5985 Santa Fe Street, San Diego
In April 2012, I wrote about “The Summer of Karl,” noting new developments for Karl Strauss Brewing Company. That included the 24-year-old stalwart, which is known for having been ahead of most local operations in most respects, keeping up with younger competition by installing a tasting room at their production facility. That project took some time and underwent some design changes, but last weekend, it officially debuted to the public.
Karl Strauss’ tasting room is installed in the southwest corner of its main brewery (5985 Santa Fe Street, Pacific Beach). The space was designed by Public Architecture + Planning is outfitted in reclaimed barrel wood, concrete, steel and other materials that tie its aesthetic in with the brewery it’s a part of.
Visitors can taste year-round beers along with specialty offerings from 20 taps (plus a beer engine that will be utilized for weekly casks), then sample them at a large table in the “barrel room” or lounge in a spacious outdoor beer garden. As with most local tasting rooms, food trucks will also be welcomed and provide food options, but guests are welcomed to bring their own food if they prefer.
Originally, the tasting room was going to include a second story touring area where visitors would be able to climb a staircase and get a bird’s eye view of the brewery and cellar. Unfortunately, once work got underway, it was deemed unfeasible and had to be scrapped. But visitors are granted views of the facility’s brewery, quality control lab, and bottling line. All in all, the space falls right in line with Karl Strauss’ other venues while offering an all-new experience for the company’s patrons.
Note: Photos courtesy of Karl Strauss Brewing Company