Most of the time, I try to suppress my enthusiasm over checking out new brewing companies, waiting long enough for them to get on their feet and get some brews under their belts before I barge in for a sampler flight. But sometimes, especially when a business has been a long time coming, I just go for it. Such was the case with Wavelength Brewing Company (236 Main Street, Vista) a newly opened nanobrewery and tasting room in Vista’s quaint Old Town area. The product of elbow grease from owner Hans Haas and brewer James Petti, it’s a vast space that, thanks to the fact so little room is required for the three-barrel brewhouse and fermenters (the latter take up roughly a tenth of the space in the cold box) has a great deal of its square footage devoted to customer seating.
The day I arrived, they’d just built and placed a bunch of high tables, chairs, and stools, all of which were illuminated by a duo of impressive lighting arrays — a serpentine track above the bar and a square batten configuration that looks fit for a UFC match in the center of the room. Eventually, a projector will be mounted to the latter to shine concert footage onto a large screen that will be set up against the east wall. Once permitting for events is complete, musical acts will take place in the tasting room utilizing a high-tech mixing board that will be installed near one of the large front windows. Lighting and sound are the domain of Haas, who has years of stage engineering experience, inspiring the brewery’s name.
Wavelength’s beer list is all over the place, and that’s how Petti likes it. Most times when he brews a beer, he simply tries to create a quaff that matches the taste profile, texture, and alcohol level that he wants without trying to match an existing style. This leads to beers that can be confusing, but for the most part fall within the parameters of recognizable ales. Further muddying the waters when I stopped by was the fact each beer was a first draft. Still, an orange wheat ale Petti originally developed for a Floridian start-up company he consulted for tastes sunny and nearly pulpy in its citrus flavor. A black IPA is close to complete, and a Czech golden has a nice, crisp bite in the finish. Most interesting is a slightly tart red ale brewed with hibiscus that wins points for originality. The rest of the line-up needs time, so that’s what I’ll afford Petti and company.
It would seem Wavelength opened sooner than it should. The company’s website, advertising, and mark on the scene all have yet to be made, so Haas and Petti are playing catch up just trying to convey the fact the business exists. Still, they are doing alright. Some of their early patronage is spillover from Mother Earth Brew Co.’s “Tap House” tasting room, which is on the same block as Wavelength. It will be interesting to see how both businesses co-exist. Will they both thrive? Will it be a case of haves and have-nots? Will they split the beer crowd and the revenue they bring to the area? Only time will tell, but from a brewing and entertainment standpoint, they are quite different, so neither should step on the other’s toes in those regards.