Tucked into an industrial park off of Rancho Bernardo Road is the undeniably stylish and charming Cork & Craft, home of the super-duo productions of Abnormal Beer Co. and Abnormal Wine Co. (16990 Via Tazon, San Diego, 858.618.2463).
The dream began years ago as co-owner Matt Deloach honed his winemaking skills at home while working in the software industry. The idea of making it a commercial venture crystallized in 2012 with the opening of a modest 500-square-foot tasting room.
The business launched with an impressive lineup of stags leap Napa merlot, cabernet and zinfandel from Lodi, chardonnay from the Central Coast, Riesling from Washington, Pinot Grigio from Italy, and two dessert wines.
In 2013, they began experimenting with food and pop up dinners. Deloach remarked, “It was always our intention to involve beer, too.”
Enter Derek Gallanosa, the company’s first employee and now head brewer. Derek’s passion was sparked in 2007 after seeing a friend’s dad home brewing. He said, “It blew my mind. I bought a kit, a book, and I fell in love.”
In 2010 he began working at Karl Strauss and moved from assistant brewer to brewer, and then into sales. In 2014, he came on board at Abnormal, and now brews a variety of his own recipes along with stocking the restaurant’s 40 taps with the best of local and hand-selected beers.
It’s worthy to note Abnormal Beer is gluten reduced. “I think it makes the beer last longer and I don’t think it takes away from the quality or flavor,” Gallanosa said.
Abnormal’s core beers include Boss Pour IPA (7%), 5pm Session (5.2%), and Mostra Mocha Stout (5.1%) with Mostra Coffee.
PACIFIC: What was the first wine or beer you ever made?
Deloach: A pinot noir, and it was atrocious. (laughs)
Gallanosa: American Pale Ale with orange peel, from a kit at Homebrew Mart.
How old were you when you took your first drink?
Deloach: Oh man, 14.
Gallanosa: Miller Genuine Draft, 14.
What would be doing if you weren’t doing this?
Deloach: I want to say, trying to change the world; probably software related.
Gallanosa: Sales. I’d try to find something to sell ... luckily I’m selling beer I like.
If you could have one superpower?
Deloach: Power of imagination that would come to fruition.
Gallanosa: Time travel. I’m impatient, I want to see the future.
What is your idea of happiness?
Deloach: To be surrounded by those you love and freedom to take care of them.
Gallanosa: Waking up and wanting it to last as long as possible, because you enjoy your life.
What makes you laugh?
Deloach: Just about everything!
Gallanosa: Being around my friends. We crack each other up. Finding humor in life.
Greatest honor in life?
Deloach: To have a positive impact on this civilization.
Gallanosa: Being recognized for something you are passionate about. Applying a scientific technique, and your heart comes out. It’s the driving force. It’s an honor.
Deloach: To make the world a better place
Gallanosa: For people to step back and not take life too seriously.
Favorite vacation spot?
Deloach: I’ll fall back to my childhood. Santa Fe, NM.
Gallanosa: San Francisco.
What is your personal mantra?
Deloach: Never, never give up.
Gallanosa: Find something you enjoy doing and work hard so that you can do it for the rest of your life.
If you could invite three people living or dead to dinner, who would they be?
Deloach: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Murray.
Gallanosa: Nate Soroko, Mike Arquines (head roaster of Mostra Coffee), Stephanie Duncan (archaeologist friend).
Your last meal on earth?
Deloach: A ginormous chocolate cake and a whiskey.
Gallanosa: A California burrito with al Pastor, extra crispy fries, and two extra crispy beef rolled tacos inside, with Boon two-year-old lambiek.
To learn about craft beer from Gallanosa, sign up for his class at San Diego State’s “Marketing Craft Beer,” or check out his beer dinners at Cork & Craft. To view menus, events, and what’s pouring, visit thecorkandcraft.com, abnormalwine.co or abnormalbeer.co.