Stave & Nail closing temporarily

Boutique San Marcos op shuttering until summer to upgrade its brewery and patio

Small in size yet blessed with broad-scale appeal, particularly among North County fans of barrel-aged sour beers, Stave and Nail Brewing has carved a niche for itself from its sub-1,400-square-foot San Marcos headquarters. That space is located in the rear of an unassuming industrial strip on Grand Avenue and shares a wall with another local beermaker, Rip Current Brewing.

When Stave and Nail debuted, co-founder Justin Stambaugh worked as the director of brewing for that operation while also contract-brewing his business’ beers. Stambaugh later resigned from Rip Current to devote all of his attention to Stave & Nail. Eventually, production moved to the brewing facility at Draft Republic San Marcos (which, at the time, was operated by Mason Ale Works) then Culver Beer Co. in Carlsbad. Partnering with local beer manufacturers allowed Stave & Nail to have product, but not nearly enough.

Initially the business would open for a single weekend each month and would sell out of everything it had in stock. The business has increased supply and gone to a bi-weekly, Thursday-through-Sunday schedule (which fluctuates based on beer supply, staffing and COVID conditions), but still struggles to have enough supply to meet demand. Thus, it will be shutting its doors later this month.

“We will be closing down our tasting room for a couple of months while we completely upgrade our brewing system,” says Stambaugh. “We have purchased a 10-barrel direct-fire system along with 60 barrels’ worth of cellar tanks for fermenting clean, non-sour beer.”

The last day Stave & Nail’s tasting room will be open to the public will be this Saturday, January 29. Installation of the new equipment will begin immediately thereafter, and while Stambaugh and his team aren’t certain of precisely how the tasting room layout will ultimately be impacted, the project will include a complete update of the business’ outdoor patio that should be ready by the time the venue reopens in the summer.

“This move is big for us, mainly because the gypsy brewing life is not all it’s cracked up to be and has proven to be a very complicated model,” says Stambaugh. “It will help us have enough beer to have a consistent tasting room schedule over the summer and to get a limited amount of distribution targeting the better beer bars and bottle shops across San Diego.”

Stave & Nail Brewing is located at 1325 Grand Avenue, Suite 107, in San Marcos

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