Top 10 on tap

Updating the brewing projects I’m most excited about

The future walk-up counter for Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen.
  • The future walk-up counter for Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen.

Earlier this year, I shared the local brewing projects I was most highly anticipating. Most of them (Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, Benchmark Brewing Company, Hess Brewing North Park, Modern Times Beer) have opened, and a host of other newbies have popped up, inspiring me to revise my list. Here are the members of the incoming class that have me anxiously tapping my foot against the bar rail.

Bagby Beer Company, Oceanside: A mammoth brewpub project that will include multiple bars, indoor and outdoor seating, a beer garden and, oh yeah, a brewmaster who’s won more Great American Beer Festival medals than anybody in history. Yeah, this one’s gonna be sweet. Read More

Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen, Little Italy: This combination brewery, tasting room, restaurant, and beer garden figures to be cool enough to truly stretch the boundaries of Little Italy’s India Street core all the way up to Ivy Street. Specialty brewer Colby Chandler’s beers are that good. Read More

Nickel Beer Company, Julian: He did it once, and he seems poised to do it again. Brewer Tom Nickel is on a mission to bring craft brewing relevance to Julian, and this time around, he’s doing so within the soon-to-be-friendly confines of a jailhouse with sessionable to-style ales. Read More

Urge Craft Alley & Project X Brewing Company, Vista: The owners of Urge Gastropub are almost ready to convert a former mega-gym to a beer paradise complete with a brewhouse, bottle shop, restaurant…and bowling alley. Throw in former Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey head brewer Mike Rodriguez and there’s plenty to look forward to. Read More

La Jolla Brewing Company, La Jolla: I wasn’t a fan of La Jolla Brew House. Neither were a lot of people…at least not enough to keep it in business. The space has since been taken over by a new group vowing to turn it into a venue in keeping with San Diego quality brewing. Read More

North Park Beer Co., North Park: This one’s been brewing for awhile, and it may still be some time before homebrewer extraordinaire Kelsey McNair gets his metro-centric pro operation off the ground, but it figures to be something that’s worth all the waiting.

Duck Foot Brewing Company, Location TBD: Yeah, the beers are gluten-free. But that only means something to you if you are gluten-intolerant. The cool thing about this project’s beers is that they taste really good. Enough so to rocket this one onto this list despite a lack of location. Read More

Prodigy Brewing Company, Location TBD: Former San Diego Brewing Company head brewer Dean Rouleau hopes to create a brewery primed for ushering in the next generation of craft brewing talent. His original site fell through, but a higher mission and good tenure keep it on here.

Plan 9 Alehouse, Escondido: A youthful group of entrepreneurs, including staff from Stone Brewing Co., aim to bring a small but formidable nano-brewpub to downtown Escondido’s main drag. Having lived in that community and wished for something like this, it’s nice to see it en route. Read More

Council Brewing Company, Location TBD: The couple that brews together, stays together. A homebrewing husband-and-wife tandem are opening their own place, most likely in Kearny Mesa, and it’s the missus whose taking the lead in the brewhouse. Too cool a differentiator to ignore. Read More

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