Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
The Brewery business is going gangbusters here in San Diego. Seems like every time we turn around there’s another brewery on the block, and in North County, business is booming at an astounding rate. The ever expanding high priests of craft beer, Stone brewery, have opened their new location in downtown Oceanside,with more outlets to follow, and the smaller start-ups are having a field day too; Oceanside Ale works has bought the building next door and just keep the beer flowing. It seems like just the other day Mother Earth Brewery opened their tiny tasting room in Vista to the unsuspecting public. The local community nodded with resounding approval and we were rewarded with Iron Fist, followed by Aztec Brewery and several more slated to open soon.
Mother Earth is still young; in it's 4 years it has a cultish following already, and has expanded with much aplomb to Main street in Downtown Vista, with 6000 sq. ft. of space, bringing the grand total to 8200 sq. ft. The two new 20 barrel tanks joining the existing 10 barrel brew house will stay at the Thibodo location, which has expanded to the unit next door. “ Business is booming, and we feel great,” say's assistant brewer John Johur, “looking forward to the future,” he says with a wide smile and a twinkle in his eye.
Iron fist brewery, with the young savant Brandon Sieminski at its helm, is not one to be left behind. Usually packed on Fridays and Saturdays, the new addition of a shiny new 60 barrel fermentor, and taking over the building next door, they now enjoy a combination of 8000 sf ft, which helps the overflow crowd immensely. Brandon explains some of the technicalities, “More space for the playing of Vivaldi and Mozart over the speakers during brew days, which will help make the beer become even more righteous,” And pray tell what will the new facility house? A brand new bottling machine which will roll out 20 750 ml bottles a minute.
Recent upstart Aztec Brewery has scaled up from the 3.5 barrel pots to a 15 barrel brew house within the first year of operation. With 2 ceiling high 28 barrel fermentors delivered last week from AleSmith brewery, along with their previous bottling machine too, we shall expect copious amounts of craft beer soon. “I thank my amazing assistant brewers whom, without, all this would not have possible.” Mentions partner and master brewer Rob Esposito with a tear in his eye, whilst admiring the First Place Gold ribbon hanging on the wall, awarded in Del Mar this past summer for the Aztec Amber. Business is growing at such a rate, they took over the unit next door where the tasting room is located now, bringing the total sq. footage to 3500 sq. ft.
Rest of the world take note; North County is doing very well and is now the apparent epicenter of craft brewing in the world, maybe a precursor that the economy is finally coming around. Not since the turn of the century have we seen growth happen so fast in this sector, and it's not just a bubble either; the supply cannot keep up with the demand, a quality problem. To quote the ambassador of craft beer Charlie Papazian, who said it so eloquently at the 2012 world beer competition in San Diego, “We are knee deep in foam, and the foam is still rising.” ~Guru
Stone Brewery 310 N Tremont St Oceanside, CA 92054
Oceanside Aleworks 1800 Ord Way Oceanside, CA 92056 (760) 295-0731
Mother Earth Brewery 2055 Thibodo Road, Suite H Vista, CA 92081 (760) 599-4225 206 Main Street Vista, CA 92084 (760) 726-2273
Iron Fist Brewery 1305 Hot Spring Way Vista, CA 92081 (760) 216-6500
Aztec Brewery 2330 La Mirada Drive #300 Vista, CA 92081 (760) 598-7720