Beer of the week: Eppig’s Natural Bridge

Eppig’s dark schwarzbier is pleasantly light in body


Beer Name: Natural Bridge
Brewery: Eppig Brewing
Style: Schwarzbier
ABV: 4.9%

Revitalizing a longstanding family brewing legacy, Eppig has over 150 years of history. Brought back to life in 2016, the brewery is flourishing with two San Diego locations and a solid reputation for crafting award-winning beer. With the recent closing of its North Park location, Eppig is now focusing its efforts on Point Loma and Vista.

PACIFIC spoke with Eppig’s principal brewer Nathan Stephens to find out more about the Natural Bridge schwarzbier, a unique dark lager.

What’s the story with name Eppig?
NATHAN: Eppig is a family surname. The original Eppig family brewery was established in Brooklyn in 1866, and was resurrected in San Diego three years ago.

What exactly is a schwarzbier?
NATHAN: Schwarzbier translates literally to “black beer” in German. It’s a lager style beer with origins in Bavaria hundreds of years ago.

What’s in it?
NATHAN: A blend of German and American malts, from very light to dark and roasted. German Magnum and Tettnang hops. Carbon filtered water from the local supply and fermented with a lager yeast strain of German origin.

What should someone trying the Natural Bridge schwarzbier for the first time expect?
NATHAN: Schwarzbier is deceptive because even though it is dark in color, like a stout, it is pleasantly light in body. Notes of light roast, milk chocolate and freshly baked bread crust come through in the complex aroma. The flavor is clean and balanced with a light and dry finish. A great, drinkable session beer for this season!

Perfect pairing?
NATHAN: It would be perfect for a picnic lunch of charcuterie and cheeses, especially with some smoky ones like Gouda. It would also provide great balance to a rich pot of braised mushrooms, onions, and beef. Pro tip: because of its low bitterness, use Schwarzbier as the braising liquid itself and then to pair with the finished dish.

This beer gal’s take: Schwarzbier is a perfect cool season beer for San Diego, dark in color but light enough for our warmer winters. Eppig does a delicious job of crafting this unique beer, and I’m all about having it for a crushable dark beer experience. I’ll be pairing mine with a variety of roasted foods, like wild mushrooms and root vegetables, along with veggie chili and warm, crusty bread.

Where can I get it and how long?
NATHAN: The schwarzbier is available at our two tasting rooms, the Point Loma Waterfront Biergarten and our Vista Bierhall. It is also at select spots around San Diego County such as Common Theory and Fathom Bistro.

Extra Juicy Tidbit?
NATHAN: Our new production brewhouse and tasting room is now open daily in Vista. It triples our production capacity, and features a large outdoor biergarten with fire pit, indoor tasting room, and Bierhalle with 30 -ft. ceilings. We recently introduced 16 oz. cans of our most popular beer, 10:45 to Denver IPA. Fresh cans can be found at our two locations as well as bottle shops around San Diego.

Details and hours of operation at