Santee is about to get an infusion of island style courtesy of Pacific Islander Brewing Company. Founded by a trio who’s two-thirds Hawaiian who are finalizing their lease, the business is set to be installed in a two-story business suite near the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Argent Street. The location is very close to two other breweries a short walk down Prospect — Twisted Manzanita Ales and Butcher’s Brewing.
It was the proximity to these operations as well as nearby BNS Brewing & Distilling Company that led co-founders Ku’uipo Lawler, Bob Strangman and Will Fox III to choose the spot, which they will outfit to include a dual-level, 1,700-square-foot tasting room as well as an 1,100-square-foot outdoor sampling space. Both will be decked out in islander design that spans, not only the Hawaiian islands, but other Pacific Islander cultures. Beers will be available in full- and half-pints as well as flights, growlers, and kegs.
But being close to other breweries — all of which, the trio reports, have been very helpful as Pacific Islander’s founders wade through the preparatory stages — wasn’t the only thing that inspired them to select Santee. The city government, seeing the positive impact the brewing industry has had on its community, offered a number of helpful incentives. If all goes as planned, the trio will be in the building by early July, and open for business four months later. In the meantime, they will be holding invitation-only tastings once per month, as soon as their outdoor tasting area is complete. The current forecast for that is late July.
Beers will be produced by Fox using a 10-barrel brewing system from Premier Stainless (remember them?). The initial year’s output is planned for 1,000-to-1,500 barrels. The first beers they plan to produce include a blonde ale, red ale, India pale ale (IPA), session IPA and double IPA, as well as a beer brewed with orange blossoms. Those brews will be self-distributed, starting with accounts in East County from Santee to La Mesa.