Museum of Beer promises to be a “Welcome Center” for beer tourism


San Diego has long battled for craft beer supremacy against cities like Portland and Denver. But America’s Finest City is about to add another notch to its belt in its quest to bear the undisputed title “Capital of Craft” by adding a forthcoming Museum of Beer.

The Museum’s name is a bit misleading, as it will solely focus on the San Diego beer scene. But it’s an ambitious project nonetheless, tentatively slated to open sometime in 2020 and somewhere in the East Village neighborhood. (Concrete details are still being hashed out.)

“Museum of Beer is going to be California’s first hands-on beer adventure,” promises the project’s Indiegogo page. “Museum of Beer will provide an inspiring and exciting experience for every kind of guest — from the longtime craft expert to the novice who’s never tasted a craft beer.”

The team behind MoB includes Anthony and Molly Ridenhour, Mike and Christine Kociela, Bruce Glassman, and Richard Norris. It’s been in the works for about two years already, and the idea was inspired by a visit to a similarly niche museum.

“We visited the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles, walked out, and said ‘why isn’t anyone doing this with beer?’ The adventure began at that moment and the concept has since evolved from a temporary pop up about beer to a full-blown experiential museum dedicated to the history and industry of San Diego craft beer,” explained Mike Kociela.

Planned exhibits include eight core “stops”, including:
The Science of Beer: Where visitors can take a “crash course” in brewing science.
The Beer Universe: A breakdown of beer styles and history of how they’ve developed.
America’s Hoppiest City — The Story of San Diego’s Craft Beer History: Tracing the journey of San Diego beer and the groups that helped it grow, including Pink Boots Society, Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity (QUAFF), and more.
Be the Brewer Experience: Inviting guests to experience a brew day through videos and virtual reality.
Getting Beer to You: Focusing on what it takes to get beer from the brew system into packaging and ultimately the consumer’s hands.
The Art of Craft: From Can to Canvas: Celebrating the world of beer art with a rotating display of iconic brands of San Diego.
The Sun, Surf, and Beer! San Diego Experience: A video experience using drone footage from across San Diego’s beaches, mountains and beer festivals.
Beer for Breakfast with 91X Media Center: A new, permanent recording studio for local radio show segment.

A 65-tap tasting room is also planned — serving only San Diego-brewed beer, of course — as well as a pizza kitchen, bottle shop, merchandise booth, private event space, and outdoor beer garden with a live music stage.

A permanent brewmaster will also join the group in order to “educate guests about the brewing process, help home-brewers get to the next level and brew beer for the museum’s tasting room,” according to Kociela. The on-site nano brewery will also act as an outlet for smaller San Diego breweries to use when developing new beers.

A portion of ticket sales will be recycled back to the community, supporting the San Diego Brewers Guild, the “Brewchive” beer archive at CSUSM, and the museum’s own brewers scholarship program. For more information, visit