New brewery venues abound

Nineteen work-in-progress projects from San Diego County beer companies and an out-of-towner

There is never a shortage of activity in the San Diego brewing industry. Beyond daily production of the region’s bounty of ales and lagers, numerous brewing companies are working hard to open new businesses ranging from full-on production facilities to taprooms and restaurants. The following are some of San Diego’s latest arrivals and nearer-term brewery projects.

[A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the July 4, 2023 edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Updates for businesses that have since opened and adjusted debut timelines are provided in brackets below.]


GOAL. Brewing, North Park: In 2017, one of San Diego’s most popular young brewers, Derek Gallanosa (pictured above, at right, photo credit: Vincent Villegas) moved to Northern California to help open a new beer business called Moksa Brewing in the Sacramento suburb of Rocklin. It was an instant hit behind the Karl Strauss Brewing and Abnormal Beer Co. veteran’s IPAs, sour ales, pastry stouts, and barrel-aged beers, and continues to hover in the top tier of nth-level beer fan cult-faves. Despite all his success up north, Gallanosa’s longing for his hometown—and the offer of an ownership stake in a new operation—led him to return to San Diego to get another new brewery off the ground. This one goes by the name of GOAL. Brewing and is located in the largest of three lease-to-brew suites at H.G. Fenton’s Brewery Igniter facility in North Park. The business’s name is an acronym for “get out and live”, a mantra founder Jayson Pizarro (pictured above, at left) adopted while stuck at home for months on end at the height of the pandemic. He’s been doing just that for several years, traveling around the country to collaborate with pro brewers on inventive beers. That list includes Gallanosa—who he’s known for a decade—when he was at Moksa. Reunited as business partners, they are working to craft a variety of lagers and IPAs that will be joined by occasional sours, stouts, hard seltzers, and, eventually, barrel-aged strong ales. 3052 El Cajon Blvd, #101,, [UPDATE: GOAL. opened in July.]

Black Plague Brewing, North Park: Less than a year after opening a kitchen-equipped taproom in a 1,200-square-foot corner space in the building housing entertainment venue, The Observatory, Carlsbad’s Rouleur Brewing determined it wasn’t the right fit and moved out, transferring control to Oceanside-based Black Plague Brewing. Known for its SoCal sensibilities, IPAs, lagers and wryly macabre, murdered-out black motif, this product of retired pro skater Jordan Hoffart and entertainment vet business partner Jarred Doss is expanding quickly after opening a taproom in Escondido less than a year ago. Initially, Black Plague’s new location will feature food from a ghost kitchen that will cater to guests pregaming before catching concerts and other live entertainment at The Observatory. 2899 University Ave, [UPDATE: Black Plague’s “Dearly Departed” satellite opened in July.]

Fall Brewing, Miramar: After nine years building a reputation as one of San Diego’s most reliable beermaking operations behind hoppy beers, lagers, fruited kettle-sour ales, and a popular coffee stout, Fall Brewing is expanding production beyond its maxed-out North Park headquarters in a big way. This spring, the company acquired the 50,000-square-foot brewery previously operated by Kings & Convicts Brewing (Ballast Point Brewing’s parent company) after it took over the facility from macro-beer conglomerate Molson Coors following its discontinuation of Saint Archer Brewing, which had operated there since 2013. Equipped with a 40-barrel brewhouse, it will allow Fall to significantly increase beer production and open a new tasting room matching the wall-to-wall concert poster, rock-and-roll vibe of its sister venues in North Park and South Park. 9550 Distribution Ave,; [UPDATE: The tasting room at Fall’s Miramar brewery opened in August.]

California Wild Ales, Point Loma: Since 2015, “San Diego’s Sour House” has operated out of Sorrento Valley in a barrel warehouse aging wild ales inoculated with bacteria and rested on all manner of fresh-harvested fruit. The company (which also operates a tasting room in Ocean Beach) recently moved to a building in Point Loma that it shares with Five Star Fish Processing, where it has installed new foeders (large vertically oriented wooden aging receptacles) and is working to set up a public tasting room that could open as soon as this week. 3826 Sherman St,, [UPDATE: The tasting room at California Wild Ales’ new HQ will open this week.]

