Jacked Up growing up and out

Escondido brewery adds buildings, a new brewhouse and a plan for distribution

Like most beermaking operations in Escondido, Jacked Up Brewery sits squarely in the shadow of the much-larger Stone Brewing. Still, they are a household name for the scores of Escondidan regulars who keep coming back to their Grand Avenue tasting room, not just for its oft-changing selection of beers but a steady lineup of live-music acts. Even co-owner Michael Poulson—who runs the business with his wife, Caroline, and daughter, Torry—takes the stage on the reg to rock out on guitar. Customers appreciate this mom-and-pop’s homey appeal, enough that the Poulsons are building up and building onto their homebase.

Last year, Jacked Up took over an industrial-zoned building abutting the north wall of its facility. They have since moved the five-barrel brewing system from the tasting room to the new unit, where they have also installed a new 10-barrel brewhouse and three 10-barrel fermenters. A new mill, auger, grist hopper and a second cold box are also up and running in the cinder-blocked space.

“The beer inventory in our tasting room was going so quickly that we couldn’t keep up with our demand. We had to keep taking down our beer menu signs because we were running out of our taproom selections.” says Michael. “We knew it was time to start upgrading our system to a bigger one so that we could keep up.”

Jacked Up’s new building and equipment have resulted in increased efficiency, while providing more space in the tasting room for seating. That comes in particularly handy during live-entertainment nights, but the Poulsons aren’t stopping there. They have also acquired a third building directly across from the two it already possessed, giving the business control of the entire lot its housed within and all of its parking spaces, another boon. The last building is roughly as large as the two Jacked Up currently occupies. They plan to start work renovating it into a live-music venue by the end of the year, but first there’s work to be done in their original building.

“Our next goal is to add a full restaurant in our tasting room so that we can provide full-service meals with a diverse menu so that our patrons can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner,” says Torry. “The live entertainment that we provide brings musicians and comedians from all over San Diego County and beyond to come and perform at the brewery. We want to be able to provide those acts’ fans with both beer and food.”

Jacked Up’s new system has led to a significant increase in production. The company used to produce 35 barrels of beer per month. It now brews more than quadruple that at 150 barrels a month. Unlike before, not all of that beer is destined for the tasting room. The Poulsons intend to team with a mobile-canning operation to package their beers for distribution. Beers that will be canned include:

  • Incognito IPA (7%): A West Coast IPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo
  • Fist Full of Fives (5%): A tropical pale ale
  • Red Rye Ale (6.5%): A red brewed with a significant amount of rye malt
  • Brut New Years Pale Ale (4.5%): A light, dry “chapagne-style” ale
  • Smoked Porter (6%): A porter brewed with cherrywood-smoked malt
  • Reaper Pale (6%): A pale ale infused with spicy Carolina Reaper peppers

This will mark the first presence of Jacked Up’s canned beer at establishments other than theirs. The Poulsons have built a home and a following in Escondido but are excited at the prospect of extending the reach of their five-year-old brand beyond their rapidly expanding headquarters.

Jacked Up Brewery is located at 800 West Grand Avenue in Escondido

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