Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

2013’s Best New Brewing Companies

The finest of an unprecedentedly extensive rookie class

The front bar at Modern Times.
The front bar at Modern Times.

As I did last year, I’m calling out the best new brewing operations to debut in 2013 or so late last year that they didn’t qualify for the 2012 rookie of the year race. Last year, Societe Brewing Company, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, and Latitude 33 Brewing Company took top honors, with Amplified Ale Works, Belching Beaver Brewery, and Offbeat Brewing Company listed as my best bets to make the list in 2013. Let’s see how the newbie class — at 25, the largest of any year in San Diego suds history (and that doesn’t count the new spots opened by existing brewing companies) — shook out.

Place

Rip Current Brewing

1325 Grand Avenue #100, San Marcos

Rip Current Brewing Company: When opening their business, accomplished homebrewers Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe set out to keep the homebrew spirit alive by using their smaller pilot system to churn out an extremely varied and constantly rotating assortment of beers, and they’ve done just that while introducing phenomenal India pale ales highlighted by Caught In A Rip, a triple IPA; and exposing drinkers to rare beer styles like roggenbier, a nearly extinct rye-based German brew.

Place

Benchmark Brewing Co.

6190 Fairmount Avenue, Suite G, San Diego

Benchmark Brewing Company: When determining who was deserving of best new brewery status, it came down to hundredths of a point, because this passion project of former AleSmith brewer Matt Akin is putting out such impressive beers. His brown ale and oatmeal stout were essentially perfect straight out of the gate, as were hoppier creations like his San Diego 71 double IPA. In the end, only a smaller number of offerings kept Benchmark out of the top spot. Think of them more as 1B than second place.

Place

Amplified Aleworks (at California Kebab and Beer Garden)

4150 Mission Boulevard #208, San Diego

Amplified Ale Works: If anyone tells you they knew how great this nano operation sequestered in the back of a Pacific Beach kebab restaurant was going to be, it’s OK to call them a liar. Homebrewer and entrepreneur JC Hill came out of nowhere and, thanks in large part to head brewer Cy Henley (formerly of Alpine Beer Co.), immediately produced impressive beers like easy-drinking, uber-hoppy Electrocution IPA and Pig Nose Pale Ale. Easily one of ‘13’s best and biggest beer surprises.

Place

Belching Beaver Brewery

980 Park Center Drive, Suite A, Vista

Belching Beaver Brewery: Like many, once I got past the name, I was able to see the beers of this Vista-based brewery for what they are—tasty and well-crafted brews with SoCal appeal. They make several IPAs, all of which show well, but it’s their Beaver’s Milk Stout that has earned it the most raves in North County and at the company’s North Park tasting room.

Place

Modern Times Lomaland Fermentorium

3725 Greenwood Street, San Diego

Modern Times Beer: Crowdfunding and an experienced brewing trio are responsible for this emerging Point Loma brewery. The beers are early in their development and fluctuate a bit, but when they’re on, they’re quite desirable. An ever-growing series of Brettanomyces-spiked beers keep things interesting and an extremely attractive tasting room certainly doesn’t hurt.

Place

Saint Archer Brewing Co.

9550 Distribution Avenue, San Diego

Saint Archer Brewery: A mid-season brewmaster change and a late surge provided by a delicious double IPA and American-style stout are what jettisoned this company from the middle of the pack to the top third. New hop contracts should help Saint Archer continue to progress in its evolution come the New Year.

Place

Offbeat Brewing Company

1223 Pacific Oaks Place #101, Escondido

Offbeat Brewing Company: It may not have the fanfare of the aforementioned companies, but this little Escondidian outpost is making a number of appealing, low-alcohol, English-style beers, like Bear Arms Brown Ale and a refreshing pale ale called Girafficopter. Throw in cool rotating art and you’ve got something quaintly special.

Place

Culture Brewing Co.

111 S. Cedros Avenue #200, Solana Beach

Culture Brewing Company: Opening a brewery within walking distance of Pizza Port Solana Beach — one of San Diego’s most storied brewing spots — is a dicey undertaking, but a black IPA that ranks among the county’s best and a well-appointed, Belly Up-adjacent spot in the Cedros Design District have led to early success.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

How to get to the river path from Sports Arena Boulevard

Maybe you shouldn't try
Next Article

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

Much of the craftsmanship and styling cues of the era remain
The front bar at Modern Times.
The front bar at Modern Times.

