Twice a year, I take a step back to assess an always-dense roster of brewery-owned venues in the planning and construction stages, for the purpose of presenting the most viable and promising prospects. The following are projects that fit the bill in San Diego’s North County, but check back weekly as we examine upcoming up-and-comers in other regions.
Knø Beverage House: They founded Cismontane Brewing in Orange County, but Evan Weinberg and Ross Stewart both grew up in North San Diego County, so establishing a presence in Escondido simultaneously represents an expansion and a homecoming. The venue is equipped with a 1,200-square-foot patio and will offer food and specialty drinks from a full-service espresso bar. The latter is just one way the duo plans to go outside the box. Another is with avant-garde creations, including a robust lineup of collaboration beers. | 239 East Valley Parkway, Escondido
Karl Strauss Brewing: San Diego’s longest-operating post-Prohibition-era brewing company recently acquired a two-acre lot just off the Hop Highway (State Route 78). Though it will include a small public tasting room element, this spot will be all about providing the company a nimble brewery devoted primarily to research and development. Considering the high-quality beers that have been added to Karl Strauss’ portfolio in recent years, increased capacity for conception should be good for both the company and its fans. | Las Posas Road & Descanso Avenue, San Marcos
Papa Marce’s Cerveceria: The ready-to-brew-and-serve suite at the Carlsbad Brewery Igniter formerly occupied by defunct Wiseguy Brewing is being taken over by veteran beer sales rep Mark Amador, who most recently assisted with the rebirth of Vista’s Indian Joe Brewing. While there, he was so taken with beers being produced by that company’s head brewer, Grant Heuer, he brought him on to craft a wide array of beers for his passion project, ranging from English session ales to IPAs, lagers and barrel-aged sours. | 5840 El Camino Real, #199, Carlsbad
Bear Roots Brewing: The nano-brewery that grew to micro-regional prominence out of a family-run homebrew-supply shop is doubling down on its hometown, opening a tasting room in Vista’s Old Town Village area, providing an astounding fourth option (joining Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern & Grill, Mother Earth Tap House, Wavelength Brewing) within a single block. The Bear’s new den is replete with repurposed wood augmented by plant-life, some of which sprouts from halved-keg planters. Be first to see it at the grand opening, this Saturday, May 5. | 135 East Broadway, Vista
Picks Last Time Around: Julian Beer Co., Julian (work in progress); Karl Strauss Brewing, San Marcos (work in progress); Beach Grease Beer Co., Vista (open)