South Park Brewing Co. and Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery head brewer Cosimo Sorrentino
1521 30th Street, San Diego
It’s been ten months since we broke the news about publican and brewery-owner Scot Blair’s brewpub project, South Park Brewing Company. Since then, he and his crew have been hard at work converting the former bicycle shop abutting (and now interiorly connected to) Hamilton’s Tavern into a seafood-centric brewpub that now houses the brewhouse from another of Blair’s businesses, the East Village’s Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery. That system was put to work last week, with a plan of having that initial brew, 2 Griffs Pale Ale, ready for a late February soft opening along with at least three other beers.
South Park Brewing Co.'s sizable kitchen space
The space in the dining room that will soon sport at 25-foot communal table
The bar will offer unimpeded views of the brewery
The fish counter
I was given a view of that five-barrel system in its new environs and a tour of a construction site in its final stages last week. Though littered with raw materials, it’s taking shape quite nicely, enough that I was able to envision it as a hub for this community seeking what Blair calls “honest fish” and “thoughtfully crafted beer.”
The menu will consist of seafood prepared in simple fashion with inspiration from Baja and Asian cultures. The kitchen, which is sizable for a restaurant of South Park Brewing’s size, is equipped with a brand new smoker, grill, multiple fryers, and more. Though the menu isn’t finalized, visitors can expect smoked trout sandwiches, grilled mahi mahi tacos, and Jewish deli-style lox.
The dining room is L-shaped, flanking the kitchen on two sides. A 25-foot-long communal table will be placed in the section of the dining room running parallel to 30th Street and offer views of that thoroughfare. Also visible are the kitchen and the brewery. The latter is situated behind a bar running the length of the south wall. Guests will be able to watch head brewer Cosimo Sorrentino and his assistants mind the tun and tanks as they belly up and order the liquid fruits of their labor. Black-and-white fishing photos, seafaring bric-a-brac, nautical rope-entwined columns, and patina-treated walls will make up the decor.
On the beer front, 2 Griffs, an ale designed to match the flavor of pinier Northern California and Pacific Northwest pales, will share space on the beer board with the 100% Simcoe hop South Park India Pale Ale (IPA), the citrusy Finest City double IPA, a dry-hopped saison, and creamy, briny, low-roast “ode to an oyster stout” named after the Scripps Pier.
Other beers are also planned and will be available in growlers to go. Another cool thing that can be purchased for offsite consumption is fresh seafood from the fish counter. Blair says he intends to get the highest quality fish he can get his hands on and that the same sea fare his chefs use will be up for grabs for the do-it-yourselfers.