As I did last year, I’m calling out the best new brewing operations to debut in 2013 or so late last year that they didn’t qualify for the 2012 rookie of the year race. Last year, Societe Brewing Company, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, and Latitude 33 Brewing Company took top honors, with Amplified Ale Works, Belching Beaver Brewery, and Offbeat Brewing Company listed as my best bets to make the list in 2013. Let’s see how the newbie class — at 25, the largest of any year in San Diego suds history (and that doesn’t count the new spots opened by existing brewing companies) — shook out.

Place

Rip Current Brewing

1325 Grand Avenue #100, San Marcos

Rip Current Brewing Company: When opening their business, accomplished homebrewers Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe set out to keep the homebrew spirit alive by using their smaller pilot system to churn out an extremely varied and constantly rotating assortment of beers, and they’ve done just that while introducing phenomenal India pale ales highlighted by Caught In A Rip, a triple IPA; and exposing drinkers to rare beer styles like roggenbier, a nearly extinct rye-based German brew.

Place

Benchmark Brewing Co.

6190 Fairmount Avenue, Suite G, San Diego

Benchmark Brewing Company: When determining who was deserving of best new brewery status, it came down to hundredths of a point, because this passion project of former AleSmith brewer Matt Akin is putting out such impressive beers. His brown ale and oatmeal stout were essentially perfect straight out of the gate, as were hoppier creations like his San Diego 71 double IPA. In the end, only a smaller number of offerings kept Benchmark out of the top spot. Think of them more as 1B than second place.

Place

Amplified Aleworks (at California Kebab and Beer Garden)

4150 Mission Boulevard #208, San Diego

Amplified Ale Works: If anyone tells you they knew how great this nano operation sequestered in the back of a Pacific Beach kebab restaurant was going to be, it’s OK to call them a liar. Homebrewer and entrepreneur JC Hill came out of nowhere and, thanks in large part to head brewer Cy Henley (formerly of Alpine Beer Co.), immediately produced impressive beers like easy-drinking, uber-hoppy Electrocution IPA and Pig Nose Pale Ale. Easily one of ‘13’s best and biggest beer surprises.

Place

Belching Beaver Brewery

980 Park Center Drive, Suite A, Vista

Belching Beaver Brewery: Like many, once I got past the name, I was able to see the beers of this Vista-based brewery for what they are—tasty and well-crafted brews with SoCal appeal. They make several IPAs, all of which show well, but it’s their Beaver’s Milk Stout that has earned it the most raves in North County and at the company’s North Park tasting room.

Place

Modern Times Lomaland Fermentorium

3725 Greenwood Street, San Diego

Modern Times Beer: Crowdfunding and an experienced brewing trio are responsible for this emerging Point Loma brewery. The beers are early in their development and fluctuate a bit, but when they’re on, they’re quite desirable. An ever-growing series of Brettanomyces-spiked beers keep things interesting and an extremely attractive tasting room certainly doesn’t hurt.

Place

Saint Archer Brewing Co.

9550 Distribution Avenue, San Diego

Saint Archer Brewery: A mid-season brewmaster change and a late surge provided by a delicious double IPA and American-style stout are what jettisoned this company from the middle of the pack to the top third. New hop contracts should help Saint Archer continue to progress in its evolution come the New Year.

Place

Offbeat Brewing Company

1223 Pacific Oaks Place #101, Escondido

Offbeat Brewing Company: It may not have the fanfare of the aforementioned companies, but this little Escondidian outpost is making a number of appealing, low-alcohol, English-style beers, like Bear Arms Brown Ale and a refreshing pale ale called Girafficopter. Throw in cool rotating art and you’ve got something quaintly special.

Place

Culture Brewing Co.

111 S. Cedros Avenue #200, Solana Beach

Culture Brewing Company: Opening a brewery within walking distance of Pizza Port Solana Beach — one of San Diego’s most storied brewing spots — is a dicey undertaking, but a black IPA that ranks among the county’s best and a well-appointed, Belly Up-adjacent spot in the Cedros Design District have led to early success.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Matthew Stewart’s protest song earns heavy spins online

“Alternative Facts” uses the catchphrase coined by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway
Next Article

How to get to the river path from Sports Arena Boulevard

Maybe you shouldn't try
Comments
1

Yeah, working at Stone is a bit of a conflict would you not think? Sorry, it's just impossible to be subjective while under the thumb of that business. Not to mention there are some obvious hard hitting stories out there that are not being published by anyone. Come on SDSU interns!

Jan. 3, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close