Mother Earth Brew Co. Adds Wine and Food to Its Portfolio
The newly opened Mother’s Provisions brings wine, cheese, and charcuterie to downtown Vista
Mother's Provisions had its Grand Opening on Main Street in Vista on March 8. | Photo: Bruce Glassman
I like a brewing company that’s not afraid to evolve, and few San Diego companies I know have evolved as much (and as quickly) as Mother Earth Brew Co.
They started as a small homebrew supply shop. That venture evolved into a space that housed both the shop and a small brewhouse with a few tanks. Then the brewhouse got larger and more tanks sprouted up. As demand for the beer grew, so did the company’s locations. They opened a Tap House on Main Street in Vista, which had a homebrew supply shop next door. Demand continued to grow—explode even—making Mother Earth one of the fastest-growing beer brands in town. To address that need, the company built a giant production facility in—of all places—Nampa, Idaho. Now that’s thinking out of the box! Recently, they’ve re-envisioned the old homebrew supply space on Main Street as Mother’s Provisions, a charming, airy, and casual spot that offers an enticing selection of artisan cheeses, meats, and charcuterie in addition to nearly 60 wines and 15 beers (mostly guest) on draft.
What’s particularly nice about watching this company’s projects take shape is that they always do quality work—their spaces and concepts are familiar but interesting (like their beers) and they know how to keep things fresh.
So, what inspired these beer-centric folks to add a wine and food component to their portfolio? Well, it turns out that Dan Love (co-founder) and Kevin Hopkins (vice president) both share a love of wine that goes back many years—even to before the brewing days. “Originally, Dan was going to open a winery,” says Kevin. “So part of the development of this concept was an effort to enable our passion for wine to be a key part of the business.”
For most breweries in town, expansion usually just means more equipment; more tanks, added space, or even a satellite tasting room. That’s why it’s nice to see a company like MEBC add symbiotic facets to their business that really expand their reach and enhance the things they already do. According to Kevin, the Mother Earth team established this concept, and the fact that they wanted to do it, about two-and-a-half years ago, but it took about two years to execute the project fully.
The name, “Mother’s Provisions,” has inevitably prompted a number of people to ask if this venture has anything to do with Brother’s Provisions, a similar business, which is owned by the three partners who own URGE, the Barrel Room, and Mason Ale Works (3 Local Brothers Restaurant Group, which is Grant Tondro, Zak Higson, and Nate Higson). “We have a wonderful relationship with those guys,” Kevin explains. “We’ve come up together, we’ve know each other since the beginning. When they decided they wanted to create Mason Ale Works, who did they call? They called us. And when we decided we wanted to open a wine-centric provisions store, they were the first call we made.” For the record, the Brother’s guys have no formal business relationship with Mother’s Provisions, but they are totally cool with the name similarity and remain key sources for advice and guidance.
Mother’s Provisions just officially opened on March 8, but their few weeks of preview-soft-open were met with great enthusiasm from local Vistans. According to FOH Manager Aurora Da Costa, “People walking by will stop and look in and say, 'Wow! This is so cool! Vista needed something like this.'” As a Vista native, Aurora knows that the town doesn’t offer too much in the way of lunch options, which she thinks explains the enthusiastic response she’s getting from hungry locals. “It’s been really fun to see Vista itself embrace it,” Aurora says. The menu focuses mostly on locally sourced cheese and charcuterie, with shared plates and samplers of many varieties and sizes. Paninis, salads, and a three-cheese mac and cheese (you can add smoked pork belly croutons!) round out the offerings, along with a handful of baked goods for dessert (made just down the street).
The new venture means that Mother Earth beer fans who come to Main Street with folks who may not want to drink beer will now have some great wine options available just next door. And then there’s the “cross-pollination” factor, where the established fans of the Tap House also become fans of the provisions spot and wind up frequenting both.
Ever evolving, Mother Earth is currently in the concept stage for another similar food and wine undertaking, which will be located near their production facility in Nampa and not too far from Boise. Meanwhile, I’ll keep an eye on what these guys are doing here in San Diego; whatever it is, I bet it’ll taste good.