In September, Sorrento Valley got new neighborhood signs from the city. Three signs mark the western Sorrento border along the 805 freeway. The fourth designates a northeastern border, on Calle Cristobal, just east of Camino Santa Fe.
Thing is, several breweries often reported as Mira Mesa breweries are actually west of Camino Santa Fe. If that's the border, these are actually Sorrento Valley breweries, and there are no breweries in Mira Mesa.
That includes Green Flash. Back in 2011, the onetime Vista brewery moved to a substantially bigger brewhouse on Mira Mesa Boulevard. Given the street address, both Green Flash and beer publications have dubbed it a Mira Mesa brewery. "An oversight, maybe," says a representative of Green Flash, noting it has no impact on doing business. "It doesn’t make a difference for any reason that we know of!"
Sorrento Valley's Town Council website includes Green Flash on its list of neighborhood breweries. Town council president Julia Schriber points out that neighborhood boundaries are loosely determined by public perception; however, "There is a policy in the City of San Diego that the police determines the boundaries of the neighborhoods." Sure enough, the police map shows Camino Santa Fe as the borderline.
That boundary extends south to Miramar Road, which also technically puts Rough Draft Brewing on the Sorrento Valley side. It's also listed on the Sorrento Valley website, along with known Sorrento breweries New English and Karl Strauss, plus Miramar's Saint Archer. The site hasn't been updated to add the recently opened Longship Brewery, located just two blocks south of Green Flash.
Rough Draft president Jeff Silver was amused to discover his brewery technically resides in Sorrento Valley, but also notes it makes no difference, business-wise. "I would still consider [Rough Draft] in Miramar," he says, joking, "It's not like I have to pick which community's football team I need to support."
Meanwhile, Saint Archer does officially remain within the western border of Miramar, though the boundaries are no less murky at that neighborhood's east end. Vista's Barrel Harbor Brewing has plans to open a tasting room at 8990 Miramar Road in October, and owner Tim St. Martin notes the new tasting room has a Mira Mesa zip code. However, the police map shows everything south of Carroll Canyon Road as Miramar. So Intergalactic Brewing, also sometimes reported as a Mira Mesa brewery, is in Miramar, as are all the breweries located on Miralani Drive — though just barely.
Schriber explains that Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa and Miramar all fall within the general Mira Mesa planning area, leading to confusion and contention in recent community meetings.
Mira Mesa town council president Ted Brengel contends the confusion stems from people living in the west-of-Camino-Santa-Fe Lopez Ridge. He says they claim Sorrento Valley, "to distance the portion of the community in which they live from the demographically undesirable rest of Mira Mesa." He calls that sub-neighborhood Sorrento Mesa, and adds "I consider Green Flash a Mira Mesa brewery along with all the others that are within the boundaries of the Mira Mesa Community Plan."
So, depending which map they follow, breweries in both Beeramar and the sneakily active Sorrento Valley beer scene can always call themselves Mira Mesa breweries instead.