Best beer futures: Part II

The rest of the county’s most exciting upcoming brewery projects.

The Vista bank being converted into a brewpub by Belching Beaver Brewery
  • The Vista bank being converted into a brewpub by Belching Beaver Brewery

On December 18, I shared the top five most intriguing upcoming brewery projects in San Diego County. The following are the seven that fill out the dozen top brewery-owned works in progress.

6. Project X Brewing Company at Urge: Craft Alley, Vista: This project — a combination brewpub, bottle shop, and bowling alley — has been on the WIP list since mid-2013. Hey, it takes time to overhaul a former fitness center into a multi-faceted hospitality venue. When it finally becomes a reality, ex-Port Brewing Company / The Lost Abbey head brewer Mike Rodriguez is under contract to oversee the brewing of house beers, helping to prevent any gutter balls throughout the business’ initial frames. Read More | ETA: Unknown.

7. North Park Beer Co., North Park: Speaking of enduring entries on this list, none has taken up real estate in my top 12 longer than this aspiration of highly accomplished and award-winning homebrewer, Kelsey McNair, who has the rights to the North Park name and has even toured sites, but thus far, hasn’t been able to get this passion project off the ground. His beers are extraordinary, though, so there are few guys I’d rather see make the amateur-to-pro jump. Read More | ETA: Late 2015.

Belching Beaver Brewery

980 Park Center Drive, Suite A, Vista

8. Belching Beaver Brewpub, Vista: Though a young operation, Belching Beaver Brewery already has two venues to its name, a production facility in Vista and a tasting room in North Park. The latter is well appointed and hospitable, so it stands to reason the bank they took over not far from their base of operations will be too when it’s born anew as a full-on brewpub with a pair of patios for al fresco dining. Read More | ETA: Summer 2015.

9. Duck Foot Brewing Company, Miramar:> Most of the gluten-reduced beer (there’s no such thing as gluten-free beer, so don’t believe those who label it that) on the market is meh at best, leading many to believe no gluten equals no flavor, but the prototypes of this interest, which is constructing its brewery and tasting room in the retail establishment by the iconic Miramar Pyramid, prove gluten — or lack thereof — makes zero difference where taste is concerned. Read More | ETA: Spring 2015.

10. Prodigy Brewing Company, Grantville: Unlike many of the other new operations on this list, beers from Prodigy Brewing Company have turned up at beer events, including the Great American Beer Festival and San Diego Brewers Guild Fest, which would seem to telegraph that this two-year-old WIP from former San Diego Brewing Company brewmaster Dean Rouleau is close to debuting along with a starting rotation featuring barrel-aged sours. Read More | ETA: Unknown.

11. Bitter Brothers Brewing Company, Bay Ho: It’s not Lightning Brewery Part Two, but this interest will be the cooperative offspring of a former investor and the former head brewer at the aforementioned business. The former, Bill Warnke (one half of the fraternal duo the business is named after), is calling the shots and ordering up a line of beers that are mostly sessionable and traditionally sound versus style-bending or avant garde. Read More | ETA: Summer 2015.

12. Half Door Brewing Company, East Village: That big white house downtown is looking a lot different these days behind the familial entrepreneurs converting it to a brewpub that will likely serve as an asset to the west end of the East Village behind beers brewed up by Siebel Institute of Technology graduate and former Coronado Brewing Company brewer, Dan Drayne. Read More | ETA: Winter 2015.

Please note that, although these are my top 12 as far as level of interest is concerned, there are many other upcoming brewery projects that are very interesting, noteworthy, and worth anticipating. The list was kept to a dozen for the sake of brevity, and you can expect information on many of these and other works-in-progress to garner coverage via San Diego Beer News.

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