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Early Look: Lightning tasting room

Poway-based brewery finally opens up an official sampling space.

Owner Jim Crute at home in his new tasting room digs at Lightning Brewery in Poway  - Image by Brandon Hernández
Owner Jim Crute at home in his new tasting room digs at Lightning Brewery in Poway
Place

Lightning Brewery

13200 Kirkham Way, Poway

Entrance to new Lightning Brewery tasting room in Poway

Jim Crute was almost giddy — well, about as animatedly giddy as an analytical science guy like him can get — as he opened the door to the business suite next to his Lightning Brewery (13200 Kirkham Way, Suite 105, Poway) and showed me around. The place was nondescript and had yet to begin its transformation into a brewing-friendly facility, but with plenty of space for Crute to have his way with it, it showed great promise. I recently revisited the space and barely recognized it. It’s not because I have a bad memory. The initial tour I just described happened roughly three years ago. But, last Friday, Crute was finally able to celebrate the soft opening of something his business has needed for a long time — a proper tasting room.

Newly installed tasting bar at Poway's Lightning Brewery

There’s still some work to be done, but simply having a room devoted to sampling beers like Crute’s Elemental Pilsner, Thunderweizen Ale, and Electrostatic Belgian-style strong is a big upgrade. Before that, beers were served in a small space in the brewery abutting the cold box. It was kind of cool to be in the thick of things, but with most local breweries devoting energy and funds to providing tasting spaces that are a cut above and help differentiate them from their ever-growing competition, this was almost an essential step for Lightning.

The entrance to the tasting room is around the corner from the brewery itself. Directly to the left is a space that will eventually feature an outdoor patio (more permitting is necessary for that). The front door gives way to a nice-sized room with high tables and rail bars on either side. Further in is the actual tasting bar, which is equipped with 10 taps. In a week or so, 10 more taps will be installed, but it will take some time for the company to brew enough new and experimental beers to hook up for dispensing. That could happen as soon as November or around the first of the New Year.

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Owner Jim Crute at home in his new tasting room digs at Lightning Brewery in Poway  - Image by Brandon Hernández
Owner Jim Crute at home in his new tasting room digs at Lightning Brewery in Poway
Place

Lightning Brewery

13200 Kirkham Way, Poway

Entrance to new Lightning Brewery tasting room in Poway

Jim Crute was almost giddy — well, about as animatedly giddy as an analytical science guy like him can get — as he opened the door to the business suite next to his Lightning Brewery (13200 Kirkham Way, Suite 105, Poway) and showed me around. The place was nondescript and had yet to begin its transformation into a brewing-friendly facility, but with plenty of space for Crute to have his way with it, it showed great promise. I recently revisited the space and barely recognized it. It’s not because I have a bad memory. The initial tour I just described happened roughly three years ago. But, last Friday, Crute was finally able to celebrate the soft opening of something his business has needed for a long time — a proper tasting room.

Newly installed tasting bar at Poway's Lightning Brewery

There’s still some work to be done, but simply having a room devoted to sampling beers like Crute’s Elemental Pilsner, Thunderweizen Ale, and Electrostatic Belgian-style strong is a big upgrade. Before that, beers were served in a small space in the brewery abutting the cold box. It was kind of cool to be in the thick of things, but with most local breweries devoting energy and funds to providing tasting spaces that are a cut above and help differentiate them from their ever-growing competition, this was almost an essential step for Lightning.

The entrance to the tasting room is around the corner from the brewery itself. Directly to the left is a space that will eventually feature an outdoor patio (more permitting is necessary for that). The front door gives way to a nice-sized room with high tables and rail bars on either side. Further in is the actual tasting bar, which is equipped with 10 taps. In a week or so, 10 more taps will be installed, but it will take some time for the company to brew enough new and experimental beers to hook up for dispensing. That could happen as soon as November or around the first of the New Year.

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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
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