Vista Stories

Dark Days at Iron Fist

Vista brewery set to debut a rum barrel-aged imperial stout

As temperatures begin their annual, wintry decent — OK, so we’re only talking a few degrees in sunny San Diego, but humor me — thoughts of tropical isles are hardly top of mind. But Vista’s ...

"She was killed in a frenzy"

Vista man who used shopping cart to dump body found guilty

A man accused of wheeling his deceased girlfriend down the street in a shopping cart to dump her body near a trash bin was found guilty of first-degree murder this week. Kirk Leon Stapleton, 54, ...

A bona fide chinchilla rescue, asserts PETA

Animal-rights group says Vista breeder’s methods were cruel

An attorney in Virginia who stated that he represented PETA for more than 30 years, Philip J. Hirschkop, responded to questions about a multimillion-dollar civil suit filed in San Diego County last week by attorneys ...

Opens and annies

October 24 | Grand Opening: New centrally located 32 North Brewing Company will throw open its doors and throw down with a Day One inventory of core beers such as Landfall Berliner Weisse, Fly By ...

Former chinchilla rancher sues PETA for millions

Foundation portrayed Lurlie Adams in a "false light," say attorneys

Two attorneys for an elderly Vista woman who filed a lawsuit claiming defamation and one attorney responding for the PETA Foundation were in court today, October 16. The attorneys for Lurlie Adams, who sold her ...

Doh! Sam Simon sued following chinchilla deal

Vista 90-year-old says she never ran a "fur farm"

Lurlie Adams, the 90-year old former owner of the Valley View Chinchilla Ranch who had her 422 chinchillas taken from her amid accusations of mistreatment is fighting back. Adams had bred chinchillas at the ranch ...

It's dessert in a glass

South of the border inspiration yields a sweet milk stout

For all the mixed emotions about the company’s branding, Belching Beaver Brewery makes some mighty fine beers. That sentiment is nearly unanimous across top-level local beer enthusiasts. Those who don’t spend their time hitting up ...

Ken Schmidt & Iron Fist’s ono pia

Respected homebrewer and Vista brewery team-up to provide plenty of Aloha.

In a county flush with domestic fermentation talent, Ken Schmidt is kind of a big deal. A homebrewer since 1966, he’s concocted inventive beer recipes for decades. Many are laced with flavorful adjuncts evocative of ...

Not the best of times yet

Last year, San Diego's poverty rate rose to 15.8 %; El Cajon, 19.7%

Poverty statistics are going the opposite way in the city of San Diego and the United States. Today (September 18) San Diego's Center on Policy Initiatives reported that the San Diego poverty rate rose to ...

Brewers moving on

Examining recent resignations by local brewing personnel

Chuck at Green Flash. Mitch at Stone. Devon at Pizza Port. Employees of local brewing companies become so engrained into the fabric of their operations that followers of the San Diego craft beer scene think ...

First Drafts: Toolbox Brewing Company

New Vista outfit is a center of wild yeast experimentation

These days, new brewery openings can feel very similar. Regardless of décor, back story and other defining characteristics, beers from new operations tend to be, for the most part, predictable. This isn’t because what breweries ...

Aztec’s serpentine double IPA

Vista brewery turns out what may be its best beer yet

It’s common for brewing company owners to be high on the skills of their brewers (ironically, I type this shortly after the head fermentation specialists at Barrel Harbor Brewing Company and Helm’s Brewing Company have ...

The last word in cheap eats

First up, I’m not an early-morning guy. But on this perfect food day, you’ve got to start at the crack of dawn. Because that’s when the dja kwai are at their freshest at Trieu Chau ...

Hollywood guy buys Vista chinchilla farm

Sam Simon opens fat wallet to shut down operation

Hollywood mogul Sam Simon bought himself a chinchilla farm in San Diego County on Tuesday, August 19 — as part of an animal-activist mission to close a chinchilla-breeding operation that brought together a cast for ...

Belching Beaver going the brewpub route

Vista-based brewery bringing a combination brewery-restaurant to Vista

Brewery expansion remains in full swing, with yet another local brewing company closing in on a satellite location. This time it’s one of the breweries that helped start the tasting room trend, Belching Beaver Brewery. ...

Sneak Peek: Toolbox Brewing Company

Checking out one of North County’s most-anticipated new breweries.

When it comes to breweries, Vista’s motto is “come one, come all.” The City has embraced the budding craft beer industry and is currently home to 10 operating brewhouses. Come the end of the month, ...

No Winnebagos here

Surreptitious storage facility opens for classic wheels

Let’s say you’re concerned that car thieves might steal your 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster that you paid $4.5 million for…or you just want to hide your purchase of a $75,000 classic Chevy from your spouse… ...

Just who are these Fat Cats?

