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Bear Roots officially San Diego's latest craft brewery

Vista shop also serving a homebewer's beer

This Scotch ale is one of eight inaugural brews on tap at Bear Roots.
This Scotch ale is one of eight inaugural brews on tap at Bear Roots.
Place

Bear Roots Brewing Co.

1213 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Vista

Bear Roots Brewing Co. officially joined the ranks of Vista breweries with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, December 18. The one-barrel nanobrewery actually soft-opened through November, releasing a few batches of beer to share with friends and customers of its home-brew supply shop.

The shop has been running strong since September, hosting a Learn to Brew day in conjunction with the American Homebrewer's Association and North Coast Brew Club, and launching a quarterly homebrew contest. The winning recipe from each contest, chosen by a panel of certified local judges, will be served in Bear Roots' new tasting room for three months, with half the proceeds going to a charity of the homebrewer's choice.

What a tasting room in a home brewing supply shop looks like.

The inaugural contest focused on the American IPA style, and with the grand opening Bear Roots owner Terry Little announced the winner was Sean Daniels, who beat a "really impressive" field of 32 entrants to see his IPA hit the taps this winter.

That will be alongside the initial Bear Roots lineup, which includes the Latham Red IPA with raspberry, Deep Rooted double IPA dry hopped with Amarillo, and Bite the Bulleit Belgian tripel made with bourbon soaked oak chips. There's also the We Made One Too peanut butter milk stout, its name in reference to a similar beer made by Vista neighbor Belching Beaver.

Little says, "It's really hard to cater every beer to every palate, so we try to have a beer for every palate." He adds that, with a home brew shop at his disposal, which carries dozens of different grain varieties and over 40 strains of yeast, he's got room to try out a number of styles. "All the ingredients we have access to, we can brew spontaneously."

With another Vista home brewing supply shop, operated by Mother Earth Brewing, having just closed for good on December 15, Bear Roots recently expanded its hops selection to accommodate area brewing hobbyists. While the shops were technically competitors for a short time, Little feels more appreciation for their having an established market, saying: "We thank Mother Earth for supporting us, and keeping the homebrewing culture alive in Vista."

The new tasting room shares space with the shop, decked out with raw wood panel, and concrete bar. The only divider between supplies and bar are several tables and a leather sofa, where beer enthusiasts may sip and discuss.

Shop manager Nick Boling, who helped build out the shop and tasting room, says "The past two months, the biggest alligator to the boat has been the tasting room." In other words, it's been the biggest priority, so while eight beers were on tap for the grand opening, none were available for growler fills until more time can be devoted to brewing.

Little, who works full time outside the shop, figures he can catch up to initial demand by January, but beyond that he has upgrades in mind. "By summer," he says, "we're looking to expand to a five-barrel system in a neighboring facility."

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This Scotch ale is one of eight inaugural brews on tap at Bear Roots.
This Scotch ale is one of eight inaugural brews on tap at Bear Roots.
Place

Bear Roots Brewing Co.

1213 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Vista

Bear Roots Brewing Co. officially joined the ranks of Vista breweries with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, December 18. The one-barrel nanobrewery actually soft-opened through November, releasing a few batches of beer to share with friends and customers of its home-brew supply shop.

The shop has been running strong since September, hosting a Learn to Brew day in conjunction with the American Homebrewer's Association and North Coast Brew Club, and launching a quarterly homebrew contest. The winning recipe from each contest, chosen by a panel of certified local judges, will be served in Bear Roots' new tasting room for three months, with half the proceeds going to a charity of the homebrewer's choice.

What a tasting room in a home brewing supply shop looks like.

The inaugural contest focused on the American IPA style, and with the grand opening Bear Roots owner Terry Little announced the winner was Sean Daniels, who beat a "really impressive" field of 32 entrants to see his IPA hit the taps this winter.

That will be alongside the initial Bear Roots lineup, which includes the Latham Red IPA with raspberry, Deep Rooted double IPA dry hopped with Amarillo, and Bite the Bulleit Belgian tripel made with bourbon soaked oak chips. There's also the We Made One Too peanut butter milk stout, its name in reference to a similar beer made by Vista neighbor Belching Beaver.

Little says, "It's really hard to cater every beer to every palate, so we try to have a beer for every palate." He adds that, with a home brew shop at his disposal, which carries dozens of different grain varieties and over 40 strains of yeast, he's got room to try out a number of styles. "All the ingredients we have access to, we can brew spontaneously."

With another Vista home brewing supply shop, operated by Mother Earth Brewing, having just closed for good on December 15, Bear Roots recently expanded its hops selection to accommodate area brewing hobbyists. While the shops were technically competitors for a short time, Little feels more appreciation for their having an established market, saying: "We thank Mother Earth for supporting us, and keeping the homebrewing culture alive in Vista."

The new tasting room shares space with the shop, decked out with raw wood panel, and concrete bar. The only divider between supplies and bar are several tables and a leather sofa, where beer enthusiasts may sip and discuss.

Shop manager Nick Boling, who helped build out the shop and tasting room, says "The past two months, the biggest alligator to the boat has been the tasting room." In other words, it's been the biggest priority, so while eight beers were on tap for the grand opening, none were available for growler fills until more time can be devoted to brewing.

Little, who works full time outside the shop, figures he can catch up to initial demand by January, but beyond that he has upgrades in mind. "By summer," he says, "we're looking to expand to a five-barrel system in a neighboring facility."

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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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