Earlier this week, I talked about 2 Kids Brewing Company finding an industrial park suite in the Mira Mesa/Miramar area, and how that interconnected pair of communities now has eight operating brewhouses in addition to the aforementioned work-in-progress. Today, I bring you news of another new operation I learned about while chatting with one a new addition to the Miramar brewery scene, Alex Van Horne of Intergalactic Brewing Company. A couple of days before I visited Van Horne, he’d met and chatted with a fellow first-time owner and brewmaster, Andrew Heino, from Pacific Brewing Company.
It’s rare that someone tells me about a San Diego County brewery I’ve never heard of, but Pacific was news to me. Upon contacting them, I was happy to find out that Heino is a brewing industry veteran, having served two years in the brewhouse at Stone Brewing Co., working his way from assistant brewer to brewer with responsibilities flowing over into the company’s waste water operations. But he isn’t the only one at Pacific with experience gained at Stone. His partner, Chris Chalmers, interned with the Escondido company while going to brewing school, after which he was hired on full-time.
Heino and Chalmers have spent the past two years dialing in recipes while building capital for their business, which is scheduled to open later this year. Their brewing philosophy is to create simple, traditional beers; drier/lower alcohol ales exhibiting exceptional balance. Coming from San Diego (and Stone), they realize the importance of offering India pale ales—and they’ll have their IPAs—but they’re tired of the status quo, including overly hopped beers and brews coming in at 9-to-12% “imperial” ABV.
Heino says those are easy to make, and that it takes much more skill to make amazingly flavorful beers in the 4-to-7% range. He’s aiming for “less liver load and, overall, a better experience.” He also cites a lower calorie count among the benefits Pacific’s beers will present. This is the first time I’ve heard this attribute touted in all the years I’ve been reporting on craft beer. Though it’s not something I ever think about, I’ll bet there are quite a few drinkers who do take caloric intake into consideration, so perhaps there’s a market for that. Word has it a hefty imperial stout can equate to over 600 calories per serving. (Now you can easily see why I never afford conscious thought to beer’s dietary figures.)
Heino and Chalmers will produce their beers using a 10-barrel brewhouse, and serve them in a public-friendly tasting room. They plan on starting out with a pale ale, IPA, double IPA, strong ale and a lighter blonde or wheat beer. They also plan on having seasonal beers and specialty one-off creations. The pale has been the most challenging for them to perfect thus far, but they were determined to produce a high caliber iteration of the style, believing pales to be lacking within the beer industry.
Honestly, it’s hard to think of too many things that are missing within the local beer scene, but new brewing companies being opened by a brewer with professional experience, much less two with vocational brewing chops and familiarity working together, is something that’s a bit rare these days. Hopefully, that experience will translate to good beers out of the gate.