2015. Back then, La Mesa’s long-delayed (and suddenly controversial) Depot Springs Beer Company, the future Santee headquarters of Karl Strauss Brewing Company and Lakeside’s first brewery-to-be Knox Corners Brewing Company appeared to have the best legs…and they still do. So, instead of rehashing those, I’m sharing three honorable-mentions from the west, since that is the region with the most exciting projects going on right now.
Barrel Rescue Brewing Company, Kearny Mesa: It’ll be really tiny with extremely sporadic releases of super-small-batch offerings, but with barrels “rescued” from becoming garden planters and plans for some very interesting beers, this figures to be a really cool operation. And big-time bonus points go to the owners for carrying the rescue theme through to local canines due to their mutual love of supporting adoption organizations focused on the preservation of at-risk dogs.
Thunderhawk Alements, Miramar: Sure, the sign outside the building slates its delivery date as…2015. Despite thinking that was a bit too wishful, this figures to be a quality addition to the local brewing scene that will play nicely with cross-street neighbors 2kids Brewing Company and Pacific Brewing Company. Having tried Thunderhawk’s coffee pale ale awhile back, I can attest to its standout character and hope the rest of their beers are in line with that tasty sneak-preview.
Fighter Town Brewing Company, Sorrento Valley: People don’t really talk a lot about La Jolla Brewing Company, the founders of which are behind this contract-brewing project. But there is a buzz around this work-in-progress facility, which could bring beers of notable brewing operations from other parts of the country—or other countries entirely. If the right folks sign a contract, this could turn into something really intriguing.
Past Promising Projects: East
2013: Nickel Beer Company (Julian; Grade—A; a variety of quality beers provides way more than pie and snow in SD’s getaway town)