We are wrapping up our four-part series citing some of the most intriguing work-in-progress breweries and brewery-owned venues in San Diego County. Over the past month, we’ve outlined standouts in North County, the best of the West and gems from South of Interstate 8. Today, we’re scouring East County to see what the future has in store for the inland communities.
Depot Springs Beer Company, La Mesa: It’s been in the works for some time, but that’s understandable considering a brewery, distillery and restaurant comprise this complex 20,000-square-foot project. Much of the anticipation is fueled by the pedigree of master distiller Phillip Soto Mares, whose two decades of spirit-conjuring experience lend clout to the entire operation. Meanwhile, the beer will be the charge of a GABF medal winner whose résumé includes stints at Port Brewing Co. / The Lost Abbey and Silver Moon Brewing. Strategically sited, it will be in close proximity to La Mesa’s popular Grossmont Center shopping mall as well as the municipality’s only other two breweries, Bolt Brewery and Helix Brewing Company.
Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Santee: Uncle Karl’s crew likes to stay busy. Over the past few years, the business has taken a break from opening new restaurants, instead focusing on expanding distribution of its packaged beer. Now, San Diego’s longest continually operating post-Prohibition Era brewing company is shifting its attention back to the home front and working to bring its latest brewery-restaurant to Santee, where it will fall right in with nearby breweries including Twisted Manzanita Ales, Butchers Brewing, Pacific Islander Beer Co., BNS Brewing and Distilling Co. and Karl Strauss’ most directly comparable competitor, Oggi’s.
Knox Corners Brewing Company, Lakeside: Originally slated to touch down in El Cajon until City regulations and red tape inspired its founders to move the project elsewhere, this project makes the list primarily because it will bring craft beer to a community that currently has very little and none produced within its geographic limits. El Cajon’s loss will be Lakeside’s gain and expose a town dense with macrobeer drinkers to something hand-crafted and a local business citizens can proudly support. That’s potential that goes beyond what’s in the glass based solely on what’s in the glass.
NOTE: The items above have been selected from a list of public projects. There are a number of projects that are quite exciting throughout San Diego, but cannot be disclosed as they are confidential in nature and must be kept under wraps by request of the business owners.