Cider house dreams

Guthrie CiderWorks set to open in beer country

Guthrie CiderWorks expected in late 2015/early 2016.
  • Guthrie CiderWorks expected in late 2015/early 2016.

By this time next year, Miramar should have not one, but two cideries. Not long after craft brewer St. Archer announced plans to acquire a wine license and pursue cider production, a new enterprise has leased space in the area, with hopes to open within six months.

Guthrie CiderWorks has secured 3000 square feet on Marindustry Place in western Miramar, recently finished the design stage, and is currently prepping for a build-out, which will include production equipment as well as a tasting room. Horacio and Sara Devoto are the husband-and-wife team behind the startup, which isn't just their entrée into alcoholic beverages, but also to San Diego. The couple currently lives in Minneapolis and dreamed of moving here during a recent vacation.

"When we decided to take the leap and open a cidery, we realized that San Diego was the place we wanted to do it," Horacio Devoto says, adding, "We realized that we could potentially make two dreams happen at once."

The Devotos' introduction to the beverage came by way of England, where Sara drank cider while visiting family — the Guthrie side of the family. Horacio hails from Argentina, where he says cider is considered a special-occasion drink.

"It took me a while to realize it’s a great anytime drink," he says. "While I was never a beer-maker, I got really interested in figuring out everything I could about cider and then started making it." He adds that while the Minnesota snow piled up around their house, "I made a crazy number of test batches, turning our basement into a weird juice/yeast/lab."

To start, Guthrie CiderWorks will field two ciders, a dry and a semi-dry, each using a juice source from a yet-to-be-named West Coast origin. However, plans include special issues made using locally grown apples. Currently, Julian CiderWorks is the only local cidery planning to use all locally grown fruit.

As for whether San Diego will incorporate cider into its craft beverage palate? "It’s an exciting time for cider in San Diego," Devoto insists. "With St. Archer and Julian both coming into the market, with San Diego's commitment to local, craft, and quality, we feel pretty confident people are going to embrace cider. It’s been pretty great talking to people about GCW and hearing lots of enthusiasm."

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Perfect. If you want to open a cider works or beer brewery; Miramar is the place to do it. Miramar is zoned for industrial use so you aren't going to be in a fight with residents over your brewing operations. Not so for brewing operations in commercial zones and not holding Conditional Use Permits. Your operation has been illegally permitted thanks to malfeasance in San Diego Development Services, and the residents in the area have every right to be upset.

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