Originally concepted as a brewery in Costa Rica, Jesse Pine and his business partners dreamed of running their company in the heart of the jungle. But opening a business in a still somewhat undeveloped country isn’t exactly paradise.
“When you make beer you make a lot of wastewater and how do you deal with that without having an impact on the environment,” Pine said. This realization came with a lot of added costs that didn’t make Costa Rica a sustainable place to operate.
After 18 months down that path, Jesse and partner Mat Robar decided to pull the plug on the project. That’s when Pine got the call from a friend that worked in commercial real estate who pointed him to H.G. Fenton Company’s original Brewery Igniter space (they now have three in total) in Miramar.
With a majority of original investors on board, the business partners signed a lease for a space in the turnkey brewery facility, which included a 300-square-foot tasting room, in January 2016 and opened their doors in August.
Now, three years later, Pure Project has increased its production capacity in Miramar, is close to opening a new tasting room in Bankers Hill and is in the process of working to open a space by year’s end in the Carlsbad Village.
Pine recently sat down in our recording studios to talk about collaborations, the vision of the Pure Project brand and the following:
- Idea of launching a brewery
- Living in Costa Rica
- Why San Diego?
- Brewery Igniter by H.G. Fenton
- Reached capacity with 1,900 barrels in 2018
- Growth in Miramar, working on new spot in Bankers Hill, eyeing Carlsbad
- Design philosophy
- Eco line of products and merchandise
- Reducing waste
- First build woes
- Liquid City Cheese Expo event
- Are there too many breweries in San Diego?
- Moving from the beach to quieter Point Loma
- Trend of hyperlocal and boutique beer tasting
- Focusing on quality, small batch releases and retail
- Self distribution vs. working with distribution company
- Young brewer, a good mix between a mad scientist and an artist
- The culture at Pure Project
- Leaving “beer” and “brewing” out of company name
- Coffee on the brain
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