Rocker helming new Kearny Mesa brewery

Helm’s Brewing Company (5640 Kearny Mesa Road, Suite C/N) is a small, upcoming industrial park brewery I’ve had on my radar for the past six months. When I heard a rumor that they would be holding their soft open last Saturday, I headed over earlier in the week to get some information about it.

When I arrived, I was able to chat for a bit and discovered that Saturday was not, in fact, the dawn of their soft-open period. It was, however, the first time they sold their beer to the public. The tasting room staff used a weekend concert held at the nearby Harley-Davidson dealership as an opportunity to conduct a dry run, offering up tastings of a single keg of their pale ale to get ready for their real soft open, which begins on October 28.

A grand opening is planned for November 17. Brewer Brian Mitchell says, by then, Helm’s will have the pale ale on full-time along with a brown ale, red IPA, a coffee porter infused with black pepper and aged on almond wood, plus a seasonal called Samuin Harvest Pumpkin Ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Mitchell played guitar as a professional rock musician before getting into brewing. His last gig was working at La Jolla Brew House. All of his fermenters are filled with future product and, though he's been extremely busy, he's enjoying his time at Helm’s. When asked how the new job measures up to rocking out, he says it’s a natural artistic replacement that scratches his creative itch. Another plus: it takes an entire band to make music, but he likes the fact that, with brewing, he can do it all on his own.

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