A view of the Mike Hess Brewing North Park brewhouse from one of the catwalks.
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 procreative of the bunch.
2816 Historic Decatur Road #116, San Diego
Stone Brewing Co.: Most of the gargoyle empire’s growth was very overt — opening a second farm-to-table restaurant with an on-site brewery in Liberty Station that just so happens to be San Diego’s largest eatery, installing a third dining venue in the newly revamped Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport, and debuting Stone Company Store – On Kettner in Little Italy. But some of the biggest growth came behind the scenes, with the addition of the huge Stone Packaging Hall and a barrel warehouse. What’s Next? Another Stone Company Store in the former Wine Steals space at PETCO Park’s Park at the Park...and more!
2215 India Street, San Diego
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits: Ballast Point continued its immense growth, completing more construction projects than you can shake a fishing pole at. First up was getting a large concession area open at PETCO Park. That was followed by installation of a brand new brewhouse and expansion of the tasting room at BP’s Home Brew Mart location, and the late-2013 opening of a combination R&D brewery, tasting room and kitchen in Little Italy. All the while, the company was busy building and maxing out its Scripps Ranch brewing and distilling facility. What’s Next? Building the company’s largest brewery yet, in Mira Mesa.
2730 Gateway Road, Carlsbad
Pizza Port: For most brewpub chains, adding another link wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but Pizza Port’s newest pie-and-suds spot is its biggest yet. Located in Carlsbad’s Bressi Ranch neighborhood, it is equipped with a production brewery that dwarfs the systems at any of Pizza Port’s other locations. What’s Next? That massive facility houses a canning line that’ll get beer-filled aluminum to the masses.
3812 Grim Avenue, San Diego
Mike Hess Brewing Company: Not only did the name of this business change, it graduated from the nanobrewery ranks in a big way, opening a much larger facility in a former religious bookstore. The tasting room is spacious and catwalks leading in from the street provide a peek at the brewery below. What’s Next? Yes, they can can, too.
5985 Santa Fe Street, San Diego
Karl Strauss Brewing Company: The expansion of Uncle Karl’s legacy continued when, last month, the company opened its eighth brewery-restaurant in Temecula. But perhaps KS’ best completed project of ‘13 was the installation of a stylish tasting room at its Pacific Beach production brewery. What’s Next? Expanding NorCal presence and exploring locations for a new brewing facility once the current production brewery is maxed out.
2055 Thibodo Road, Suite H, Vista
Mother Earth Brew Co.: One of Vista’s fastest-growing brewing companies expanded its production capabilities at its original facility and also took over a number of suites at its business park home. What’s Next? Taking over more suites until almost the whole park is theirs (they’ll let the church next door stay).
Disclosure: In addition to his work as a journalist, Brandon Hernández is employed by Stone Brewing Co.