The Del Mar area has a lot of great things going for it: The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, close proximity to the ocean, delicious dining options, luxury stores, outdoor sports. But alas, the city known for where the surf meets the turf has been missing one major San Diego staple: a local craft brewery.
Thanks to the Del Mar City Council clearing the way last year, the city will have its first craft brewery in July (appropriately, the brewery's official opening day is scheduled to coincide with Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club).
Viewpoint Brewing Co. will have craft beer flowing at this 7,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant space, which overlooks the San Dieguito Lagoon and Wildlife Bird Reserve. The views of the lagoon and surrounding mountains will be visible from the renovated and completely opened-up Northeast part of the building, which was once home to a pottery business for over 40 years. The spacious outdoor patio area lets guests sip beer while soaking up the view.
Viewpoint's founder, Charles Koll, has been working to get this soon-to-be open brewery ready for more than two years now. Locals may know Koll from the time he spent working at Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe and Prepkitchen Del Mar.
"Del Mar is where I grew up and it is an amazing feeling to have my first brewery and restaurant down the street from where I used to catch the bus to elementary school," said Koll.
The house beers at Viewpoint will be brewed by Moe Katomski, a seasoned brewer whose last brewing gig was at Bear Roots Brewing Company in Vista. Katomski and Koll are long-time friends, going back to the days when Katomski was only home brewing. Katomski's starting lineup of beers will feature five different brews: Pleasant Surprise F-Cup Pale Ale, Mandarina Pale Ale, Chinook Smash Ale, Red Rye IPA and French Smash Saison.
Beyond Viewpoint's own lineup of beers that are described as "forward-thinking," the brewery will also host local beers on tap from a variety of San Diego breweries, including North Park Brewing Company, Fall Brewing Co., Eppig Brewing and more. There also will be a "Buy a Bird a Beer" option on the menu where $6 spent is literally "for the birds" (not another beer for customers) and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy.
Chef Gunnar Planter, a San Diego native who worked under Chef Martin Woesle at Mille Fluers, will be in charge of the cuisine at Viewpoint. Menu options will be locally-based with seasonal ingredients and feature dishes like smoked gouda macaroni with chorizo, pretzel bao buns filled with pork belly, or shrimp and steak frites.
"Everyone involved with this project has gone above and beyond their comfort zone to get us open and it has really built a strong team, confident in what they know and driven to get better at what they don't," said Koll.
Insider tip: Look closely at the logo on the pint glasses. Since Viewpoint Brewing Co. was founded on the idea of collaboration and different perspectives, the logo was created as an ambigram, a symbol that, when viewed in different directions still has meaning. What reads Viewpoint normally, turns into Good Beer upside down.
Viewpoint Brewing Co.
Location: 2201 San Dieguto Dr., Del Mar
Hours: Open daily from noon to 11 p.m. Light bites will be available from open to 4 p.m. A full dinner menu can be enjoyed from 4-11 p.m.