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.
3038 University Ave., North Park, northparkbeerco.com