Mission Brewing, Kensington: Following executive-level restructuring, a brand refresh, and updates to its beer portfolio, 16-year-old Mission Brewing (previously Mission Brewery) is opening its first-ever satellite venue. That 1,500-square-foot tasting room previously belonged to hometown operation, Kensington Brewing (and Kensington Video before that), which went out of business last year, but not before building out a shaded, 1,200-square-foot back patio that should serve Mission well, especially during special events. 4067 Adams Ave,, [UPDATE: Mission’s Kensington satellite opened in August.]

Bolt Brewery, Old Town: A year ago, Old Town welcomed its first-ever brewery-owned venue when Societe Brewing opened a satellite tasting room there. Soon, that venue will be joined on San Diego Avenue by a bar and restaurant from La Mesa’s Bolt Brewery. The redux of a beer interest that initially operated in the late-80’s, Bolt has taken over the 2,000-square-foot former home of Hungry’s Kitchen & Tap. The company’s third location will feature TVs for sports-viewing and a menu of Cali-inspired pub grub. 2547 San Diego Ave, ETA: September

Niuhi Brewing, Middletown: Last year, hospitality-industry vet and Hawaii transplant Rhett Terrebonne teamed with the owner of Miramar’s Setting Sun Sake Brewery to launch Niuhi Brewing, but shortly after its first drafts debuted, the rice-wine operation went out of business. Undeterred, Terrebonne is working towards a do-over, upgrading equipment at his production space at Mission Brewery Plaza so he can go bigger and better the second time around. 1795 Hancock St,, ETA: September

Novo Brazil Brewing, Mission Valley: Eight-year-old Novo Brazil Brewing is redesigning the former 10,000-square-foot restaurant at the Westfield Mission Valley shopping center which previously housed a Tilted Kilt. Once complete, its 60-tap bar will pour the Eastlake-based operation’s beers, hard seltzers, California Spritz beer cocktails, and Nova Easy Kombucha line of hard kombuchas. On the food front, expect a casual menu colored with Brazilian inspiration mirroring the offerings at the company’s other eateries in Chula Vista and Imperial Beach. 1640 Camino Del Rio N,, ETA: November

Gravity Heights, Mission Valley: In 2019, restaurateur Arturo Kassel (Whisknladle, Prepkitchen, Catania) broke into the beer industry, working with original AleSmith Brewing owner Skip Virgilio to open Gravity Heights, a multi-level, indoor-outdoor brewpub producing ales and lagers on-site and serving them alongside a menu of contemporary, Cali-Med fare. By early-2024, Kassel hopes to open a centrally located second iteration of that well-received concept, which, if successful, could pave the way for a third or fourth location. 525 Camino de la Reina,, ETA: January

Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing, Little Italy: Earlier this year, international brewing concern Mikkeller ceased U.S. operations. That included shutting down its small taproom in downtown’s Little Italy. That spot has since been taken over by Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing, which has long wanted to stretch its South Bay roots and Latino-meets-indie-punk-rock style to San Diego proper and now has 875 square feet with which to do so. 2201 India St, [UPDATE: Thr3e Punk Ales’ satellite opened this week.]

Protector Brewery, Downtown: Six years after coming on the scene as the county’s only USDA-certified all-organic beer company (and one of just over two dozen in the country), Miramar’s Protector Brewery recently signed a lease to open its first satellite location. That patio-equipped tasting room and pizza kitchen will be located a block from Broadway Pier inside the Intercontinental San Diego hotel, between Starbucks and Del Frisco’s steakhouse. 901 Bayfront Ct,, ETA: Unknown

