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Vintage San Diego: Beer Pioneers

Mission Brewing Co. in 1913


Mission Brewery Co. 1913 Share your vintage photo of San Diego! Send your pic and story to erinm@sandiegomagazine.com.

Mission Brewing Co., founded in 1913 by August Lang, was one of San Diego’s first breweries. The large compound was built on a dirt road in Mission Hills. The sign over the far left door reads “Bottlery,” and above the white door to the right, “General Office.” Despite the brewery’s impressive sprawl, its success was cut short thanks to the National Prohibition Act of 1918. The building was then used as a hospital to isolate patients of the 1918–19 influenza epidemic, and was later turned into a seaweed processing plant, until the 1980s. The building still stands on the corner of Hancock and Washington streets and is now home to the Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment, with 15 beer barrels and a tasting room. But the “Mission” moniker lives on. The downtown microbrewery, Mission Brewery, opened in 2007, paying tribute to a piece of local history.

By The Numbers

San Diego breweries that existed before 2006 (there are now more than 84)

San Diego breweries on the Brewers Association’s list of Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies (based on sales volume)

Minimum number of barrels produced yearly to qualify as a large brewery (vs. brewpub and microbrewery)

Local jobs in the brewing industry

Year San Diego State University began offering a professional certificate in craft beer

$680.9 million
Sales generated by San Diego craft breweries in 2011

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