The story behind the company contract brewing in Vista

Felines are known for being sly, but when I asked the folks behind The Fat Cat Beer Co. what they were all about, they were very forthcoming. While others may have skirted the question of ...

Drinking pink at home and abroad

Vista’s Latitude 33 does its part to support Pink Boots Society

The San Diego craft beer community extends beyond brewers to brewery employees and those who aspire to get into the industry. Members of each of these factions recently collaborated on a special beer brewed to ...

Last Call: El Henry, Milvotchkee, Visconsin, Miss Firecracker Contest, Spamalot!

Hate to see these go. But they will, come Sunday.

El Henry, Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash fame, has written a rousing, funny, and eloquent script based on Shakespeare’s history play, Henry IV, Part one. We’re at Aztlan City — i.e. post-apocalyptic San Diego in ...

Toolbox Brewing meant to be?

The trio behind the next brewing entry into Vista’s populous scene

I didn’t believe in fate and things that were meant to be... until I met my wife. Once she came along, things just started falling into place. My life would be nowhere near the same ...

Cop-tosser gets a year in the clink

Vista gang member threw female deputy to the ground, so she shot him

A Vista man who admitted felony assault on a deputy — during a confrontation more than a year ago in which he ended up with a bullet in his chest — was sentenced to time ...

Spamalot is nuts — and wonderful

Moonlight Theatre joins Monty Python's war against pretension

And now for something completely…SPECTACULAR! Moonlight has opened its outdoor summer season with a production so smart, polished, and accurate you’d think they’ve assembled an all-star team. And in a way, they have. Brad Bradley ...

Gang tats don’t help dead man

Attorney for defendant impugns man who was killed

In opening statements to a jury on June 16, a defense attorney appeared to impugn the alleged murder victim, saying “everybody knew” the deceased was a drug dealer in the neighborhood and a “multi-convicted felon.” ...

What’s in the hopper, part two

The best of the rest of San Diego’s upcoming breweries

Yesterday, I shared the top five most intriguing brewery projects on deck throughout San Diego County. Today, I’m disclosing the seven that round out my top 12 and why. 6 - Prodigy Brewing Company: When ...

Who killed this boy?

Ryan Leitzke was hit by a car — likely a truck — 21 years ago

May 30 is a date that the Leitzke family of Vista can never forget. It was the day in 1993 that nine-year-old Ryan Leitzke was left to die on the roadside, hit by a driver ...

Drink like it's your (or their) birthday

Sampler Flight for May 28 to June 1

May 28 | Adam Avery Birthday Dinner: The only Avery Brewing Company brew most people know is White Rascal wit, but there’s lots more where that came from and founder Adam Avery will bring 15 ...

Vista teenager gets 24 years in prison

Cristian Constanti Garcia was 15 at time of knife fight

A Vista teenager who admitted killing a man and seriously injuring another in a gang clash in a public park was sentenced to more than 24 years in California state prison yesterday, May 21. Cristian ...

Harrah’s flush with craft beer

Velvety local imperial stout unearthed at Valley Center resort’s new bar

Anybody entering a casino is taking their chances to some extent. This luck-pressing should not extend to patrons looking for a quality beverage. Such is the thinking behind Corked, a new bar at the recently ...

Fat Cat expanding through contraction

Out-of-town brewing company to contract brew in Vista

Last November, I was watching a morning news segment featuring a handful of brewing companies from around San Diego. The first five were operations I knew well. Then came the last in the line-up, Fat ...

POW! Have some brain damage

One-punch-fight results in felony battery charge

William Henry McElroy, 23, pleaded not guilty to felony battery causing serious injury in court yesterday, May 7. According to the testimony of officer T. Eikermann, McElroy admitted that he hit a man identified as ...

Sampler Flight: Cinco de Drinko warm-ups

A boatload (literally) of craft beer fun leading up to May 5

May 2 | Cinco de Mayo Fiesta: People drag out birthdays for as many days as possible to extend the good times, so why not get a head start on Cinco de Mayo and carry ...

Paint on the bumper is insufficient evidence

Charges dropped for Vista man accused of hit-and-run

All charges were dropped for a man who was accused of felony hit-and-run with injury, in connection with a motorcycle crash in Vista seven months ago. A judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against 21-year-old ...

Viva Cervecería Azteca

Aztec Brewing Company’s beers returning to Mexico

Even before Aztec Brewing Company (2330 La Mirada Drive, #300, Vista) was up and running, owners John Webster and Claudia Faulk received inquiries from businesses in Mexico asking to carry their beer. The reason — ...

Camp Pendleton contractors settle fraud claims

F-Y Inc., RQ Construction, Harper Construction Inc., to pony up

A host of Southern California contractors has agreed to pay the federal government $1.9 million to settle claims that they made fraudulent allegations in order to win bids on major construction projects at Camp Lejeune ...

