Bottle (Re) Cap: Highlights from the Year in Beer
The top San Diego beer news from the last 12 months
SR76 Beerworks opened in Valley Center | Photo by Bruce Glassman
San Diego’s first Native American–owned brewery, SR76 Beerworks, opened in Valley Center, backed by Harrah’s Resort Southern California. The operation is owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians.
The Brewery Igniter project (created by real estate giant H. G. Fenton) launched San Diego’s first triple-brewery location in North Park. Eppig Brewing, Pariah Brewing Co., and San Diego Brewing Co. all share a building, making for a three-brewery tour in a total of fifteen steps.
The fallow production facility at the former Twisted Manzanita location in Santee finally came back to life via Groundswell Brewing Company. The 15,000-square-foot space houses a 30-barrel brewhouse and has the capacity to produce up to 10,000 barrels per year.
Mikkeller Brewing San Diego became the first local craft brewery to be owned and operated by a European brewer, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, from Copenhagen. The brewery occupies the old AleSmith space and uses all of their old brewing equipment.
El Cajon got a brewery (again)! After Urbn St. closed last year, the city was essentially dry, but Burning Beard Brewing Co. saved the day when they opened on Vernon Way in February.
The 2016 Great American Beer Festival was good to San Diego—18 medals!—and to Karl Strauss, which won four and was named Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewer of the Year. The city’s first official craft brewery (est. 1989) still sets the standard today.
Virginia has become a de facto brewing outpost for San Diego. Within the past year, Stone opened a large new facility in Richmond, Green Flash opened a location in Virginia Beach, and Ballast Point will build a $48-million dollar brewery near Roanoke, scheduled to open by 2019.
AleSmith opened the first museum exhibit in a brewery. The Tony Gwynn Museum celebrates Mr. Padre’s life and achievements, and features personal and professional items that were part of his legendary baseball career.