A taster flight of the first four beers offered by Magnetic Brewing
Sometime late in August, about 21 months after signing a lease on a small Kearny Mesa industrial space, Morgan McCarty completed the long, arduous permitting process required to launch Magnetic Brewing. When was it specifically? "I don't know," he says. "It was a Wednesday. I didn't advertise it at all, I just opened the door."
He did think to post an Instagram photo of the sandwich-board sign announcing the tasting room open on August 26th, so that was probably the Wednesday in question. One might expect McCarty to have taken special note of the occasion, which was certainly a long time coming. But the full-time electrician has a wife and two young children, so he's had plenty to keep him busy while slogging through ABC and TCB license applications.
"It's just one piece of paper after another," he explains. "Had I hired a consultant they probably would have told me all that." After a moment, he adds, "I thought I was going to save some money by not getting a consultant but it just ended up costing me more in rent."
So, for 21 months the home brewer has slowly readied the simple DIY space. "I've just been hangin’ out, painting the walls," he says. His brew system is the same he's used to make beer at home the past few years, 1.5 barrels — roughly three kegs — at a time. Since he only has time to brew on Sundays, he's been gradually ramping up his tap list from three initial offerings consisting of a brown ale, witbier, and IPA. He's since added an amber and a double IPA and says when he gets to six Magnetic will be officially open, eventually adding an extra four taps for seasonals and experimental.
The current roster skews stronger than most, with the Lodestone brown registering 8.2% ABV, and even the Weiss Domain wit hitting 8%; McCarty's lightest beer is the 6.5% Flux, a toasty amber.
McCarty says he made the decision to brew commercially when his wife — and Magnetic CFO — Caty pointed out he'd become a little too prolific with his home-brewing hobby.
"My wife said, ‘You have too much beer, you really need to sell it,'" he recalls. He might have been content selling beer out of his garage, except for those pesky licensing laws. "You have to have a commercial space," he says, “so I got a commercial space."
Now that Magnetic's operational, McCarty's got his eye on dialing back his day job and hopes to spend more time growing his new business pursuing the passion for beer he shares with his dad.
"My dad was a home brewer…. He's still brewing, but mine's better."