Yesterday, we provided details (link here) on Karl Strauss Brewing‘s portfolio, including new core beers, as well as the latest with its distribution company, including the addition of new brands. Today, we focus on new venues and developments for the company’s array of private and public facilities throughout Southern California.
Karl Strauss is currently working to build out a publicly accessible venue north of State Route 78’s Las Posas Road exit in San Marcos. That project has morphed a bit since the space’s acquisition, and is being hammered into a research and development-focused brewery along with a brewpub. That project is on pace to debut in the first quarter of 2020.
“We are fortunate to have a blank canvas with San Marcos that gives us the opportunity to imagine outside the box,” says vice president of hospitality Steve Robbins, another veteran of Stone Brewing who oversaw its Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens venues before heading retail and tap room operations for Lagunitas Brewing over the past two years. Robbins is responsible for Karl Strauss’ ten brewpubs, the main brewery tasting room and beer garden, and future locations like the San Marcos venue. “The project is very much in the planning phase, but this venue will be an exciting departure from the traditional Karl Strauss mold. It will create a unique atmosphere as welcoming and comfortable as your own backyard, complete with an R&D brewery and maybe, just maybe, a few other unique features that will keep you coming back for more.”
Robbins and his colleagues are primarily focused on the San Marcos project, but he says they always keep their eyes open for growth opportunities. One future location that has been a long time coming is a planned headquarters on a 10-acre site at Cuyamaca Street and Town Center Parkway in Santee. Imagined as an expansive, indoor-outdoor facility with a large public component, it has been tied up from a municipal and environmental perspective for years. Karl Strauss leadership is still hopeful and patiently working this project forward.
Something Karl Strauss isn’t waiting to proceed on is a refresh of its current locations. “In an effort to maintain our solid presence in Southern California, we are evolving our brewpubs to be more beer-forward, which will shine an even greater spotlight on our incredible, award-winning beer portfolio,” says Robbins. “Almost every one of our brewpubs have their own small-batch breweries on site, which gives us a tremendous amenity that allows our team of talented brewers the stage to continue to provide our guests with unique Karl Strauss craft beers.”
“We’re looking to develop a ‘medium-batch’ program,” adds Heath. “Ten of our brewpubs all have small breweries inside them. That lets us do test beers at a capacity no one else can match. We can create beers that take off and resonate at our brewpubs, then scale them up at the production brewery in PB to give them to accounts that want to get something different and new from Karl Strauss. We hope to reach into a whole new market in San Diego with these medium-batch beers, starting in quarter two of this year.”