Miramar Has a Craft Beverage Hot Spot
The Miralani Maker’s District is home to breweries, wineries, a distillery, a meadery, a cidery, and sake side-by-side
Lost Cause Meadery is one of 10 artisan beverage producers in Miralani's Maker's District. | Photo: Bruce Glassman
North Park has it. So does Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Even Kenamar Drive in Miramar and Third Avenue in Chula Vista have it. It’s walkability. In each of these places, a cluster of breweries or tasting rooms have opened their doors close to one another, which has made their area popular for folks who want to taste at a variety of locations without the hassles of driving or Ubering from place to place.
Having a bunch of breweries close to each other is nice, but having a bunch of breweries close to a bunch of other tasting options is even nicer. In two small production parks across the street from one another on Miralani Drive in Miramar, four breweries operate just steps away from two wineries, a sake brewer, a micro distillery, a meadery, and a cidery. Add to that a sushi place, a coffee place, a juice place, a salsa place, and a small artisanal kitchen, and you’ve got a destination that can offer food and beverages for just about any palate.
The Miralani Maker’s District, as they now collectively brand themselves, is made up of a group of small businesses run by artisans who are clearly passionate and dedicated to their crafts. Their tasting rooms are mostly simple and spare, but that only serves to keep the focus on what’s most important: the products being made.
The Maker’s District is organized into two basic sections. On the north side of Miralani Drive, you’ll find Protector Brewery (San Diego’s first and only organic brewery), Align Brewing, and 2Kids Brewing, along with Setting Sun Sake, Swinford Spirits, India Street Winery, and Charlie & Echo Winery (formerly Vinavanti). For those seeking non-alcoholic refreshment, Juice Wave offers organic cold pressed juices. Mister G’s Salsa offers a variety of salsas “on tap” as well as a small menu of Mexican fare, and Deli Sushi & Desserts provides a Japanese option.
Cross Miralani Drive and you’ll find another brewery—Thunderhawk Alements—as well as a fermentation and kitchen space that’s shared by Lost Cause Meadery, Serpentine Cider, and Good Seed Food Company, which offers a small menu of ever-changing local and organic produce and meats.
I recently spent an afternoon tasting my way around Miralani and—to my delight—I found a bunch of truly unique, interesting, and tasty beverages that I had never tasted before. (I had already been to Thunderhawk Alements a number of times—it’s one of my favorite tiny breweries—so I already knew that all their beers were excellent.) At Lost Cause Meadery, Devlish Grin (buckwheat blossom mead with tart cherries and black pepper aged in oak) and Zydeco Buzz (buckwheat blossom mead with coffee, chicory, and vanilla aged in oak) were two surprise standouts; at Serpentine Cider, the Guava and the Raspberry-Blackberry were super refreshing, but the star was the Passionfruit Hops, which is hopped with Citra and Mosaic—a great combination. At Setting Sun Sake, there were four very cool sakes on tap, but the special pour of Ronin Black sake (vanilla with hints of tropical fruits) was rich and black—a super tasty mind-bender.
At Charlie+Echo winery, even though I knew them for their inventiveness and creativity, the list managed to offer numerous envelope-pushing surprises. Among the most interesting and delicious were the Citrasé Fizzy Hopped Rosé (rosé of Mataro that’s dry hopped with Citra) and The Kraken, which is a Sparkling Sour Red made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah that’s been shot up with lactobacillus to create an incredible wine-beer-style hybrid.
If you’re looking for chic and hi-tech, the businesses at Miralani Maker’s District won’t fill the bill, but they will offer an exceptional variety of quality tasting options, all in one place. If you visit, you’ll surely appreciate the “honest” food and beverages that are being crafted there; products that are obviously made with dedication, passion, and pride.
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