San Diego Brewing Co., North Park
[Update Feb. 2018: This location is now closed. The plan is to open a new brew pub in a new location.]
San Diego Brewing Co. is now open in North Park!
This is a beautiful tasting room with comfortable seating at long communal tables and a metal counter along two sides, including a big glass garage door that opens to the side street in good weather. The wood, metal and concrete are set off by some nice art. The big brew tanks are a half-level down, creating a nice perspective. The bar itself is rather small, with only a few seats--something of a drawback when lots of craft beer hounds want to chat with the bartender about the beer.
The beer is very good. During my visit (the third day they were open) they were pouring 12 beers, 2 kombuchas and a root beer. Since they are still so new most of those beers were made at the original Grantville location but main production is shifting to North Park leaving the smaller Grantville brew house for smaller experimental batches. SDBC (one of San Diego's original craft breweries) has consistently won awards for their beers at various competitions over the decades. You can be sure that anything you order will be high quality. And now, with bigger tanks, they can expand production considerably.
One of the owners and the head brewer were there when I visited. They are nice guys who are very willing to talk about what they do. That deepens the whole experience for craft beer lovers like me.
SDBC shares a building with Eppig Brewing and Pariah Brewing. (As of this writing Pariah is still waiting for final licensing so they can open but they are ready to go. UPDATE: Pariah is open.) This trio means there are now FOURTEEN craft brewery locations (10 breweries and 4 brewery-owned tap rooms) in North Park. If you had the liver for it, you could hit all 14, from Fall Brewing to Thorn Brewing, in just a 2.7 mile walk. And there are also some amazing craft beer bars along the way (Toronado, Tiger!Tiger!, Waypoint Public, etc.). North Park has become San Diego's Craft Beer Nexus. (Miramar has 15 by my count, but they are much more spread out
The Brewery Igniter concept involves the landlord creating turn-key brewery and tasting room facilities. This is the second one (the first one in Miramar is home to Amplified Ales' second location and Pure Project). It is a winning idea that allows new breweries to open quickly and incubate to the point where they can grow and move to new quarters, and then a new fledgling brewery can take over the space and repeat the process.
I've had several San Diego Brewing Co. beers before (check my review of their original location). This time I meant to just go in for one pint. I had Black Orchid, a stout that had been put away for the hotter summer months. So, not intentionally aged but aged. It was so good I ended up having three. I'll be back to try more once the new system is fully up and running in North Park.
Black Orchid (Milk Stout, 10.25% ABV).This is fantastic. Smooth, flavorful with background notes of coffee and chocolate, just beautiful. 4.5/5
All in all this is a great location, they have a nice room, the service is good and the beer is excellent. Definitely check it out when you want some craft beer.
www.sandiegobrewing.com 3052 El Cajon Blvd, Ste A, San Diego, CA 92104