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Mission: Open Brewery

Downtown gets a new brewhouse courtesy of a revived pre-Prohibition brand


The building at 14th and L that was once home to a Wonder bread bakery (1894-1993) is still all about the carbs, except now we’re talking liquid carbs. Namely, the refreshing ales of Mission Brewery, which are made from many of the same ingredients used in baking. Instead of a generic base model product, Mission’s grains, water, and yeast will go toward the creation of one of America’s finest exports: quality craft beer.

The most SD-centric of those quaffs is Mission’s Shipwrecked Double IPA, a Cascade, Magnum and Centennial-laden ale (translation: charged with grapefruit-esque bitterness). From here on out, everything, from the Great American Beer Festival bronze medal-winning Mission IPA to the mild, lawnmower-ready Mission Blonde Ale, will come out of the brewery’s new iconic red-brick digs. The brewhouse is equipped with a silo, perfect for holding 50,000 pounds of two-row barley malt, bearing Mission’s Old World nautical flag. It also has a tasting room where imbibers can cozy up with a pint of head brewer John Egan’s wares.

This isn’t Mission’s first flirtation with historically significant sites from San Diego’s brewing past. Prior to this move, Mission’s brew crew manned the tanks at the old Mission Brewery Plaza on Washington Street in the Five Points community. The new site offers many advantages: open to the public, it can accommodate on-site sales as well as make keg deliveries to nearby PETCO Park’s tailgate lot. Mission’s timing couldn’t be better. With baseball season in full swing, win or lose (more of the latter so far, unfortunately), the Friars are bound to give fans plenty of reason to drink!

5 More Movers & Shakers

Mission is not the only brewery that’s growing. From expansions to brand new facilities, these five local breweries are movin’ on up.

Green Flash: One of SD’s most popular breweries is packing up and heading from Vista to a much larger (44,000 sq. ft.) facility in Mira Mesa with an indoor/outdoor tasting room and space that will allow them to increase their capacity big-time.

AleSmith: The U.S.’s 2008 Small Brewing Company of the Year* added 4,000 square feet by leasing a space next door to their brewery that will allow for expansion of their barrel program and installation of a state-of-the-art bottling mechanism.

Lightning: Rental of a space adjacent to the company’s brewing facility in the Poway business park will allow for a formal tasting room and more storage space for this producer of Old World European-inspired ales and lagers.

New English: Owner and brewer Simon Lacey is working on getting a second facility off Miramar Road that will be much like a boutique winery storefront and tasting spot where customers can sample his U.K.-style palate pleasers.

Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey: The 2007 Small Brewing Company of the Year* and 2008 Best Small Brewing Company in the World** gained 7,500 square feet by taking over a space next door, which they will use to expand their production by 2,000-3,000 bottles per year.

*Designation awarded at the Great American Beer Festival, the U.S. brewing industry’s largest and most definitive beer competition.
**Designation awarded at the World Beer Cup, the brewing industry’s bi-annual equivalent of the Olympics.

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