From Duck Foot to Wavelength

A local brewer's whirlwind journey has him heading Vista nano start-up

Those who follow my writing have probably read the name James Petti before. Two years ago, his last name was attached to a brew he created while employed at Karl Strauss Brewing Company that served as the unofficial ale of San Diego Beer Week, Heavy Petti Double IPA. And two months ago, I reported he was working to help businessman and homebrewer Matt DelVecchio open technically gluten-free beer business Duck Foot Brewing Company. Not a bad amount of press for a somewhat off-the-grid brewing consultant.

Today, Petti is once again in the news. The partnership between him and Duck Foot which would have made him the company’s brewmaster has dissolved. DelVecchio is forging forward with his interest and is close to selecting a North County location to produce beers that will be agreeable to gulten-intolerant drinkers. But DelVecchio isn’t the only one who’s moving right along. Petti is already working on a new project after being hired by Hans Haas, another homebrewing entrepreneur. Together, they aim to debut Wavelength Brewing Company, a nanobrewery that will be installed at 236 Main Street in Vista’s Old Town area, on the same block as Mother Earth Brew Co.’s Tap House. The facility will house a three-barrel brewing system.

Before teaming up with Haas, Petti considered joining the team looking to open a beer company called Slump Buster Brew, however, he reports that an investor pulled out of the venture, making the prospect of coming on as their head brewer less promising. Petti has actually known Haas, who originally began setting up a new brewery project years ago only to see it derailed by financial turmoil. After disassociating with Duck Foot and Slump Buster, Petti reached out to his long-time acquaintance and they went after and signed a lease on their current space, which both of the aforementioned businesses seriously considered as their base of operations.

If all goes well with Wavelength, it will open in May of next year. The plan is to start out with a single IPA version of Heavy Petti that comes in at 6.5-to-7% alcohol-by-volume (ABV) versus its predecessor’s whopping 10%, as well as a blood orange wheat ale, black IPA, hoppy blonde ale, brown lager, and a high-ABV ale brewed with hibiscus flowers. From there, a chocolate porter, Belgian blonde, Scottish ale, and rye double IPA are the specialty brews most likely to be produced.

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