Six months ago, brothers Justin and Joe Stambaugh opened their passion project, Stave and Nail Brewing in San Marcos. Though committed to their new operation, they kept their day jobs, with Joe staying on at Mikkeller Brewing San Diego and Justin maintaining his role as head brewer for Rip Current Brewing. Working two jobs was the primary reason for Stave and Nail only being open one weekend per month, but Justin recently resigned from Rip Current to focus all his attention on his family business. Now, people looking to get a taste of Stave and Nail’s wares will be able to do so twice a month.
“It takes a lot of effort and mental capacity to get our beer releases organized from conception to completion, as well as organize the tasting room openings, and being able to focus my efforts solely on that has been huge,” says Justin. “On the beer side, we really needed to get to a point where we have sour barrels in all stages from young to mature in order to set ourselves up for success and create a nice workflow.”
Being an interest so deeply focused on barrel-aged beers makes for schedules and processes more complex than a traditional brewery. Many of Stave and Nail’s sour ales require one or more years of maturation, making warehousing and aging oversight as much a part of day-to-day operations as brewing, fermentation and packaging.
“I’m really thankful that we had such great support and patience from our customers, as it allowed us to really dial in our process,” says Justin. “We now have enough beer in all stages to sustain our tasting room and limited distribution, and keep moving beers through the process.”
Stave and Nail is located at 1325 Grand Avenue, Suite 107 and its schedule is regularly updated online. The tasting room will next be open on February 7 and 8, followed by a three-week gap before it next opens on February 28, which will mark the start of the business’ bi-weekly schedule. This weekend, Stave and Nail will release Cacao King, a 10% alcohol-by-volume imperial pastry stout brewed with lactose, cacao nibs, raspberry and vanilla; and Whiskey Tangerine, a 6.4% American wild ale aged in a combination of red wine and Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels with passion fruit and tangerines. The weekend of the 28th will include the release of Lost in the Fluff, a 7.5% hazy IPA brewed with Nelson Sauvin, Ekuanot and Citra hops, plus several previously released wild ales.