Derek Gallanosa returning to San Diego

Popular brewer departing Moksa Brewing to head upcoming North Park op GOAL. as partner

Local beer fans were surprised in 2017 when Derek Gallanosa announced he was leaving his hometown to help open a brand-new brewery concept in the Sacramento-adjacent community of Rocklin. After all, he was—and remains—an incredibly popular and influential personality among brewers and beer nerds, and had just spent the past three years building a solid following as the opening brewer for Rancho Bernardo’s Abnormal Beer Co. It was a feat he went on to duplicate for Moksa Brewing, generating high levels of interest in the brewery’s mostly modern innovations, particularly its sour, pastry and barrel-aged ales. It’s an accomplishment made all the more impressive by the fact Gallanosa was not only responsible for brewing those beers, but also heading Moksa’s web and social-media marketing communications efforts.

With Moksa’s established name, “it” brewery status and a recently debuted second location that’s already drawing crowds, the business is in an enviable position. This is especially true considering the challenges facing the industry, including inflation, high cost of goods, supply-chain issues, and increased competition within and beyond the beer segment. Despite being in a seemingly safe space, Gallanosa is moving on and, in doing so, moving back to sweet home San Diego to take yet another crack at getting a brand-new brewing company going.

Currently under construction in the largest of three suites at H.G. Fenton’s lease-to-brew collective, Craft by Brewery Igniter, that interest is GOAL. Brewing, the brainchild of entrepreneurial marketing maven Jayson Pizarro. Pizarro met Gallanosa around a decade ago through underground beer and bottle-share connections. They quickly became friend and, later, collaborators. Each year, the pair get together with mutual friends from San Diego’s Mostra Coffee and Miami’s J Wakefield Brewery to produce an imperial stout with coconut, coffee and vanilla called Big Poppa.

“My wife and I knew we eventually wanted to return to San Diego at some time in our lives. It’s where all our family and closest friends are located,” says Gallanosa. “We had no idea our move back would be this soon, but last year when Jayson announced he was quitting his job to pursue opening a brewery, I knew I had to ask about the possibility of being involved.”

This won’t be the first time the pair have worked together in a professional business capacity. In 2017, when Pizarro co-founded a brewery in Hawaii, Gallanosa traveled there to consult on the project. Pizarro is no longer involved with that enterprise, but remembers how helpful and knowledgeable his friend-turned-cohort was and is excited to have him on board for GOAL., not just as Director of Beer Operations but as a full-fledged partner. While Gallanosa will not run the company’s social-media, he will have an additional role overseeing sales and off-site events, where he has previous experience gained on a local level.

Derek Gallanosa inspects the equipment at his new stomping grounds at GOAL. Brewing. (photo: Vincent Villegas, @sdbeerlife)

Gallanosa’s career began in 2010 when he took a cellarman position with Karl Strauss Brewing. He served as a brewer with San Diego’s longest-operating brewing company before transitioning to become a sales representative. In 2014, he moved to Abnormal, where he brewed his own recipes for the first time, exerting the bulk of his energy on IPAs and dessert stouts, while working with the kitchen team at the restaurant the brewery was affiliated with and housed within, The Cork & Craft, to organize monthly collaboration dinners with local and noteworthy brewing operations.

Gallanosa moved on to open Moksa in 2017. When asked about his most significant accomplishments from his time there, he counts building a knowledgeable taproom staff that created a quality experience for visitors, and amassing enough customer demand for his crew to be able to pick and choose what they wanted to brew and experiment at will. He is also proud of medals garnered at multiple editions of the Great American Beer Festival for Moksa’s barrel-aged beers, as well as the business being named the sixth-best new brewery in the world by RateBeer in 2018.

This is the third brewery brand I will be involved in building from the ground up. The experiences I have gained throughout the last nine years cannot be taught. I’ve learned to manage a business, make better beer, develop leadership skills and, most importantly, learn how to balance work and life. I know GOAL. will produce quality products from the start. Its outfitted with the same brewing equipment I worked with at my last brewery, so there is no learning curve.”

Derek Gallanosa, Partner & Director of Beer Operations, GOAL. Brewing

Gallanosa plans to brew a heavy rotation of lagers and IPAs, as well as a constant but less frequent assortment of fruited sour ales, stouts and hard seltzers. Following GOAL.’s opening, once he and his team have gained a firm footing, he intends to fill barrels with imperial stouts and barleywines, with the intention of releasing those beers late next year.

GOAL.’s tasting room is expected to open in June, just in time for the busy summer season. Gallanosa intends to move back to San Diego three months prior, at which point he will start setting up vendors and brewing the company’s first-draft beers. He will also start reacquainting himself with the local sudscape.

“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the San Diego brewing scene again. There are so many new breweries to catch up on that I haven’t tried yet,” says Gallanosa. “It’s also a much more competitive market than it was five years ago, with consumers being very mindful of where they spend their money, but we are up for the challenge. Now it’s time to find where I put my ‘San Diego Brewer’ pin all of us had back in the day.”

GOAL. Brewing will be located at 3052 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite A, inside the Craft by Brewer Igniter facility in North Park

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