San Diego's latest beer company kicked into gear in mid-August, when the first kegs from Little Miss Brewing went out to the thirsty taps of Small Bar and O'Brien's Pub. Owners Greg and Jade Malkin moved here from Arizona to start Little Miss. The husband and wife own a pair of bars there.
"We own one bar now," clarifies Greg.
"We sold one of them to pay for this equipment," Jade adds, indicating the ten-barrel brewing system.
While the Malkins still own one bar in Phoenix, they've been living in San Diego for the past 18 months. "We moved here for the brewery," Greg says, "We actually signed the lease for the location before we found our own residence."
He says opening a brewery had been on their minds for years, and experiencing the demand for San Diego beers at his bars convinced him this was the place to do it.
"When people came to Phoenix to sell us beer from SD, you automatically bought it," Greg explains. "It just has that reputation for quality."
Jade insists it wasn't all about the beer, but also a lifestyle choice. "We loved San Diego first," she says. "We just wanted to be here."
They brought in former Green Flash and Oggi's brewer Joe Lisica to run the show. Lisica has been in the business for about ten years, which includes helping with the construction of Green Flash's 45,000-square-foot Mira Mesa brewery five years ago. "Which has helped a lot," Lisica says, "because I learned how to build a brewery, and then when I came here I helped build all this."
7949 Stromesa Court, Miramar
Little Miss works out of a warehouse at 7949 Stromesa Court, smack in the middle of Miramar's beer corridor. Accessed via loading dock, the space doesn't look much like a retail storefront, and it wasn't intended to be one. The original plan called for this to be a production brewery only, distributing kegs while the Malkins searched for a satellite tasting room elsewhere.
However, San Diego beer fans are a vigilant bunch, and when word got out there was a new brewery starting up in Miramar, customers started showing up in search of beer. So, the Little Miss team has gotten busy creating some tasting-room space. Since there wasn't room reserved for customers in the original allocation of brewing space, they've gotten creating by installing long community tables that connect to the wall on hinges, so they can be winched up and out of the way on brew days.
Six core beers will be featured when the tasting room opens, including a few hoppy selections, a porter, Berliner wiesse, and Belgian wit. They'll be poured under tap handles fashioned after the World War II–era bombs, as most of the brewery's imagery revolves around that time, including warplanes and pin-up models. The beers are named accordingly, including the Helldiver IPA (a WWII dive-bomber).
Little Miss plans to soft open August 24, with a satellite tasting room expected sometime next year, potentially in Normal Heights.