Kiss My Glass: Brew like a baker, think like a chef


Kelsey McNair, owner and head brewer of North Park Beer Co., always loved the culinary arts, but never thought he’d make a career of it — until he was gifted a home brew kit one Christmas.

Now, thanks to a successful start as a home brewer and his award-winning recipe for Hop-Fu!, he and his wife are able to share their love of beer with the community in which they also live.

That award-winning beer was so successful — winning five medals and six years at the National Homebreweres Competition — that it became the flagship beer to launch North Park Beer Co. The wide-open space, designed by Basile Studio (Borh & Raised, Encontro, Kindred), pulls elements like from those of the many Craftsman homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

In the nearly two and a half years since opening, the brewery has won a Great American Beer Festival award in the Bohemian Pilsner category and it is producing 1,200 barrels with room to expand to about 2,800-3,000 total.

McNair recently sat down with PACIFIC and host Edwin Real to discuss the following:

  • GABF award
  • Canning in 2019
  • Caring about the North Park community
  • Incorporating the nearby craftsman style to brewery/tasting room
  • Meeting and exceeding expectations
  • Core brews
  • Hop-Fu! — the beer that started it all
  • Life before being a head brewer
  • Balancing what you want to brew with what sells
  • Differentiating North Park Beer Co. in an already saturated neighborhood
  • Brew like a baker, think like a chef
  • A hospitality experience driven by the beer
  • Brewers to look up
  • Has the beer bubble burst in San Diego?

Kiss My Glass is a collaboration between PACIFIC and Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego. The podcast is hosted on the U-T Podcast Network.

Listen and subscribe to Kiss My Glass and sister podcast Dish It Up wherever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud.

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3038 University Ave., North Park,


Instagram: @northparkbeerco


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