Protector Brewery ready for downtown debut

Miramar USDA-certified organic beer op preps for bev-only soft-open with full-scale grand-opening coming July 4

As any combination craft-beer and Padres fan will tell you, downtown San Diego is stocked with plenty of breweries, brewpubs and tasting rooms operated by local brewing companies. This is particularly true in the East Village, Little Italy and the metro stretch connecting the two. Yet, the North Embarcadero area facing out onto Harbor Drive and San Diego’s ship-lined bayfront has never housed such a spot. That will soon change when Miramar-based Protector Brewery opens the doors to its first-ever satellite tasting room at the foot of the Intercontinental San Diego Hotel.

Protector Brewery Hide Site Patio

The seven-year-old company’s satellite is part of BRIC, a collection of hospitality venues connected to the Intercontinental, Bayfront Residence Inn and Springhill Suites near the intersection of Broadway and Pacific Highway (the inspiration for the area’s portmanteau moniker). Dubbed the Protector Brewery Hide Site, the 1,900-square-foot space is located between Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and a Starbucks. It had originally been intended for Latitude 33 Brewing, a local business that was established in Vista but switched to a contract-brewing model years ago. The company applied for a license in 2019, but that never came to fruition, allowing Protector’s married founders, Sean and Cory Haggerty, to take over the spot, a move that is far more fitting given the Sean’s previous career as a Navy SEAL.

“We are collaborating with the USS Midway Museum and the new Navy SEAL Museum going in just a few blocks from us later this year. It feels great to support and give back,” says Sean, when asked about the wealth of sites steeped in U.S. Naval history located in such close proximity to Protector’s new harborside venue. “Plus, there will be Veterans Day parade collaborations, Naval ship crew reunions and other exciting times to share a space and serve those who have served.”

Protector Brewery Hide Site Seating

Those veterans, as well as civilians, will be served via 30 taps offering, not only Protector’s all-organic line of ales and lagers, but roughly as many guest beers (including international styles, a nod to the Intercontinental), non-alcoholic beers, wines, meads, ciders, hard kombucha and sodas. While the Hide Site will serve a limited-beverage menu during its soft-open period, come July an onsite kitchen will serve an array of gourmet thin-crust pizzas, highlighted by “The Psychadelic” (mushroom, sausage, truffle oil and arugula), “The Frogman” (roasted chicken and pesto) and “The Heat” (Buffalo chicken). Salads, mozzarella-stuffed garlic knots and charcuterie boards will also be available. The entire menu can be previewed here.

The tasting room’s bar is backed by Protector’s Spartan-helmet logo and furnished with a mix of tables and stand-up rail bars. Indoor seating maxing out at 60 guests will be supplemented by a shaded outdoor patio. 

In addition to increasing overall revenue and expanding the in-county reach of Protector’s brand beyond the company’s tucked-away Miralani Makers’ District headquarters, the Haggertys hope to open more eyes to the quality and potential impact of beer made using all-organic ingredients.

Over the years, we have been successfully scaling USDA-certified organic beer through our distributors. A special thanks goes out to Classic Beverage of San Diego for that. We will continue to scale our distribution and capacity at our main production facility in Miramar for years to come. The extra sales and profits from this new retail location will give us a bigger budget for R&D, marketing and sales.”

Sean Haggerty, Founder & President, Protector Brewery

The Haggertys plan to add roughly a dozen new team members to staff their Hide Site location and support future growth plans. 

Protector’s satellite space will soft-open with limited beverage service on Saturday, June 15. Following that, the tasting room’s hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. This will allow Protector’s staff to get their footing and establish a rhythm in time for a grand-opening event that is tentatively scheduled to take place, aptly enough, on Independence Day weekend. That event will mark the start of food service at the venue and coincide with the release of a collaboration beer brewed with Kearny Mesa’s Societe Brewing, as well as, of course, the Big Bay Boom fireworks spectacular.

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