Earlier this month, Eppig Brewing celebrated the soft opening of its new headquarters in Vista. While there, many who visited took a moment to sneak a peek at the soon-to-arrive Dogleg Brewing, a brand-new entrant into San Diego’s fermentation industry that is housed in the very same building as Eppig. The team behind that golf-themed operation have been hard at work on their beer and a tasting room that, even in a county replete with such venues, is unique to the scene. That effort will pay off the weekend of November 8-10, when Dogleg embarks on its soft-open period.
Head brewer Jim McCaskey, a long-time homebrewer with numerous awards to his name, began brewing on October 7 and continued for four days straight to fill fermenters in time to have five beers ready during the soft-open weekend. That quintet figures to include a pale ale and Scotch ale that both come in at 5.5% alcohol-by-volume, as well as a 6.8% India pale ale and 7.3% American strong ale. All were produced on the company’s seven-barrel system, which was christened by an ESB (extra special bitter). But a great deal of elbow grease was expended before they could get to beer-making.
“Balancing the budget with the timeline before opening was one of the biggest challenges getting to this point. It was a trade-off between doing tasks ourselves to stay within budget and hire help to get it done quickly to the point where we could start brewing beer,” says co-owner Christina Lumsden, who is responsible for marketing and comes to brewing from the golf industry. “So we really had to roll up our sleeves to stain floors, clean construction debris, construct the cold box and more. It was a grind, but also a great way to experience exactly what it takes to get a business off the ground and fully understand every step involved.”
Dogleg’s public space will include golf features, namely a putting green area and state-of-the-art golf simulator that will be utilized for contests in addition to everyday use. Those value-addeds—which will be fully operational when Dogleg opens—are situated along the north end of the tasting room, which provides views of the canyon just beyond the parking lot, which extends all the way to Palomar Airport Road.
While some would be put off by having competitors so close by—in addition to Eppig, Helia Brewing is located a block from Dogleg—Lumsden sees it as an opportunity and enjoys the welcome she and her team have received from others in the local brewing industry.
“Both breweries are so supportive of our startup and have always been helpful when we have a question,” says Lumsden. “Being in such close proximity with two other breweries will benefit all of us and create opportunities to do interesting events and turn Keystone Way into a cool craft beer destination.”
Dogleg Brewing’s hours of operation during its soft-open weekend will be 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Putting and simulated closest-to-the-pin competitions will be part of the festivities, and food trucks will be scheduled to provide sustenance over the three-day span. Lumsden predicts the company’s grand opening will occur sometime in January of next year. Dogleg Brewing is located at 1347 Keystone Way.