These days, craft beer fans try to keep as much an eye on San Diego breweries as they do on the thumping pulse of the pipeline of incoming brewing companies. Those interested in the works-in-progress may recognize the name Red Topper Brewing Company. If you are among them, feel free to forget all about that moniker. The business has changed its name to Council Brewing Company. But that’s not all I have to tell you about this nanobrewery-to-be. Read on.
The business is the product of husband and wife Curtis and Liz Chism and CFO Greg Leiser. Admit it. On first read, you simply assume that Curtis is the brewer of the bunch, but pump your brakes. Curtis is an avid homebrewer, but so is Liz. Turns out, she will be the full-time brewery manager and brewer, making her one of a very small handful of women helming brewhouses in San Diego County. The duo have racked up numerous homebrewing awards over the years through their membership in local club, QUAFF, and are both BJCP-certified beer judges.
Council will utilize a three-barrel system, and project annual production to come in at 400 barrels. The Chisms lean more to the traditional than experimental. Their core beers will include a pale ale, American (read, hoppy with a more diminutive malt presence), saison, brown ale, and an imperial oatmeal stout called Pirate’s Breakfast. Those beers will be offered in an industrial setting similar to many small operations located in business parks. They haven’t yet selected their suite, but have narrowed their search to Kearny Mesa.
Originally, the Chisms were aiming to settle down in Golden Hill. It’s reminiscent of Chuck Alek Independent Brewers, another husband-and-wife operation in Ramona run by City of San Diego residents who had their sights set on Golden Hill, but found it necessary to look elsewhere. Council’s ownership reports their reason for opting out was that they couldn’t find any available commercial space in the quaint community. In selecting Kearny Mesa, Council would become the third brewery to open there, following Societe Brewing Company and Helm's Brewing Company.