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Helm's charts a course for the beach

New tasting room kicks off an O.B. craft boom

Helm's drops anchor on Newport Avenue
Helm's drops anchor on Newport Avenue

Newport Avenue is in the process of becoming a beer hub. First to open in a spate of pending brewery projects along the Ocean Beach strip is Helm's Brewing. In mid-May the Kearny Mesa–based company opened a tasting room at a Cable Street corner location that previously housed a clothing boutique called the Humble Hippy.

Place

Two Roots Brewing Co. OB Taproom

4896 Newport Avenue, San Diego

Helm's joins Solana Beach–based Culture Brewing on the block, with Belching Beaver reportedly due this summer. Elsewhere on Newport, the coming-soon O.B. Brewery seems poised to end six months of teasing to finally open Memorial Day weekend.

The Helm's shop features an open, dog-friendly layout that suits the beach-community vibe, and wood accents and furnishings maintain the brand's nautical theme. Sixteen taps include a cask handle and rotating seasonal releases in addition to Helm's eight core beers. True to O.B. style, a roll-up window bar offers drinkers a chance to sample pints and tasters belly up to the sidewalk, where they can watch the street life go by.

Cofounder Bryan Ruiz said Helm's had been considering a tasting room in North Park when they found the Newport space. "We knew we wanted to branch out into another neighborhood," he said, pointing to a trend of industrial-park breweries seeking out high-foot-traffic areas for more immediate access to customers. "There was a big push for the industrial-park location for a while," he added. "It was kind of a novelty — the tours were going around — but it kind of wore off after a little bit. Now people want a retail storefront location."

Which explains the development of O.B.’s burgeoning craft scene, including a Mike Hess Brewing tasting room that opened a few blocks north on Voltaire Street last summer, and Pizza Port O.B., which celebrated its sixth anniversary a couple blocks away the same weekend Helm's opened.

Judging by a happily bustling first-weekend crowd, O.B.’s gritty, undeniably thirsty population seems primed for its incoming craft boom. "This location's awesome!" Ruiz said. "The community's really embraced us." He paused for a moment to reflect on some of colorful, ranting O.B. characters most Newport retailers encounter on a routine basis, and amended his statement: "The vast majority of the people are very welcoming and excited to have us here!"

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Helm's drops anchor on Newport Avenue
Helm's drops anchor on Newport Avenue

Newport Avenue is in the process of becoming a beer hub. First to open in a spate of pending brewery projects along the Ocean Beach strip is Helm's Brewing. In mid-May the Kearny Mesa–based company opened a tasting room at a Cable Street corner location that previously housed a clothing boutique called the Humble Hippy.

Place

Two Roots Brewing Co. OB Taproom

4896 Newport Avenue, San Diego

Helm's joins Solana Beach–based Culture Brewing on the block, with Belching Beaver reportedly due this summer. Elsewhere on Newport, the coming-soon O.B. Brewery seems poised to end six months of teasing to finally open Memorial Day weekend.

The Helm's shop features an open, dog-friendly layout that suits the beach-community vibe, and wood accents and furnishings maintain the brand's nautical theme. Sixteen taps include a cask handle and rotating seasonal releases in addition to Helm's eight core beers. True to O.B. style, a roll-up window bar offers drinkers a chance to sample pints and tasters belly up to the sidewalk, where they can watch the street life go by.

Cofounder Bryan Ruiz said Helm's had been considering a tasting room in North Park when they found the Newport space. "We knew we wanted to branch out into another neighborhood," he said, pointing to a trend of industrial-park breweries seeking out high-foot-traffic areas for more immediate access to customers. "There was a big push for the industrial-park location for a while," he added. "It was kind of a novelty — the tours were going around — but it kind of wore off after a little bit. Now people want a retail storefront location."

Which explains the development of O.B.’s burgeoning craft scene, including a Mike Hess Brewing tasting room that opened a few blocks north on Voltaire Street last summer, and Pizza Port O.B., which celebrated its sixth anniversary a couple blocks away the same weekend Helm's opened.

Judging by a happily bustling first-weekend crowd, O.B.’s gritty, undeniably thirsty population seems primed for its incoming craft boom. "This location's awesome!" Ruiz said. "The community's really embraced us." He paused for a moment to reflect on some of colorful, ranting O.B. characters most Newport retailers encounter on a routine basis, and amended his statement: "The vast majority of the people are very welcoming and excited to have us here!"

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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