In 2012 Forbes Magazine named North Park one of America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods. © www.SamAntonio.com
  • In 2012 Forbes Magazine named North Park one of America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods. © www.SamAntonio.com
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Regular readers of my column are familiar with Premier Stainless Systems. The Escondido-based business has been wildly successful over the past several years, establishing itself as, well, the “premier” manufacturer of brewing systems locally and abroad. Owner Robert Soltys has earned a great deal of profit behind a reliable product. Enough that he's been able to assist numerous customers with in-house equipment financing, allowing them to move forward even when getting bank, SBA, or traditional financing proves difficult. Doing so, Soltys says, allows Premier Stainless to help San Diego's brewing scene flourish and remain a standout.

Recently, the opportunity for him to do so again came when brewer Ray Astamendi presented the business plan for Fall Brewing Company. I first heard about Astamendi’s plan to enter North Park back in January, and immediately wondered where the money was coming from. Brewers, like most artists and blue collar workers, don’t typically possess the extensive financial means needed to open a brewery. Turns out, Astamendi had been roving the country to consult on systems for Soltys and other companies, providing a foundation of mutual respect that forged the way for this interpersonal evolution.

When we last checked in with Astamendi, he had just come off a stint working to open Miramar’s Saint Archer Brewery. It was a homecoming to San Diego, where he worked for Mission Brewery before leaving to work for Maui Brewing Co. and Left Coast Brewing Company. At Fall Brewing, he’ll work on a 15-barrel brewing system from — you guessed it — Premier Stainless, and produce a wide range of yet-to-be-determined beers. The company will be based in North Park in a 5,000-square-foot former garage structure located at 4542 30th Street. Astamendi and his business partner, David Lively, another Saint Archer alum, hope to be open by the end of summer.

Updated June 6, 2014.

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