Coming to a Head

With breweries, tasting rooms and bars up, down and around 30th Street, North Park is San Diego’s sudsiest neighborhood. But it’s about to get a craft-beer first - a shared facility where visitors can check out not one, not two, but three unique breweries in one place. This H.G. Fenton development is called “CRAFT by Brewery Igniter” (3052 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park, and is scheduled to go live little-by-little starting in September. Meet its tenants...

This business is new to North Park, but the original Eppig brewery was founded by German immigrants in Brooklyn 150 years ago. Their descendants are helming this revival, and aim to stay true to their heritage by producing traditional Germanic lagers while exploring modern-day inventions such as West Coast IPAs, kettle-sours and barrel-aged beers under the guidance of a head brewer hailing from Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits.

Brian Mitchell, a veteran of several breweries (including Stone, where he was part of the company’s small-batch and barrel-aging team), will unveil this unconventional operation as a vehicle for pushing people’s buttons and breaking new beery ground - a tall order in the craft-brewing capital of the world. Sure, there’ll be IPAs, but there’ll also be out-there offerings like a beer fermented using yeast collected in the brewmaster’s backyard.

After 23 years of brewing exclusively at its Mission Valley brewpub, the owners of this business are upping production and distribution of its beers via this ready-to-brew model. In doing so, ownership plans to extend the relaxed, come-as-you-are feel of its original location while offering its longtime fan-fave brews along with new-school ales (including some barrel-aged numbers) introduced by head brewer Jeff Drum.