URBN St. Brewing Co. brewmaster Callaway Ryan
3085 University Avenue, San Diego
410 Tenth Avenue, San Diego
When El Cajon Brewing Company opened in 2011, there was some degree of professional brewing experience, but none where it came to operating a craft beer production business. Due mostly to that lack of experience, the business failed. Now, as reported back in July, the brewpub is being taken over by the restaurateurs behind San Diego County’s Basic Pizza and URBN Coal Fired Pizza empire.
It will be converted into an URBN Coal Fired Pizza, and its onsite beer production component will go by the name of URBN St. Brewing Company. Despite this being the group’s first foray into the craft brewing game, there will be a trio of individuals running the show on-site with vocational experience earned in the industry. In fact, they all hail from the same place—Stone Brewing Co.
Per earlier reports, Alex Carballo, the former executive chef at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, has skin in the game and will be responsible for culinary operations. Having cooked for thousands upon thousands of craft beer fans over the past half-decade and constructed menus for hundreds of vastly different beer events, he should be able to provide back-of-house stability to this venue’s future incarnation. Ditto the services of Jake Nunes, a former bar supervisor and certified Cicerone (think beer sommelier) at Stone’s Escondido restaurant who also logged time with Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits and Karl Strauss Brewing Company. He will serve as the general manager and bring know-how to the front-of-house.
Given the personnel additions above, it should come as no surprise that the brewmaster URBN and company have tapped also comes from Stone. His name is Callaway Ryan and he arrives at the new business after a year-and-a-half as a senior brewer for Stone. Before that, he spent nearly six years at noted Minnesota operation, Surly Brewing Co. In making the move, he will be transitioning from production brewing at a brewery equipped with twin 120-barrel systems to a 15-barrel brewhouse, however, he has spent the bulk of his career working on smaller systems, so it’s actually familiar territory for him and he is looking forward to brewing recipes that are distinctly his own.
To a man, all three of the aforementioned individuals are happy to be working with each other. Carballo and Ryan are particularly outspoken in their appreciation for the opportunities afforded by their previous employer. On the other end of the equation, Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch has stated his excitement for Carballo and this project.