This is the third in a four-part weekly series taking a look at work-in-progress, brewery-owned projects throughout San Diego County. Over the last two weeks, we focused on the most promising initiatives underway in North County and East County. Today, we take a look along the western expanses and inland communities above the Interstate 8 freeway.
Gravity Heights: Veteran leadership from a business and brewing perspective are the faith-inducing factors for this 12,000-square-foot brewpub (5,000 of which will be devoted to an outdoor beer garden) being brought to Sorrento Mesa by Arturo Kassel, the founder of Whisknladle and the Prepkitchen chain of restaurants. He has tapped AleSmith Brewing founder Skip Virgilio to direct brewery operations (and is currently searching for a head brewer) and design West Coast and Old World beers to go into kegs, casks, and barrels. | 9920 Pacific Heights Boulevard, Sorrento Mesa
Melvin Brewing: It’s fitting this company’s logo is an elephant, because there are a couple in the room. This Wyoming-based interest has courted controversy of late, taking a PR hit with political incorrectness and inappropriate behavior by (now) ex-employees. But beer quality has never been a problem for them, especially where hoppy beers are concerned, so there’s still a good chance quality IPAs and more will be manufactured at the downtown brewpub co-founder Jeremy Tofte and company hope to open later this year. | 13th Street & Market Street, East Village
Hodad’s Brewing: The local burger barons at Hodad’s are getting into the brewing game, but that initiative is being handled almost exclusively by a single person, longtime Hodaddy Marlow Myrmo. Though new to the brewing community, he’s jumped in with both boots, immersing himself in the culture via the San Diego Brewers Guild, California Craft Brewers Association, and Brewers Association, taking the time to ask questions and learn the ropes via veterans so he can better prepare himself to perform optimally early on. | 9726 Aero Drive, Suite B, Serra Mesa
Ketch Brewing: Like Hodad’s, The Brigantine Restaurant Corp is going the brew-it-yourself route, utilizing its Kearny Mesa headquarters for production. They report strong responses to their head-brewer job post from veteran personnel. A good selection on that front should put them on the path to success. Ditto experienced hospitality professionals with a successful track record. They’ll likely do a good job, but probably won’t venture outside core brands all that much; a small detail barely separating them from the top three. | 7889 Ostrow Street, Kearny Mesa
Picks Last Time Around: Gravity Heights, Sorrento Mesa (work in progress); Latchkey Brewing, Mission Hills (open); Attitude Brewing, Barrio Logan (brewing but not open to the public)