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Craft Beer

Karl Strauss brewpub to open in San Marcos in 2021

karl strauss
A beer aged in a bourbon whiskey barrel being poured at the long-standing Karl Strauss Tasting Room, located in Pacific Beach.
(Courtesy photo)

Opening date pushed by a year, from an expected start date early this year, to the beginning of next year

A new Karl Strauss brewpub planned for San Marcos is pushing back its opening by a year, from an expected start early this year, to the beginning of next year.

Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego’s oldest craft beer company, last year announced plans to open a new site on a 2-acre space at Las Posas Road and Armorlite Drive, near Palomar College. The project would introduce a new design, re-inventing the suburban backyard in the city’s business district, with a park-like setting, extensive outdoor space and regular food trucks.

It will also beta test new beer varieties in a “pilot brewery system,” where the company’s brew-masters will try out novel formulas, using local ingredients. Those small batch experiments could be replicated on a larger scale at the company’s production facilities, Steve Robbins, vice president of brewpubs for Karl Strauss, said last year.

“It’s just a vessel for our brew-masters to have fun, and make a smaller version of an experimental beer, but the sky’s the limit on what we can make there,” said Chad Heath, vice president of sales and marketing.

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The site was originally slated to open in the first quarter of this year, but is now expected to launch the first quarter of next year instead, Heath said.

“I think, when you’re trying to take a new concept to market, things change,” Heath said. “We’re just going through the approval process, and permits, and also forging a new path with the concept. And that’s largely where the delay is coming from.”

San Marcos spokeswoman Robin Rockey said the company is still working on the building permit process, which is the very end of the entitlement process for the project. She said they expect the company to break ground sometime this year, but did not have a more specific timeline. Heath said there is no current date set for ground-breaking.

Robbins said last year that the site would have space for three food trucks, including two Karl Strauss food trucks and an outside vendor that could offer meals, snacks or other services. For instance, he said, a community vendor could offer anything from snow cones to tattoos or pet services. Despite the delay, Heath said the company is looking forward to launching the project.

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“We’re thrilled to be going to San Marcos and taking a new concept for people to enjoy, and forging a new path,” he said.


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