Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Bottlecraft Part Deux
Second iteration of popular Little Italy beer shop concept coming to North Park
As the craft beer movement chugs along and the liquid medium proves profitable, bottle shops lined with row upon row of fine glass-encased brews are popping up all over the county. A handful of beer outlets that were ahead of the curve—Holiday Wine Cellar, and the Pizza Port Bottle Shop, to name a couple—now have a great many contemporaries, many of which have only been in business for a couple of years. One of the standouts of the newish class is Bottlecraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room (2161 India Street, Little Italy).
Owner Brian Jensen opened his downtown brew emporium in mid-2011 in the spot formerly occupied by Tango Wines and has grown it into one of the most well known shops of its kind. That reputation is based on more than just for well-stocked shelves. On any given day, patrons can sample rotating, logically sorted craft beer flights on-site. On top of that, Jensen holds frequent informative and inventive events, a number of which include professional brewers and industry insiders who contribute their knowledge to boost guests’ understanding of craft beer and the brewing industry without letting things get too jargon-laden or stuffy. Beginning next month, Bottlecraft will also launch a Beer Club, providing members six specially selected bottles per month as well as various other store perks.
With a year-and-a-half of experience under his belt, Jensen is nearly ready to open a second Bottlecraft, this time in the heart of perhaps San Diego’s beeriest community—North Park. The new space, located on University Avenue between 30th Street and Ray Street, is larger than the original, meaning Jensen will be able to stock a larger inventory than he does in Little Italy. A percentage of that space will be devoted to other craft beverages, including cider, wine, sake, and artisanal sodas.
While Jensen plans on getting licensed for a tasting room (an iffy proposition), for now, the new Bottlecraft will be a straight to-go retail outlet. For now, he says he is most excited about the opportunity to collaborate with some of his favorite North Park bars and restaurants. The new Bottlecraft is scheduled to open in January. It will be located at 3007 University Avenue and hours of operation will be noon to 10 P.M. daily.