Entrepreneurial brewer Mike Hess’ eponymous brewing company has come a long way since its initial days as a nanobrewery tucked away in a labyrinth-like business park. That ever-so-humble starting point may soon have a seven-barrel system installed, while the newer North Park production brewery continues churning out larger batches. And, if all goes as planned, Mike Hess Brewing Company (MHB) will open an 1,800-square-foot satellite tasting room in Ocean Beach by the end of summer.
Located at 4893 Voltaire Street, the new venue will be equipped with 24 taps and an integrated cask beer engine, and offer beers for sale on-site or to-go in “purrowlers.” Known by many in the industry as “crowlers,” they are one-liter sealable receptacles fashioned to look and work like standard beer cans and serve the same purpose as growlers (glass jugs used to transport beer from a brewery for off-site consumption). Unlike growlers, which are incapable of holding beer at acceptable freshness levels for more than a few days, stored under proper conditions, crowlers or purrowlers (a name trademarked by MHB) provides a significantly improved rate of degradation.
Hess and company first toured and began considering the OB site (previously occupied by a dog washing operation) six months ago and were encouraged by the fact it’s by the beach, and nicely positioned at a busy four-way stop at Cable Street and Voltaire in the neighborhood’s up-and-coming north end. The owner of the site received several tenant proposals for the site, but ultimately decided to go with MHB after being impressed during a tour of its North Park tasting room.
Now that the deal is done, MHB will embark on a complete interior build-out, aiming to bring lots of light into the equation, some of which will come via roll-up garage-style doors. Matching the eclectic nature of its new environs, the tasting room will be outfitted with a mix of different seating options, including picnic benches, high-top tables and drink rails. All in all, the expected capacity will be between 75 and 80 (dependent on coding).
Back at ground zero, the Miramar tasting room will likely receive a bit of a face-lift in the semi-near future. Touch ups will bring it more in line with the North Park facility’s aesthetic, though Hess intends to maintain a casual vibe so visitors still feel as if they’re enjoying beers from the comfort of their homebrewing friend’s garage.