The latest brewery to start pouring beers in Carlsbad soft-opened March 18th. Wiseguy Brewing Co. is the work of Brett Gent, a longtime homebrewer who moved down from Costa Mesa to take advantage of the unique-to–San Diego opportunity provided by turn-key brewhouse enterprise Brewery Igniter.
5840 El Camino Real #100, Carlsbad
"That brought me down to Carlsbad," Gent acknowledges, but adds, "I always knew I would wind up here." The OC native isn't new to the area — he lived here in the mid-2000s. "That's when I first brewed beer," he recalls, using a homebrew kit that was conveniently available to him locally. "I lived literally a half mile from Home Brew Mart," he says.
Gent moved back north to finish his education at Cal State Fullerton a few years back and has been plotting a brewery startup all the while. "I went to school for finance, knowing I didn't want to do finance," he explains, "but I did it because I knew I would learn something for doing this."
When he started working on business plan four or five years ago, Gent's father Tom saw the passion and liked the beers, so he decided to get involved as a business partner. "My dad saw I wasn't doing it just to get hammered with buddies," Brett jokes. "My one-bedroom apartment had a yeast lab, and I couldn't fit anything in my freezer because it was full of hops."
To wit, a full quarter of the 40 recipes Gent brings to Wiseguy are IPAs. "I'm a hop-head, so there's definitely gonna be a fair share of hoppy everything," he says. However, the first beer to go into Wiseguys’ tanks in mid-February was an Irish stout, and most of Gent's favorite styles are German.
Along with two or three hoppy beers, he says Wiseguy taps will always feature a lager and an altbier. "Altbier is one of my favorite German styles. It's really malty and you can just taste the ingredients."
Wiseguy plans on an April 8th grand-opening day, along with brewery Rouleur Brewing Company next door. Eventually, the Gents would like Wiseguy to do well enough to grow into a larger, second location. But for right now, loving his work is its own reward.
"I'm a really beachy kind of mellow guy," Gent professes. "If we don't blow it out of the water but I can make a living doing it…and people enjoy our beers? That is success to me."