I’m not perfect. I accepted that long ago. So, two weeks ago, when I was notified that I’d used an incorrect Twitter handle to call out an article about a brewpub setting up shop in Jamul, I made the necessary adjustments and communicated my apologies to the owner of the incorrect handle. That kicked off a nice getting-to-know-you session that provided me some solid information to share with readers about a brewery that’s already fully operational in that East County township, Jamul Brewing Company.
JBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of J Pilar Winery, a winemaking operation that added a nanobrewery back in 2012. That decision was made by owners, and long-time friends and business partners, Ron Leaverton and Jerry Warren, the latter of whom is an obsessively enthusiastic homebrewer that saw greater promise in beer over wine. The 750 square foot space (which is located in Warren’s backyard) is now outfitted with two brewing sculptures, one of which is outfitted with a 50-gallon mash tun that is JBC’s primary production vessel.
The decision to go into brewing wasn’t based solely on the marketability of suds over vino, however. While Leaverton and Warren very much enjoyed winemaking, they found it very difficult to distribute their product. Getting beer to market, on the other hand, has been “simple by comparison.” The company’s beers, which include an amber ale, porter, pale ale, single and double IPAs, are available at local joint Brody’s Burgers & Beer, Downtown Café in El Cajon, Hoffer’s Cigar Lounge in La Mesa, and The Brew Project in Mission Hills.
JBC isn’t currently permitted for a tasting room, so hitting up their quartet of accounts is necessary for anyone looking for a taste. As it is, they are tight on space to the point where 22 kegs per month are produced by Warren at the brewery, then transported to Leaverton’s property, which is home to a walk-in capable of storing two months’ worth of inventory. Eventually, they hope to move both their brewing and winemaking businesses to a storefront, and expand to making beer on a seven-barrel system.