Rincon Reservation Road Brewery: In May, the county’s only tribal-owned-and-operated brewing company abruptly vacated the Ocean Beach satellite venue it had operated for nearly a year when the opportunity to move to another space with a kitchen arose. The location of that project has not been disclosed, but numerous breweries have shown interest in taking over the dual-unit space “3R Brewery” left behind., ETA: Unknown


Karl Strauss Brewing, San Marcos: After four years of concept-refinement and construction which was significantly delayed by the pandemic, San Diego’s longest continuously operating post-Prohibition brewing company is preparing to open a new spot off Las Posas Road in San Marcos—its sixth in the county and ninth overall. Breaking away from the company’s brewery-restaurant model, its new “outpost” will be an outdoor beer garden offering a blend of West Coast innovations and core European stalwarts. 1293 Armorlite Dr,, [UPDATE: Karl Strauss’ new location is on track to open in late September.]

The Lost Abbey, Vista: After 17 years brewing award-winning West Coast, Belgian-inspired and barrel-aged beers in San Marcos, The Lost Abbey has moved to Vista, where it now shares production and cellar equipment with Mother Earth Brew Co. That 13-year-old business—which is now headquartered in Nampa, Idaho—had excess brewing capacity, providing a solution for The Lost Abbey following a recent ownership split that saw Director of Brewery Operations Tomme Arthur retain the title operation and its trio of taprooms in San Elijo, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and downtown San Diego’s East Village, while his former partners, Pizza Port Brewing sibling founders Gina and Vince Marsaglia, took control of sister brands Port Brewing and The Hop Concept, as well as the San Marcos brewery and tasting room originally acquired from Stone Brewing in 2006. The latter is not currently in use but figures to reopen under the Pizza Port flag at some point. Mother Earth has not operated a tasting room at its Vista facility for years and is allowing The Lost Abbey to install a public sampling space. Work is currently underway on licensing and design of that eventual enclave. 2055 Thibodo Rd, Ste E,, ETA: September

Prey Brewing, Vista: After starting as a small, weekends-only operation offering an everchanging menu of barrel-aged sours augmented by here-then-gone clean beers, Stave & Nail Brewing acquired a downtown Vista restaurant space…then closed. It was a temporary measure allowing for an upgrade of the brewery and readying of the new space. A year-and-a-half later, the company is close to coming back with a new name, Prey Brewing, and a new lineup of beers leaning into more traditional ale-and-lager territory as well as wild saisons, which should pair well with an upscale pub food menu. 1325 Grand St, #107, San Marcos; 100 Main St, Vista, ETA: September

Shoots Beer, Carlsbad: A seafood-and-beer joint venture of local chef Davin Waite (Wrench & Rodent), pro surfer Cheyne Magnusson and the owner of construction-management firm CLTVT, seafood-and-beer concept Shoots launched inside Oceanside’s Bottlecraft bar and bottle shop at the Tremont Collective in 2021. With proof of concept and quality beers produced by Miramar’s AleSmith Brewing, the concept will soon be duplicated in Carlsbad’s Village area as one of three businesses comprising The Cottages on Roosevelt collective. 2956 Roosevelt St,, [UPDATE: Shoots’ Carlsbad location opened in August, but does not yet have its license to sell alcoholic beverages.]

Bear Roots Brewing, Escondido: Eight years ago, the owner of a Vista homebrew supply store installed an on-site nanobrewery. Even after adding a satellite tasting room a mile-and-a-half west in downtown Vista, Bear Roots Brewing has remained a small operation with a devout following. That customer base figures to grow following the debut of the company’s third and largest location, a 3,000-square-foot building in a north Escondido strip mall that previously housed First Auto & Payday Loans. 190 W El Norte Pkwy,, ETA: Unknown

Docent Brewing, Carlsbad: The owners of San Juan Capistrano’s award-winning Docent Brewing have taken over a dilapidated 950-square-foot house just off Carlsbad Village Drive with plans to initiate a full-scale overhaul and convert it into a homey cottage with a kitchen offering a menu of sandwiches, bowls, salads and more, plus a back yard with a “party vibe”. 3060 State St,, ETA: Unknown

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