There’s something about North Park. Over the past several years, a number of craft breweries situated in more distant parts of San Diego County have established more centrally located tasting rooms in San Diego proper, allowing them to offer their ales and lagers to urban patrons for whom a drive to North County or the coast is less feasible. For most, this has meant laying down stakes in North Park. Belching Beaver Brewery did it, Modern Times Beer is in the process of doing it, and the first of Stone Brewing Co.’s six satellite tasting venues was installed in nearby South Park in 2011.
4095 30th Street, North Park
4223 30th Street, North Park
2215 30th Street, South Park
(No longer in business.)
Don’t look now, but yet another far flung operation has its sights set on North Park. San Marcos-based Rip Current Brewing Company just signed a lease on a building at 4101 30th Street. Located across the street from popular beer-centric bar and eatery, Ritual Kitchen & Beer Garden, the 3,542-square-foot venue will be divided into two parts, with most — including a good-looking corner entrance — devoted to a tasting room. The remaining 550 square feet of the space will house a kitchen and a sit-down dining area.
In addition to serving roughly 20 Rip Current draft beers, bottled beers from other breweries will also be offered along with mead, cider, a limited wine selection and non-alcoholic beverages. Specialties from Rip Current’s pilot system as well as its recently initiated cask and bourbon barrel-aging programs will also be offered.
The kitchen and food menu will be managed by James Limjoco, owner of North County’s Sublime Ale House and Sublime Tavern restaurants. He will leverage members of his staff and his facilities to put together a menu of fresh items that will include special food-and-beer pairings.
Rip Current owner and brewmaster Paul Sangster says he and business/brewing partner Guy Shobe are hoping for an autumn opening. To prepare for increased supply, they recently ordered a pair of 30-barrel fermenters, which will raise their total fermentation capacity to 120 barrels. Extra motivation for the cellar equipment came from big demand for the company’s Lupulin Lust IPA, which they are having trouble keeping in stock for their current tasting room and various accounts.