Pure Project Turns 4

I didn’t quite know what to make of Pure Project when they first came to San Diego four years ago. Neither their sleek logo nor actual name hinted to the fact they made beer, and even with a big marketing push pre-opening, it wasn’t terribly clear what the heck these guys planned to do.

But fast forward to today and not only is Pure Project one of the most recognizable beer names in town—no small feat in a county with nearly 200 breweries within its borders—but one of the most well-regarded businesses committed to ethical sustainability and seasonal ingredients.

As a 1% for The Planet company, they give 1% of all sales directly to environmental nonprofit organizations. In 2019, they introduced biodegradable/compostable rings for their four-packs of cans and launched the Pounds for Pints campaign to alleviate the flow of plastics into the world’s oceans.

That’s not all the four-year-old brewery has in store. Co-founder Mat Robar explains that this year, they’ll add a reforestation partnership to their philanthropic portfolio and are aiming to become carbon neutral in the future. A third location in Carlsbad is also slated to open this spring.

With a marked slowdown of brewery openings and some high-profile brewery closures in 2019, it’s harder than ever to juggle—much less open—multiple locations in today’s competitive brewery landscape. Although Pure Project is one of the local leaders for the biggest trend in craft beer, hazy IPAs (which they call murky IPAs), Robar says their long-term commitment to sustainability is what keeps loyal clientele coming back and intrigues potential new customers. 

“It takes a lot of time and money to source ingredients and produce beer the way we do and we believe you can taste the difference,” says Robar. “Tastes will change and trends will come and go, but someone who connects with your brand, values and ethos will be with you for the long haul. We try to focus on finding people who align with those core tenants and evolve with them.”

To celebrate four years of success, sustainability, and expansion, Pure Project is throwing an anniversary party this Saturday, January 25 at their Miramar tasting room with plenty of rare and cellared beers promised for attendees. Although the event is sold out, Robar smiles and admits there’s a chance some day-of tickets will be released. “Stay tuned to our social profiles for updates,” he comments cryptically.

Even if you can’t make it to the party, there’s plenty to look forward to from Pure Project in the next few months. “We have some really fun beers coming out soon, including some new barrel-aged stouts, collaboration IPAs, and even a barrel-aged ‘Arctic Ale’ inspired by the 1851 Expedition through the Northwest Passage,” says Robar. But in the meantime, he explains: “We’re just happy to be a part of the community.”




Beth Demmon is a freelance writer, journalist, and BJCP beer judge from San Diego. She received the North American Guild of Beer Writers 2019 Diversity in Beer Writing grant and is the beer columnist at San Diego Magazine.

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