Man admits Vista robbery — but not murder attempt

Phillip Edwards Miller expects six years prison

A man who has been fighting an attempted-murder charge for years made a plea deal on April 8, the day his case was set for jury selection. Phillip Edwards Miller, previously identified as Phillip Esquire ...

Man arrested for jumping on cars in Vista

Waves not thrilling enough

A Vista man was arrested early Sunday morning following a drunken escapade that left several cars parked near the Wave Water Park significantly damaged from vandalism. Shortly before midnight, sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the ...

Oak Hills Covenant Church

Hell is a choice.

Contact: 1920 Shadowridge Drive, Vista. 760-598-3852; oakhillschurch.tumblr.com Denomination: Evangelical Covenant Church Membership: 100 Pastor: Marilyn Williams Age: 48 Born: Chula Vista Formation: Vanguard University of Southern California, Costa Mesa; Bethel West Seminary, San Diego Years ...

Beer of the Week: Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Deconstructing the king of the growing PB brew niche

As I set out to figure out which San Diego County-brewed beer I would feature this week, I looked back on the past several months’ worth of ales and lagers I’ve spotlighted, and realized there ...

Sampler Flight: March 25 – 31

Bands and women banding together among week’s beery highlights

March 29 | Two-Year Anniversary: Latitude 33 Brewing Company is throwing itself a “birthday party” with food from dueling gastrotrucks, music from a quartet of bands and five specialty beers including a strawberry-tinged version of ...

A tale of two brewpubs

Urge nixes bowling, Amplified owner movin’ on up

This is a tale of two brewpubs…neither of which exist. This is nothing new for me, writing about businesses that aren’t yet tangible. In fact, reporting on the not-yet-realized dreams of hopeful brewers is pretty ...

Armed thugs shot in Vista sent to prison

Four years each for duo who tried to hold up Uncle Tony’s

Two men were sent to prison yesterday, February 19, after they admitted assault with a firearm inside a shopping mall eatery on January 3, 2014. Luís Enrique Cruz, 19, and Sergio Rivera Ramos, 24, were ...

Vista man denies murder and dumping body

Kirk Stapleton allegedly feared he had been exposed to AIDS

A sheriff’s detective claimed in court on February 11 that he has eight minutes of surveillance video showing a man pushing a shopping cart down the street to dump his girlfriend’s body beside a trash ...

Big doin’s for Belching Beaver

The history of Belching Beaver Brewery (980 Park Center Drive, Vista) is short, but with a number of projects near completion, its future’s looking bright. A recent conversation with owner Tom Vogel turned up plans ...

Thugs shot by would-be victim make plea deals

Wounded defendants can expect four years prison

Two men who got shot while trying to rob Uncle Tony's Italian restaurant in Vista admitted to assault with a firearm, and each can expect four years in prison, according to their plea-deal paperwork. Louis ...

Nice cans…and bottles

Four local breweries start packaging their beers

In this age of nanos and neighborhood-geared breweries, many brewing companies’ beers will only ever be available at their tasting rooms or, at best, on draft. In the case of the latter, most of those ...

Beer of the Week: Mother Earth Sin-Tax Peanut Butter Stout

Not what it sounds like, but damn good all the same

Steadily growing, family-run Vista interest Mother Earth Brew Co. recently signed a distribution deal that will help them to get more beer to an expanded number of accounts throughout Southern California. Obviously, this is good ...

Armed robbers got shot by their victim, deputies say

Wounded defendants brought into court

Two men who were allegedly shot when they tried to rob a Vista restaurant earlier this month were brought into court on January 8. Louis Enrique Cruz, 18, and Sergio Rivera Ramos, 24, both pleaded ...

Man down in Vista (then up, then gone)

Leaves behind belongings and warm food

At 1:00 p.m., on December 26, one engine and a paramedic unit from the Vista Fire Deptartment responded to a report of a “man down.” The homeless-looking man was said to be lying on the ...

2013’s Fastest-Growing Brewing Companies

There was no shortage of evolution this year

The number of brewing companies opening around the county in 2013 was unmatched, and so too was the number of new facilities opened by existing brewing companies. The following is a list of the most ...

Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Love beyond belief in Vista

Contact: 1600 Buena Vista Drive, Vista, 760-941-4319; vistauu.org Membership: 180 Pastor: Beth Johnson Born: Chicago, Ill. Formation: Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA Years Ordained: 10 San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which ...

Beer Touring: Booze Brothers Brewing Company

Vista’s newest brewery looking exceptionally good out of the gate

Two weeks ago, I shared news about the latest entrant into Vista, the county’s most brewery-saturated municipality on a per capita basis. That operation goes by the name Booze Brothers Brewing Company (2545 Progress Street, ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close