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

Five Suits and Three Frogs

New breweries preparing to open, despite shutdown

New San Diego beer brands will debut in June, pandemic shutdown or otherwise.
New San Diego beer brands will debut in June, pandemic shutdown or otherwise.

Counted among the world’s top amateur brewers, national and state homebrew champion Nick Corona has steadily worked toward opening his own brewery, somewhere in North County. He came close on locations in San Marcos and Escondido, but finally sealed the deal early this year when he agreed to take over recently closed Vista brewery, Barrel Harbor Brewing (2575 Pioneer Avenue, Suite 104).

When the pandemic struck, it was only natural to question the wisdom of pressing forward with his new business, Five Suits Brewing. Even under normal circumstances, Corona tells me, that would be the case. “Through the whole process there are second thoughts,” he says, “I would think a lot of brewery owners have had the same feelings in the process of opening.”

But opening a brewery doesn’t happen overnight, and can’t stop on a dime. There are many moving parts, from bank loans to licensing and inspections covering every level of government. So last week, as planned, Corona brewed the first beers of his new business.

He won’t throw a June 1 grand opening party as he’d hoped, but Five Suits will open for curbside take-out. Resources intended to create a unique tasting room ambiance have been diverted to securing a palette of crowlers and a machine to seal them. “Packaging is huge right now,” Corona notes. A few months ago he considered glass growlers all but obsolete, now, as crowler cans have become tough to find, glass is back in play. “All of those things that were not in any scope of our thought process are now front of mind.”

Across the county, Trevor Anderson, Andy Lloyd, and Jarren Zeferjahn have found themselves facing similar decisions. Collectively known as Three Frogs Beer Company, the trio of longtime homebrew partners have been planning their business since 2016. Well over a year ago, they leased a location in that would make Three Frogs the first brewery to operate within a commercial district in Santee.

However, due to circumstances beyond their control, Three Frogs only received its final license to brew on April 21, weeks after the pandemic shutdown hamstrung local brewing industry. First, their license application was delayed by last year’s federal government shutdown. Subsequently, it was misplaced for months, and when it was finally located, the agent put in charge of their file went on extended leave.

Ironically, the city of Santee had sought to speed up Three Frogs’ opening by pushing through regulatory changes to allow breweries in commercial zones for the first time. The brewery brings an 800 square foot tasting room and more than 500 square feet of patio space to the east county city’s downtown area (10366 Mission Gorge Road).

With their license finally in hand, Three Frogs has little choice but to proceed in opening their business, despite the challenges of opening during a pandemic. They need income. “The bank account is really itchin' for us to go,” says Anderson, “There’s only so many dollars left for rent, so we’ve got to generate something.”

While trying to secure their own crowler machine, they will likely open in June using whatever packaging works. “We will grab up whatever containers we can,” says Lloyd, from growlers to mason jars. “We’ll encourage customers to bring their own empty containers… we’ll sanitize them.”

An exact opening date will be determined when Three Frogs has four beers ready to pour, including a wheat IPA, nutmeg blonde ale, and hibiscus wheat beer.

Likewise, Five Suits will open with three or four beers to pour, including a Vienna lager, coconut vanilla stout, and at least one or two of the perennial award winner’s IPAs.

Five Suits and Three Frogs will hold off opening their tasting rooms until the governor allows it. But waiting till after the shutdown ends to brew beer was never a realistic option.

“This is something that you have to start months and possibly years in advance in planning,” Corona says, “if you’re going to put on the brakes and pull that rip chord, you’re throwing everything away in terms of cash and capital.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Going beyond banh mi at Banh Mi Hoi An

Terrific take-out options include a warming beef stew
Next Article

31 thousand lawsuits pile up in Tijuana

Shamanata goes to Mexico City after her kids
New San Diego beer brands will debut in June, pandemic shutdown or otherwise.
New San Diego beer brands will debut in June, pandemic shutdown or otherwise.

Counted among the world’s top amateur brewers, national and state homebrew champion Nick Corona has steadily worked toward opening his own brewery, somewhere in North County. He came close on locations in San Marcos and Escondido, but finally sealed the deal early this year when he agreed to take over recently closed Vista brewery, Barrel Harbor Brewing (2575 Pioneer Avenue, Suite 104).

When the pandemic struck, it was only natural to question the wisdom of pressing forward with his new business, Five Suits Brewing. Even under normal circumstances, Corona tells me, that would be the case. “Through the whole process there are second thoughts,” he says, “I would think a lot of brewery owners have had the same feelings in the process of opening.”

But opening a brewery doesn’t happen overnight, and can’t stop on a dime. There are many moving parts, from bank loans to licensing and inspections covering every level of government. So last week, as planned, Corona brewed the first beers of his new business.

He won’t throw a June 1 grand opening party as he’d hoped, but Five Suits will open for curbside take-out. Resources intended to create a unique tasting room ambiance have been diverted to securing a palette of crowlers and a machine to seal them. “Packaging is huge right now,” Corona notes. A few months ago he considered glass growlers all but obsolete, now, as crowler cans have become tough to find, glass is back in play. “All of those things that were not in any scope of our thought process are now front of mind.”

Across the county, Trevor Anderson, Andy Lloyd, and Jarren Zeferjahn have found themselves facing similar decisions. Collectively known as Three Frogs Beer Company, the trio of longtime homebrew partners have been planning their business since 2016. Well over a year ago, they leased a location in that would make Three Frogs the first brewery to operate within a commercial district in Santee.

However, due to circumstances beyond their control, Three Frogs only received its final license to brew on April 21, weeks after the pandemic shutdown hamstrung local brewing industry. First, their license application was delayed by last year’s federal government shutdown. Subsequently, it was misplaced for months, and when it was finally located, the agent put in charge of their file went on extended leave.

Ironically, the city of Santee had sought to speed up Three Frogs’ opening by pushing through regulatory changes to allow breweries in commercial zones for the first time. The brewery brings an 800 square foot tasting room and more than 500 square feet of patio space to the east county city’s downtown area (10366 Mission Gorge Road).

With their license finally in hand, Three Frogs has little choice but to proceed in opening their business, despite the challenges of opening during a pandemic. They need income. “The bank account is really itchin' for us to go,” says Anderson, “There’s only so many dollars left for rent, so we’ve got to generate something.”

While trying to secure their own crowler machine, they will likely open in June using whatever packaging works. “We will grab up whatever containers we can,” says Lloyd, from growlers to mason jars. “We’ll encourage customers to bring their own empty containers… we’ll sanitize them.”

An exact opening date will be determined when Three Frogs has four beers ready to pour, including a wheat IPA, nutmeg blonde ale, and hibiscus wheat beer.

Likewise, Five Suits will open with three or four beers to pour, including a Vienna lager, coconut vanilla stout, and at least one or two of the perennial award winner’s IPAs.

Five Suits and Three Frogs will hold off opening their tasting rooms until the governor allows it. But waiting till after the shutdown ends to brew beer was never a realistic option.

“This is something that you have to start months and possibly years in advance in planning,” Corona says, “if you’re going to put on the brakes and pull that rip chord, you’re throwing everything away in terms of cash and capital.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Duet with dad

San Diablo Allstars, Marujah, J.D. Boucharde, Jenn Grinels, Eve Selis
Next Article

Hip hop auctions bring vinyl and boombox boom

DJ Mike recently parlayed his personal hip-hop records and boomboxes for a down payment on a house.
Comments
1
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
June 2, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close