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Karl Strauss Expands

The beer pioneer goes big in 2012


On San Diego’s Wall of Fame, somewhere between E.W. Scripps and various zoo animals, is an affable German with a frosty beverage. Karl Strauss became the city’s first-ever microbrew restaurant in 1989. Now with 46 breweries, SD is a sea of specialty suds where even big fish like Strauss gotta evolve to survive. Consider 2012 the Year of Karl. They’ve started a $1 million overhaul of their Pacific Beach brewery, designed by Public Architecture, the creatives behind Hillcrest’s stunning new eatery, Snooze. A “Growler Room” made entirely of big glass beer mugs will let in ambient light. A “Barrel Aging Room” displaying Karl’s oak kegs will boast a view of the bottling assembly line. Public is also creating reclaimed furniture for the space and a 20-tap bar with the kegs built into the bar itself. Outdoors, expect a massive beer garden, wood-fired pizza ovens, a dock for food trucks, and a large bocce ball court. The new brewery is expected to open in September. Finally, little birdies have informed us that a new brewpub—their fifth in San Diego—is slated for 4S Ranch.

Karl's unblended,
strong ale with notes
of toffee, molasses, dried
figs, oak, and serious

, co-founder
of taphunter.com.

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