Early in his career, Brian Mitchell gained experience and his fair share of frustrations brewing other people's recipes at Helm's Brewing Company and since-shuttered La Jolla Brew House. After moving on to the small-batch team at Stone Brewing, he began working toward a dream he'd fostered since 2010 - opening his own brewery. Now, that den of outlandish beers, Pariah Brewing Company, is open for business at North Park 's Brewery Igniter complex (which also houses J&L Eppig Brewing and San Diego Brewing Company). Mitchell describes his tasting room as a place where both Lewis Carroll and Jack the Ripper would feel comfortable: something weird and mismatched, sophisticated yet warm. It's an interesting place forged by an equally interesting craftsman.
PACIFIC: What does the name Pariah signify?
Brian Mitchell: The word "pariah" means self-reliance, self-awareness and self-assessment even in the company of haters, so we decided to put it on the door. Even in our logo, the "i" was emphasized so as to let anyone know they're not in for the norm, and we fully embrace our uniqueness. We self-govern and that's that. Nothing we'll do won't be something we're not in love with and it's up to others to decide if they love it as well.
Explain your brewing approach and beers.
For us, no practice is sacred. We'll brew with anything that's legal, unique and tastes good. Our initial beer lineup is Off White Wit, a Belgian wheat beer inspired by Boba tea; a beer-wine-mead hybrid named Erotic City; a foreign extra stout brewed with cacao nibs, molasses and coffee called Dorcha Extra Stout; an IPA brewed with hop oil and flesh from mangoes and peaches; and a hop-bursted West Coast IPA aptly named Dank Drank.
Why did you choose to build your passion project in North Park?
We love North Park! Three-fourths of our staff lives here. When the cabaret that previously occupied this building closed down, I said, "Damn, that would make an awesome brewery." Now, it's three completely different breweries. The Brewery Igniter model is what has made owning a brewery of this scale possible and allows us to better stretch our wings.
What's it like having a brewery on either side of yours?
We love it! We're all so different that we think it truly offers an amazing way to experience San Diego craft beer. Eppig is making some amazing lagers, San Diego Brewing is making some amazing classics, and we get to sit right in the middle being weirdos.
Pariah Brewing Company, 3052 El Cajon Blvd., Suite B, North Park, pariahbrewingco.com