Derek Ray 5:51 p.m., May 19
Escondido resident Aaron Calles loves his community, and has a plan to give back to it. Plan 9!
OK, that was cheesy, but so was the low-budget sci-fi flick, "Plan 9 from Outer Space," his upcoming Plan 9 Alehouse (155 East Grand Avenue) is named after. Known in cine circles as one of the worst movies ever made, it’s a favorite of Calles’, an entrepreneur who mulled over the idea of opening his own production brewery, but changed course when a space in a pre-1910 building in the heart of downtown Escondido fell in his lap.
Plan 9 will be a small brewpub pumping out just under 200 barrels of beer a year from a one-and-a-half barrel brewhouse with four fermenters and several bourbon barrels (Calles is also working on procuring some wine barrels). The business’ brewing capacity will be small, but the variety of beers it offers will not be.
Calles plans on producing both Old and New World styles. A trio he’ll lead with includes the easygoing Dad’s Lawnmower Pale Ale, an aggressively hopped IPA, and a smooth oatmeal stout called Without A Doubt. Plan 9’s taps will also dispense a variety of Belgian beers (golden ale, dubbel, tripel, and the occasional quad), as well as guest beers from other local breweries, with an emphasis on newer operations. Calles also plans to brew up some self-proclaimed “weird” and “unconventional” concoctions and offer several beers on cask.
Plan 9 is currently slated to open sometime this fall, though Calles is leery of guaranteeing that given all of the unforeseen mishaps that can greatly impact any new business trying to get its doors open. At the moment, he has a Kickstarter campaign up and running while he uses his existing funds to move through the early steps of getting Plan 9 off the ground.
When the brewpub is up and running, it will offer food that’s American and European in nature—sometimes healthy and organic; sometimes deep-fried comfort food. Dishes that figure to make it on the opening day menu include a pork belly BLT, Thai cobb salad, bourbon-sriracha duck wings, and roasted corn-pasilla soup topped with goat cheese and popcorn.
Once Calles and company are in the black, they hope to help raise awareness to local charities and lead efforts such as clean-up days. He also hopes to reinvest in the business, expanding the brewhouse capacity into the seven-to-ten barrel range, which will allow him to package and distribute Plan 9's beer. For now, his main goal is much simpler: to provide a beery beacon for his hometown.