San Diegans are raising their glasses to the first brewery opening of 2016, Bay Ho's Bitter Brothers Brewing Co.
The convenient location near Costco provides a consistent flow of traffic for the brewery and exposure to San Diegans from around the county. And let's be honest, who doesn't need a decompression beer after the postmodern overload of Costco?
Setting itself apart from a singular brewmaster model, Bitter Brothers expanded its portfolio via a brewing team, each with a specialty of brewing styles. Owner Kurt Warnke channels German beers, John Hunter, formerly of Karl Strauss, White Labs and 32 North, is known for his "candy bar" series, and Bruce McSurdy is an amber and ESB aficionado. Relatable names like Golden Child Hef, Sibling Rivalry IPA and Black Sheep Porter are a "tongue in cheek nod to familial ties." Fun fact: the Warnkes great-grandfather was a brewmeister in Germany.
Co-owners Bill Warnke and Monica Andresen come from a culinary background, Bill as a professional chef and Monica as the senior event designer for Waters Fine Foods and Catering for nearly 20 years. Thus one of the team's priorities is "not only to craft great beer, but beer that pairs well with food."
In other words, foodies, look to Bitter Brothers for pairings like you do with food-friendly wines!
But what about breakfast and dessert? Chocolate and coffee fans will be in liquid heaven with a chocolate dunkelweizen with cocoa nibs and the coffee porter, brewed with Bay Ho's own Caffe Arcidiacono. The roaster's seven bean espresso blend will also be on tap.
Bitter Brothers Brewing Co.
Where: 4170 Morena Blvd., Bay Ho
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays
The brewery itself includes a 15-barrel brew house system, with four 30-barrel fermenters, producing about 1,400 barrels annually. The adjoining tasting room, with its striking minimalist look, includes works by local artists, including a mural by Patrick Jantz and glazed ceramic tap handles by Kelley Lowe.
What's ahead for 2016? Bitter Brothers plans to join the San Diego Brewer's Guild and enter competitions. Stay tuned for upcoming beer dinners around the city and get your tummies ready for the addition of food trucks at the brewery.
Cheers to all of the new breweries of 2016!
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.