J&L Eppig Brewing, North Park
Eppig has only been open for a month, and already there's real buzz about this brand new North Park brewery.
Enter from the east side of the building, next to the small parking lot. Street parking exists, both on and off El Cajon, but biking, walking or Lyfting are probably easier, especially on weekends.
There are only three seats at the concrete bar, about ten more at shelves along three sides of the small serving room, plus two tables seating six each. The tanks are in the back corner, visible but separated from the seating area. It is a very comfortable room. There is one TV.
They are pouring twelve house beers. That's impressive for a place that has only been open a month. The quality level is even more impressive, especially in light of the brief period they have been open. There are many craft breweries that have been honing their recipes for much longer that aren't nearly as good. Maybe it is because two of the principals are former Ballast Point employees. Whatever the case, what they are doing is working.
At 7:30pm on a Tuesday, this place is almost full. Several out-of-towners found it (including some fellow Canadians--I seem to encounter them everywhere I drink). All signs point to there being a real buzz among the North Park and bar industry crowds. I can see why. It is a good room, and the beer is excellent.
Perhaps because it was so utterly fresh (it has only been in the keg a week), my favorite was the 10:45 to Denver IPA. The bartender told me the story of its naming. Eppig's brewer was hungover in an Uber to Denver airport after GABF when another hungover brewer in the car just blurted out, "It's 10:45." The others looked at him strangely. "Didn't someone ask what time it was?" No, no one did. And the name was born.
Awesome prices: $9 for a 4 x 4 oz taster flight. $6.50 for a full pour. Crowler for $13, 64 oz growler for $20.
Already great, Eppig will be even more of a draw with the opening of the two neighboring breweries in the North Park "Brewery Igniter" (Pariah Brewing and San Diego Brewing's second location). It should be very soon; apparently they are only waiting on permits to be finalized and they are otherwise ready to go.
10:45 to Denver (IPA, 7% ABV). A top-notch IPA. Super fresh. Dank/tropical. 4.25/5
Even Better (IPA, 4.4%). Dank, funky, with a medium mouthfeel and straw-amber color. 3.25/5
Natural Bridge Series: Schwarzbier (4.9% ABV). Nicely dark while remaining highly drinkable. A good example of one of my favorite styles. 3.25/5
Sinister Path (Stout, 7% ABV). Roasty edging towards burnt, very tasty dark malts. Smoky on the nose, deep black, balanced with a slight sourness on the finish. 3.5/5
www.eppigbrewing.com 3052 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA92104
Don't Just Take My Word For It (Links to Related Beer Writing)
San Diego Brew Review's notes from five days after opening.
West Coaster's pre-opening article on Eppig.