The end of the road in El Cajon

After six years, Creative Creature Brewing has been ousted from its original home, but will carry on in San Marcos

It was 2014 when local Connecticut coal-fired pizza chain URBN decided to leap head-first into the craft-brewing industry, teaming with hired hands from Stone Brewing to install and operate a brewpub in El Cajon. The fermentation component of that operation went by the name URBN St. Brewery. Despite earning numerous awards for its beers, the brand failed to take hold, leading ownership to cease brewing operations in 2016. 

That move left them with a 933-square-foot brewery and tasting room the company had zero use for. Fortunately, pre-plumbed brewery space furnished with all the equipment needed for a new operation to get up and running was in high demand. URBN was able to lease the space to entrepreneur Derek Carnation, who worked with his partners to transform the El Cajon enclave into the base of operations for their business, Creative Creature Brewing.

Creative Creature opened in 2018 and quickly grew into a cult-favorite behind frequent releases of modern fruited, hazy, smoothie-style and otherwise outlandish beers and alternative beverages. In 2022, Carnation made a move to increase production, taking over the 5,000-square-foot San Marcos brewery previously operated by defunct Stumblefoot Brewing. A public tasting room was opened there last year. 

As it turns out, that North County venue will be more important than ever. This morning, Carnation made the sudden announcement that Creative Creature’s last day of business at its original El Cajon tasting room will be this Sunday, March 17 (AKA: St. Patrick’s Day).

“As many of you have known, we have been month-to-month under our neighbor URBN Pizza’s lease,” said Carnation on the company’s Instagram account. “The landlord has given us both the boot, so sadly, this is the end in this location.”

Carnation thanked fans for helping create so many good memories in El Cajon over the years and urged them to come by to say farewell and show Creative Creature some support. From now through Sunday, the business will offer growler fills starting at $10, and apply a 30% discount to sales of all of the canned beer it has in stock.

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