Only a brewery owner eager to open their business after months and months of forging their vision into reality could reach near-giddy status over a hot liquor tank reaching 191.5 degrees. When I toured the site of Kurt Bach’s work-in-progress Attitude Brewing, this was the milestone he and head brewer Carlos Appel were celebrating. That and the fact they are about to move from R&D homebrew-scale brewing to producing ales on their brewpub’s freshly-installed, seven-and-a-half barrel system. It took longer than expected, but Bach and his team have made good use of the downtime they were afforded, piecing together a cohesive brand that makes better than any I’ve heretofore witnessed on its promise of honoring and appealing to Mexican culture on both sides of the border.
There are two versions of Attitude’s logo—one in English, the other in Spanish. This would be a minor detail were it not the jumping-off point for grand-scale bilateralism. The company’s tap handles represent individual brands, featuring the name and style of each beer in English on one side and Spanish on the other. And though canning won’t occur for some time, a dozen cans have been fully designed and follow the one-language-per-side thematic. Beyond its product line, Attitude’s 4,500-square-foot, 180-capacity, split-level dining room will have oil paintings from an artist in Mexico adorning its white and hot-pink walls.
Bach means it when he says it was important for him to not only base his business in Barrio Logan’s Mercado Del Barrio, but do his best to be a supportive part of the largely-Hispanic community. Tables, chairs and other interior fabrication was handled by nearby Ol’ Fashioned Lumber, while the aforementioned tap handles are the handiwork of Barrio Logan’s Knotty Woods. The art for those handles, the cans and Attitude’s logo came from another South of the Border artist and Appel will join a growing list of San Diego brewers of Hispanic origin. And at a certain point, Bach and Appel plan to distribute their beers in Mexico. But first they need to brew them.
When Attitude opens, roughly a half-dozen beers will be on tap. Each will be named for a particular attitude—Optimistic, Rebellious, Intense, Illuminating. Bach purposely steered away from negative phases of emotional outlook and attempted to match each attitude with a beer best-suited for it. His core lineup consists of a Mexican-style lager, Bavarian-style hefeweizen, dry-hopped saison, Cascadian dark ale (spoken like the Portland transplant Bach is), Northwest-style red ale, India pale ale (IPA), session IPA (referred to as an ISA—India session ale), hazy IPA, double IPA and coffee stout. He has also procured various used barrels—bourbon, cognac, rum and, of course, tequila—for aging of eventual strong and sour beers.
The food menu will consist of inventive takes on quick-service burgers and wraps. Rather than compete with the many quality burritos in Barrio Logan, Attitude aims to provide a worldlier take on the wrap medium, providing higher-quality proteins and more healthful, nourishing offerings like chicken curried salad, barbecue pulled pork and fresh ahi tuna. But it’s not all about wholesomeness. Decadence presents itself in the form of the Outrageous Bacon Cheese Burger Wrap, an original creation stuffed with fries, Cheddar cheese, special sauce and all the fixin’s of a deluxe-style hamburger. Appetizers, salads, desserts and kids’ menu items will also be available.
Attitude Brewing is on-track to open to the public in mid-July. After a month or so, Bach will plan an official grand opening. The business is located at 1985 National Avenue.