Alesmith's new beer hall
Friday, October 23, AleSmith's original tasting room on Cabot Drive closed its doors, symbolically bringing the brewery's first 20 years in business to a close. At 11 a.m. the following morning, not even a mile away, AleSmith officially opened a vast new tasting room to the public, greatly expanding its retail capacity to match the business's growth this year on the production end.
9990 Alesmith Court, San Diego
The brewery has been serving beer at both locations since June, when it opened a temporary Observation Room to get customers used to visiting its new location on a street now officially named AleSmith Court. That small space roughly matched the 750 square-foot size of the tasting room on Cabot — the new space covers 20,000 square feet, not including 5000 square feet of outdoor space.
A glycol-powered beer tower features 20 taps of AleSmith releases.
By noon Saturday, aided by the arrival of a couple of party buses, the crowd visiting the new tasting room had already swelled past Cabot Drive's 87-person capacity. Over a hundred vied to be among the first to receive pours from the trio of copper-clad draught towers, designed to give beertenders space to move between and around each other while operating 60 taps of AleSmith core beers and special releases. The opening roughly coincides with the expansion of AleSmith's six-pack releases — 12-ounce bottles of its core IPA, Nut Brown Ale and Lil Devil Belgian ale.
With room to accommodate up to 475 customers inside, AleSmith plans to add an outdoor bar as well, part of continuing build-out of the 105,000-square-foot brewery and packaging plant. Other plans include a pavilion commemorating the life and career of baseball great Tony Gwynn (a friend of the brewery prior to his 2014 passing), a private events space, and additional seating at an upstairs mezzanine.
Seating at the new dog-friendly facility primarily includes bar stools situated around barrels — not unlike the Cabot room, except these are outfitted with tabletops embossed with the AleSmith logo. The unfinished outdoor space includes room for a food truck, with landscaping touches forthcoming.
Via press release, owner Peter Zein said, “Our twentieth year has been momentous with us moving into a much larger facility that will allow us to increase our production ten-fold, but the biggest thrill for us in this process is being able to provide a world-class place to share our beer with the fans who played such a vital role in making AleSmith what it has become.”