Sake (and beer) is alive at Kuracali

San Marcos is about to get its very own combo brewery-sake winery


175 Bosstick Boulevard, San Marcos

(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)

Chuck Perkins has a condition. Whenever he is taken by something really good, he feels an internal yearning to create it himself. That said, he realizes he has his limitations. As such, he won’t be making a movie or writing a bestseller anytime soon. However, he is very close to professionally crafting two things he’s extremely fond of — beer and sake. His vehicle for this is the work-in-progress will be Kuracali (175 Bosstick Boulevard, San Marcos).

San Diego will soon be home to more than 100 operating brewhouses, but Perkins’ business will be the first sake-making facility in the county. For him, the sake is the primary interest. Beer, in addition to being a beverage he enjoys and looks forward to selling, provides him excess yeast he can put toward making sake. The brewing process leaves behind repitchable yeast, whereas yeast utilized in sake making are completely used up in the process.

In order to make both beverages, Kuracali’s production facility must be licensed as both a brewery and a winery, with distinct sections marked off and designated exclusively for the manufacture of each product. Getting things in order to the satisfaction of licensing agencies has taken some time, but Perkins is hopeful that he will be open in the near future. Space left over from the brewery and winery will be scarce, allowing tasting space for just under a dozen at a time. This works for Perkins’ model, however. He says it is being built as a distributing brewery and winery versus a tasting room-driven business.

By day, Perkins is a network engineer, but every minute not spent “supercomputer wrangling” goes into Kuracali. He will take care of all production duties while his wife, Melanie, who has industrial production experience, will be Kuracali’s general manager. Annual output of beers, which will include a sweet stout, robust porter, red ale, and India pale ale, figures to be 1,000 barrels for beer.

Kuracali will produce about 4,500 gallons of sake per year. His first will be clear and cloudy (nigori) versions of a ginio-grade sake coming in at 16% alcohol-by-volume. It will be offered unpasteurized on draft, as well as in pasteurized and unpasteurized form in bottles. The primary market Perkins hopes to explore with his sake is sushi, fusion, and chef-driven eateries, with bars, pubs, and bottle shops representing his second tier.

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