Mission Brewing growing footprint via Rough Draft Brewing acquisition

Historic East Village beer concern takes over 12-year-old company's trio of locations with plans to make HQ of its Miramar brewery

The ink has yet to fully dry, but the dust has settled and another big brewery deal has been completed in San Diego. Unlike another recent deal – Kings & Convicts Brewing’s multifaceted contraction of Ballast Point Brewing – this one is a straightforward acquisition involving long-tenured members of the local beer community, Mission Brewing and Rough Draft Brewing. This morning, the CEO of the former, Dan Partelow, confirmed that his company is taking over the latter’s assets, including a 6,000-square-foot production facility that will serve as its new base of operations, plus a pair of satellite venues.

“This acquisition is a great opportunity to enhance our presence in San Diego, allowing us to serve more craft-beer enthusiasts with our expanded taproom network and optimized production capabilities,” says Partelow.

Partelow joined the company as its CEO in 2021, following 27 years spent at Anheuser-Busch InBev. Viewed as the optimal candidate to turn the declining company around and retool it for future success, he got straight to work, reshaping Mission’s product portfolio, overhauling its branding and installing a tasting room in the former home of Kensington Brewing in that defunct business’ namesake community. 

Since debuting the Kensington taproom, Partelow has been searching for other ideal sites to build public venues and expand its community presence. This deal will provide a pair of rather unique locations. The first is a spot in the lineup at the Brewer’s Deck inside Del Mar Highlands’ SkyDeck collective, which also includes Oceanside-based Northern Pine Brewing and Chula Vista hard-kombucha producer Boochcraft. That chic, high-traffic locale is one numerous San Diego brewery owners inquired about as Rough Draft owner Jeff Silver shopped his brewery over the past several months. The other inherited satellite is a pub at University of California, San Diego student-housing complex, Mesa Nueva.

Back at Rough Draft’s former Miramar home, Mission will inherit a 30-barrel brewhouse and cellar setup. With the company’s lease on its East Village brewery coming to a close in October, it will start transferring brewing equipment from its current headquarters to its new one. Following the lease expiration, Mission will continue to operate its East Village tasting room on a month-to-month basis until a buyer is found for the entire 12,500-square-foot building it is installed within.

“This is a good opportunity for us to recalibrate our brewery footprint and better utilize a new space,” says Mission Vice President of Sales and Marketing Aaron Long. “While our current building is larger, it has a lot of inefficiencies that limit our capabilities. We will be using a combination of our best equipment and Rough Draft’s to build out an ideal setup. With some of our planned upgrades, you should expect some amazing quality beer.”

Mission will also remodel and reopen the Miramar facility’s tasting room, which has been closed for several months. And as part of the acquisition, the company will keep on all of Rough Draft’s employees, raising its total headcount to around 35.

A career finance and insurance professional, Silver opened Rough Draft in 2012, a boomtime for the local industry which saw the county’s total number of brewing companies grow by roughly two dozen over a 12-month span. The company did well out of the gate with its portfolio of IPAs, Belgian-inspired and strong ales. In 2017, it was brought aboard at Mesa Nueva, and four years later, it poured its first beer at the Brewer’s Deck. 

After 12 years of creating and selling craft beer to our customers in San Diego and throughout the U.S., I’m excited to pass the torch to Mission Brewing and embark on my next adventure. I’m thrilled to turn this over to Mission Brewing as I am confident they will bring the same high level of quality and innovation that I have strived for all these years.”

Jeff Silver, Owner, Rough Draft Brewing

Mission was originally founded in 1913, but closed down in the first year of Prohibition. The brand was revived in 2007, with beers being brewed at several locations before the company found its permanent home at a former Wonder Bread factory in downtown San Diego’s East Village in 2011.

Mission Brewing Hoppy Collection

Since Partelow’s arrival, Mission has updated recipes for a number of its ales and lagers while introducing core beers in keeping with modern-day consumers’ tastes, including a hazy IPA and pale lager. It has also introduced a variety-pack of hop-driven beers dubbed the Hoppy Collection, which includes Pipe Dreams IPA, Waves of Haze Hazy IPA and Shipwrecked Double IPA.

Both the SkyDeck and UCSD venues have already soft-opened under Mission’s flag, with grand-opening festivities scheduled at each on Independence Day weekend. Following that, the company will hold a number of special events spanning all of its taprooms. Those happenings will include beer releases, live-music performances and community-focused activities.

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