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Craft beer burgeoning in Carlsbad

North County natives readying for November brewery launch

Burgeon Beer plans on a November 2016 opening date.
Burgeon Beer plans on a November 2016 opening date.

The city of Carlsbad hasn't historically made it easy for breweries to open, requiring new businesses to goes through a series of committee meetings in order to obtain a conditional use permit. Case in point — Guadalupe Brewing still doesn't have an active tasting room in its northeast Carlsbad brewery and homebrew shop, and has decided to look into opening a tasting room elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the Carlsbad brewing community is growing, particularly inland, around El Camino Real and Palomar Airport Road, where five breweries already operate. The next to set up shop is called Burgeon Beer Company.

Burgeon Beer located its brewhouse in inland Carlsbad to give itself plenty of room to grow.

Working with the city has gone relatively smoothly for Burgeon proprietors Matthew Zirpolo, Derek van Leeuwen, and Anthony Tallman. The old high school pals hope to finish their CUP application soon, which could see them brewing in October and opening as soon as November. "We've got one little hurdle left with the city at the end of the month," says Tallman, "and then we should be able to get a more precise first brew date."

"We've been pretty fortunate," says Zirpolo of working with Carlsbad. "They've been on time with everything they told us."

When the partners originally conceived of starting a company called Abstract Brewing three years ago, they intended to open something in coastal Carlsbad or Oceanside. Trademark issues forced them to change the name, while ambition convinced them it was a better idea to move east.

"We wanted to be in a more industrial area," Zirpolo recalls, "that way we could grow faster."

Located just south of the airport, the Burgeon facility is large — big enough to house a 15-barrel brewhouse, with space and plumbing already set to more than quadruple capacity over the course of their seven-year lease. But to start out, the plan is simply to self-distribute to local bars, barrel-age beers for bottle release, and see which beers customers gravitate toward in their tasting room.

"Burgeon means to grow," Zirpolo points out. "We have our roots here in North County San Diego. We grew up here, and we want to continue to grow with this business."

Tallman and van Leeuwen have been homebrewing together for the better part of a decade, and have developed a variety of initial recipes for Burgeon, including a milk stout, pale ale, hoppy rye amber, a couple of IPAs, and several takes on a low-alcohol grisette featuring French saison yeast.

Transitioning to a commercial scale system shouldn't be an issue. Tallman has spent the past six years brewing professionally, first with Stone, and more recently for Rough Draft and Back Street Brewing. Tasting his beer is what first inspired Zirpolo — who previously worked in sales — to seek out investors to start their own beer company.

"One thing I noticed as we started," he remembers, "is that Anthony brewed five days a week, all week long. Then, on the weekends, what did he do for fun? He homebrewed. I saw that passion for beer and it made me feel really good about the project."

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Burgeon Beer plans on a November 2016 opening date.
Burgeon Beer plans on a November 2016 opening date.

The city of Carlsbad hasn't historically made it easy for breweries to open, requiring new businesses to goes through a series of committee meetings in order to obtain a conditional use permit. Case in point — Guadalupe Brewing still doesn't have an active tasting room in its northeast Carlsbad brewery and homebrew shop, and has decided to look into opening a tasting room elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the Carlsbad brewing community is growing, particularly inland, around El Camino Real and Palomar Airport Road, where five breweries already operate. The next to set up shop is called Burgeon Beer Company.

Burgeon Beer located its brewhouse in inland Carlsbad to give itself plenty of room to grow.

Working with the city has gone relatively smoothly for Burgeon proprietors Matthew Zirpolo, Derek van Leeuwen, and Anthony Tallman. The old high school pals hope to finish their CUP application soon, which could see them brewing in October and opening as soon as November. "We've got one little hurdle left with the city at the end of the month," says Tallman, "and then we should be able to get a more precise first brew date."

"We've been pretty fortunate," says Zirpolo of working with Carlsbad. "They've been on time with everything they told us."

When the partners originally conceived of starting a company called Abstract Brewing three years ago, they intended to open something in coastal Carlsbad or Oceanside. Trademark issues forced them to change the name, while ambition convinced them it was a better idea to move east.

"We wanted to be in a more industrial area," Zirpolo recalls, "that way we could grow faster."

Located just south of the airport, the Burgeon facility is large — big enough to house a 15-barrel brewhouse, with space and plumbing already set to more than quadruple capacity over the course of their seven-year lease. But to start out, the plan is simply to self-distribute to local bars, barrel-age beers for bottle release, and see which beers customers gravitate toward in their tasting room.

"Burgeon means to grow," Zirpolo points out. "We have our roots here in North County San Diego. We grew up here, and we want to continue to grow with this business."

Tallman and van Leeuwen have been homebrewing together for the better part of a decade, and have developed a variety of initial recipes for Burgeon, including a milk stout, pale ale, hoppy rye amber, a couple of IPAs, and several takes on a low-alcohol grisette featuring French saison yeast.

Transitioning to a commercial scale system shouldn't be an issue. Tallman has spent the past six years brewing professionally, first with Stone, and more recently for Rough Draft and Back Street Brewing. Tasting his beer is what first inspired Zirpolo — who previously worked in sales — to seek out investors to start their own beer company.

"One thing I noticed as we started," he remembers, "is that Anthony brewed five days a week, all week long. Then, on the weekends, what did he do for fun? He homebrewed. I saw that passion for beer and it made me feel really good about the project."

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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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