Vista Stories

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… ...

Galactus visits San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, July 24–July 30

2014 marks the 45th year for the show, making it the longest continuously run comics and popular-arts convention in the country. With comic books, original art, toys, games, trading cards, clothing, movie memorabilia, anime, films, ...

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: Back up the smack!

Green Flash competitive drinking and the rest of the sudsy week to come

May 9 | Beer Tasting Challenge: Cicerones and self-proclaimed “beer experts” can talk a lot of smack, but going through a blind tasting put on by BeerNerdz, where attendees compete for prizes while matching up ...

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, ...

From Duck Foot to Wavelength

A local brewer's whirlwind journey has him heading Vista nano start-up

Those who follow my writing have probably read the name James Petti before. Two years ago, his last name was attached to a brew he created while employed at Karl Strauss Brewing Company that served ...

City of Vista funds graffiti cleanup through graffiti auction

Nearly all costs covered as collectors snap up works by upstart art duo Selik and Slik; gallery retrospective planned

"Thanks be to Banksy," says Vista Mayor Art Krittick. And with good reason. Just weeks after the British graffitist thrilled New York City with a month-long spree of street art that turned ordinary buildings into ...

In the house at Mother Earth

Vista brewery opens its doors, shares plans for near future

The little nanobrewery that could, Mother Earth Brew Co., has been on a tear over the last year-plus. Once a single business suite operation with little more than three stock pots on portable propane burners ...

Meet Booze Brothers Brewing Company

Suds-making siblings’ Vista brewery in soft open stage

The family that brews together, stays together. OK, that’s not a real adage, so I can’t confirm if it’s true, but I can say that brothers that brew together, go pro together—at least in the ...

Car stereos stolen from Vista church group

At least ten thefts occur in daylight, no witnesses

Early Sunday morning, November 17, a Jehovah's Witnesses prayer group that was holding a meeting in a home on Calinda Drive returned to their parked vehicles afterward to find many had their car stereos stolen. ...

Beer Touring: Barrel Harbor Brewing

Recognized while reviewing at one of Vista’s newest operations

“Are you reviewing the beers?” It was a question both innocent and unexpected.. Amazingly, this is the first time anybody has ever approached me in the middle of a quality check, so big props to ...

Best of Beer Week: November 9

Hitting the home stretch as San Diego Beer Week nears an end

Open House: Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co. has done some major expanding and upgrading at its original brewery, which has necessitated them closing off its tasting room. Come in for a long overdue brew and ...

Scammers in Poway squatting plot arrested in Vista

Duo attempted to rip off $75,000 in belongings

A pair of con artists who targeted a Poway homeowner were arrested in Vista yesterday afternoon (November 6), according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Per detective Dan Meyers, in 2011 Arthur Lewis and ...

Iron Fist introduces four-packs

Vista brewery doling out extra pale ale four-at-a-time

Because one can never have enough beer, even a bottle-share can lead to a second sudsy location. In the case of the share I reported on earlier this week (where I dug up early info ...

Uma and the skunk

Blogger Patty Clark envisions what it would be like to bleed to death. Then she writes about a skunk intruder in her home.

Man accused of shoplifting and battery at Vista grocery

Claimed he had AIDS and threatened to bite, witness said

“He tried biting me on my left bicep,” said Alvaro Miranda, who is a loss prevention officer for a grocery store in Vista. “Shortly after that, he said, ‘I have AIDS and I’m gonna bite ...

Vista neighbor accused of arson

Woman said she saw the man next door use a lighter

The petite Vietnamese lady said she saw her neighbor do it. Miss Ut Jones said she was outside gardening when “He start the fire three time," the elderly woman said with a heavy accent in ...

Beer of the Week: Iron Fist Renegade Blonde Ale

The quintessential gateway craft beer? I think so!

The term “gateway beer” is used to describe a craft beer that is similar in appearance and style to the American adjunct lagers produced by large brewing companies like Miller-Coors and AB-InBev. At this point, ...

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