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Rincon Band launches SR76 Beerworks at its casino

The house beer always wins

The feel of a casino lounge but without gambling machines and video screens
The feel of a casino lounge but without gambling machines and video screens

The Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians has added a brewery component to its gambling interests. The sovereign tribe owns the Harrah's casino on its reservation near Valley Center, and on November 5th it opened a 15-barrel brewhouse on the property.

Place

SR76 Beerworks

777 Harrah's Rincon Way, Valley Center

Dubbed SR76 Beerworks, the new brewery sits to the left of the resort's main hotel entrance. Although stainless steel brewing vessels are visible from the spacious tasting room, its decor more closely resembles that of a Vegas lounge than a craft microbrewery. There are no gambling machines or televisions, but there are modern style lines and plush furniture, even chaise sofas.

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Making the beer is brewmaster Brian Scott, who first connected with the Rincon Band during his tenure as president of the San Diego Brewers Guild in 2012. The former Karl Strauss brewer has been working the past three years with the tribe's economic development corporation, REDCO, to develop a concept that acknowledged the brewery's tribal origins.

The beers take their names from local landmarks such as Hellhole Canyon, or from the Luiseño language — the word for "sun" is given to the Temet kolsch. Scott points out even the name SR76, which refers to the casino's location off State Route 76, is a nod to local history: "That route was the footpath for the tribe that lived out here to move between here and the coast."

Scott launched the brewery with four approachable core beers: the kolsch, a saison, wheat beer, and pale ale. While he'll be filling out the four remaining taps with bolder styles, he aims to appeal to a diverse clientele that's been wandering into the unique tasting-room location — casual beer drinkers, as well as the educated palates of San Diego's beer community.

"There's been a good mix," Scott observes. "A lot of residents who live in Valley Center and guests at the resort. But, yeah, we've had our fair share of people who are craft-beer enthusiasts come specifically for us.... It has taken on that neighborhoodish sort of feel because everyone interacts with each other."

And that's part of what the 13-year brewery veteran is looking for with this business. "It gives the resort and the tribe a nice showpiece brewery," Scott says. "For me, a big driver is interaction…. A lot of times, as you work through your career as a brewer, you tend to end up in places where you become less and less visible to the people drinking your product."

Conversely, Scott frequently works the bar during the tasting room's regular Wednesday-through Sunday hours. "Because of our relationship with the resort, I'm able to produce a lot of world class beers," he explains, "But still able to have this opportunity to talk to the people who are enjoying them… Most breweries this size don't always get to have that luxury."

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The feel of a casino lounge but without gambling machines and video screens
The feel of a casino lounge but without gambling machines and video screens

The Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians has added a brewery component to its gambling interests. The sovereign tribe owns the Harrah's casino on its reservation near Valley Center, and on November 5th it opened a 15-barrel brewhouse on the property.

Place

SR76 Beerworks

777 Harrah's Rincon Way, Valley Center

Dubbed SR76 Beerworks, the new brewery sits to the left of the resort's main hotel entrance. Although stainless steel brewing vessels are visible from the spacious tasting room, its decor more closely resembles that of a Vegas lounge than a craft microbrewery. There are no gambling machines or televisions, but there are modern style lines and plush furniture, even chaise sofas.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Making the beer is brewmaster Brian Scott, who first connected with the Rincon Band during his tenure as president of the San Diego Brewers Guild in 2012. The former Karl Strauss brewer has been working the past three years with the tribe's economic development corporation, REDCO, to develop a concept that acknowledged the brewery's tribal origins.

The beers take their names from local landmarks such as Hellhole Canyon, or from the Luiseño language — the word for "sun" is given to the Temet kolsch. Scott points out even the name SR76, which refers to the casino's location off State Route 76, is a nod to local history: "That route was the footpath for the tribe that lived out here to move between here and the coast."

Scott launched the brewery with four approachable core beers: the kolsch, a saison, wheat beer, and pale ale. While he'll be filling out the four remaining taps with bolder styles, he aims to appeal to a diverse clientele that's been wandering into the unique tasting-room location — casual beer drinkers, as well as the educated palates of San Diego's beer community.

"There's been a good mix," Scott observes. "A lot of residents who live in Valley Center and guests at the resort. But, yeah, we've had our fair share of people who are craft-beer enthusiasts come specifically for us.... It has taken on that neighborhoodish sort of feel because everyone interacts with each other."

And that's part of what the 13-year brewery veteran is looking for with this business. "It gives the resort and the tribe a nice showpiece brewery," Scott says. "For me, a big driver is interaction…. A lot of times, as you work through your career as a brewer, you tend to end up in places where you become less and less visible to the people drinking your product."

Conversely, Scott frequently works the bar during the tasting room's regular Wednesday-through Sunday hours. "Because of our relationship with the resort, I'm able to produce a lot of world class beers," he explains, "But still able to have this opportunity to talk to the people who are enjoying them… Most breweries this size don't always get to have that luxury."

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