Pure Project's tasting room makes creative use of the living wall concept.
9030 Kenamar Drive #308, San Diego
Back in August, it was announced a new brewery, Pure Project, would be taking over one of two turnkey brewhouses set up by HG Fenton's Brewery Igniter program in Miramar. Last week, Pure Project announced a January 30 grand-opening date. That's six months from announcement to fruition, which, the small brewery's founders agree, "Felt like a long time."
But it's a fast turnaround. Kearny Mesa's Magnetic Brewing opened in August, 21 months after signing a lease. Duck Foot opened in May after about two years of planning. Bitter Brothers opened in early 2016, two years into their lease. North Park Beer Co. hopes to open this spring, more than two years after the Reader reported it as years in the making.
Many factors can slow down the opening of a brewery. Obtaining state and federal licesnes can take months. Up in Carlsbad, soon to open Culver Beer Company reports having to wait five months just to submit their plans to a city subcommittee, then another several weeks before that committee's recommendation was approved by city council. There's also the time it takes to order and ship a brewing system.
Brew system's aren't bought off the rack — they must be custom ordered, then manufactured and shipped, often from China. Pure Project's seven-barrel Premier Stainless brew system was ready to brew by October, but only because Brewery Igniter had ordered it months prior. "If you were going to order this," Pure Project brewmaster Winslow Sawyer pointed out at the time, "You'd be waiting around six months."
Will Keizer, who works in Sales & Technical Services for the Escondido-based Premier Stainless, confirmed that when ordering a new system, "Standard lead time is six months, give or take a couple weeks." And that's if the brewery property is ready to go when the equipment arrives. Oftentimes, he says, the brewing company may not be ready to install, for myriad reasons, "Delays in construction, delays in licensing — that happens all the time."
With their brewing system in place, the Pure Project team could focus their efforts on filing necessary paperwork and building out their tasting room. It features stools and coasters cut from tree limbs. A patchwork of reclaimed wood dominates one wall, with moss-filled cutouts presenting the company brand and logo, and bolstering the small brewery's sustainable mission.
With time to dial in the brewhouse and recipes, Pure Project had 12 different beers ready to go for its grand opening. These included several unique offerings flavored with organic ingredients: a cream ale brewed with Valencia oranges and vanilla from Madagascar; a gose flavored with grapefruit and Egyptian coriander; and a saison brewed with hibiscus and grains of paradise.
More familiar styles include a rye beer, IPA, porter, and coffee stout. On the experimental side, there's a 100% brett IPA and a toasted coconut Belgian quadrupel. And the only thing customers will have to wait another 6-12 months for are the young brewery's barrel-aged beers.
Meanwhile, Brewery Igniter will soon be announcing tenants of three new turnkey brewhouses in North Park.