Quantcast
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

The Homebrewer is now brewing

New tasting room features Home Brew Co. beers

Beer enthusiasts discuss beer ingredients and styles at Home Brew Co.
Beer enthusiasts discuss beer ingredients and styles at Home Brew Co.

A different sort of brewery has opened in North Park. Brewing supply store the Homebrewer soft-opened a tasting room in February. The 21-tap room has a few design revisions in store before its official summer opening, but already has a number of brewed-on-site beers showcasing the variety of yeasts, malts, and hops offered for sale in the nearly three-and-a-half-year-old shop.

Place

Homebrewer

2911 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

"Everybody asked that in the beginning if we were going to do a brewery eventually," says owner George Thornton, referring to the fact Ballast Point famously grew out of the Home Brew Mart supply store 20 years ago. "It wasn't really my intention."

But after a couple of years meeting and working with others in the industry, the unique logistical opportunities gave the idea some legs. "We felt like our brewery could do stuff that was focused on the quality of the beer," Thornton says, "but also could experiment." The Homebrewer's beers — released under the name Home Brew Co. — do play around with different brewing recipes and techniques. Perhaps more important, Thornton and his team diligently document each process, sharing recipes and brew methods, even those that don't turn out well.

He calls it "open-sourcing," sharing information like, "This is what we did, this is what went wrong, this is what we're going to do to fix it." These insights, alongside beer tastings, offer an educational component for enthusiasts. For example, a Saison offered in conjunction with June's Home Brewer's Conference features a yeast strain newly released by White Labs, giving brewers a chance to taste the new ingredient in action.

Taking the concept further, Home Brew Co. brews alternate batches of many of its beers, highlighting how different decisions might affect the outcome. "Our brewery is built kind of backwards," Thornton points out, "We have a seven-barrel brew house, and then we have several 3.5-barrel fermenters. So, usually you would do that inverse. You would have your fermenters twice as large." That's if he were trying to maximize efficiency, as a regular production brewery would. "But by doing that," he adds, "we can have a brew day where everything is completely the same, and then in one fermenter we can put one type of yeast, and the other fermenter we can put a different type of yeast, so we can showcase that difference."

A similar approach may be applied with malt or hops. Any given week, the tasting room might include several SMaSH beers, valued by home brewers for highlighting Single Malt and Single Hop flavors. Still, Home Brew Co. isn't strictly an educational platform — great beer is a priority, and the team is currently developing a roster of flagship beers because, as Thornton puts it, "People also want to know you can brew the same thing over and over — that's a skill." Besides, they can always demonstrate how the consistency of these beers change with minor adjustments: "We'll have it the consistent way we always do it, and then we'll always do something else different to it," Thornton says, "and we'll have them both on tap side-by-side."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Five black-owned restaurants to try in San Diego

As George Floyd protests continue, some diners seek to support African-American restaurateurs
Next Article

San Diego's deadliest parks

Baldarrama, Balboa, Chicano, Kate Sessions, Kelly, Lindbergh, Libby Lake, Linda Vista, Southcrest
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Beer enthusiasts discuss beer ingredients and styles at Home Brew Co.
Beer enthusiasts discuss beer ingredients and styles at Home Brew Co.

A different sort of brewery has opened in North Park. Brewing supply store the Homebrewer soft-opened a tasting room in February. The 21-tap room has a few design revisions in store before its official summer opening, but already has a number of brewed-on-site beers showcasing the variety of yeasts, malts, and hops offered for sale in the nearly three-and-a-half-year-old shop.

Place

Homebrewer

2911 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

"Everybody asked that in the beginning if we were going to do a brewery eventually," says owner George Thornton, referring to the fact Ballast Point famously grew out of the Home Brew Mart supply store 20 years ago. "It wasn't really my intention."

But after a couple of years meeting and working with others in the industry, the unique logistical opportunities gave the idea some legs. "We felt like our brewery could do stuff that was focused on the quality of the beer," Thornton says, "but also could experiment." The Homebrewer's beers — released under the name Home Brew Co. — do play around with different brewing recipes and techniques. Perhaps more important, Thornton and his team diligently document each process, sharing recipes and brew methods, even those that don't turn out well.

He calls it "open-sourcing," sharing information like, "This is what we did, this is what went wrong, this is what we're going to do to fix it." These insights, alongside beer tastings, offer an educational component for enthusiasts. For example, a Saison offered in conjunction with June's Home Brewer's Conference features a yeast strain newly released by White Labs, giving brewers a chance to taste the new ingredient in action.

Taking the concept further, Home Brew Co. brews alternate batches of many of its beers, highlighting how different decisions might affect the outcome. "Our brewery is built kind of backwards," Thornton points out, "We have a seven-barrel brew house, and then we have several 3.5-barrel fermenters. So, usually you would do that inverse. You would have your fermenters twice as large." That's if he were trying to maximize efficiency, as a regular production brewery would. "But by doing that," he adds, "we can have a brew day where everything is completely the same, and then in one fermenter we can put one type of yeast, and the other fermenter we can put a different type of yeast, so we can showcase that difference."

A similar approach may be applied with malt or hops. Any given week, the tasting room might include several SMaSH beers, valued by home brewers for highlighting Single Malt and Single Hop flavors. Still, Home Brew Co. isn't strictly an educational platform — great beer is a priority, and the team is currently developing a roster of flagship beers because, as Thornton puts it, "People also want to know you can brew the same thing over and over — that's a skill." Besides, they can always demonstrate how the consistency of these beers change with minor adjustments: "We'll have it the consistent way we always do it, and then we'll always do something else different to it," Thornton says, "and we'll have them both on tap side-by-side."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Dark night for La Mesa

"I don't understand. Why?"
Next Article

Underground water in Carlsbad plays tricks on developers

Moisture in the soil delays Marriott suites
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close