After a year in the brewing industry—preceded by 16 years in hospitality—Remy Zurita is ready to go full-steam ahead with his passion project, Hopnonymous Brewing. An interest focused on producing private-label beers for restaurants and bars, it will be based in the Kearny Mesa facility at 7705 Convoy Court that previously housed now-shuttered Council Brewing.
“I started my career in Paris and arrived in San Diego six years ago. The food-and-beverage business is huge here, constantly booming and evolving,” says Zurita. “San Diegans are fine drinkers, very curious and definitely happy foodies.”
It’s those qualities, he says, that make the county one where his concept can succeed. He knows how popular local beer is here, and with thousands of hospitality venues countywide, feels the sky’s the limit for his venture, which has racked up enough customers in the past year to provide initial proof of concept.
“A bunch of great restaurants and bars throughout San Diego have jumped onboard and their loyal customers are stoked,” he says. “We are excited to expand our brewing capacity through our new brewery and the marketing expertise of our team.”
It all started when Zurita was working for Buona Forchetta in South Park and proposed a venue-specific beer to its owner. Hopnonymous’ client list beyond that breakthrough is, as the name suggests, a secret, illustrating the company’s tagline: “we brew, you brag.” But Hopnonymous’ work isn’t done once the beer is produced. Zurita and company also design tap handles for each client and plan on offering can design in the future.
On the beer side, Zurita has brought on Hunter Mannix. A 10-year veteran whose résumé includes stints at Ballast Point Brewing, Coronado Brewing, Mikkeller Brewing San Diego and Mike Hess Brewing, Mannix says he is excited to let his creative side show in his new role. He believes his time working at Mikkeller and putting out nearly 100 different new beers in the span of a single year was good preparation for his current company’s model.
Hopnonymous’ licensing is still in-process, but once that is complete, Zurita will work toward opening a tasting room. Though the business will create beers for restaurants, it will not have an in-house food component. The solution, as with many local breweries, will be having various food trucks on-site daily.
Even before the space is open, Zurita is already looking to the future. “Our goal is to open a bigger facility with a greater production capacity within two years, however, our first goal will always be to craft high-quality local beer for our customers and also unique recipes that will refresh and surprise our patrons every visit.”
That will include collaborations with numerous breweries, including one from Belgium’s Flanders region near the North of France, Zurita’s old stomping grounds. Closer to home, Hopnonymous will collaborate with an upcoming North Park eatery that will make sandwiches using Belgian waffles produced using its beer.