Karl Strauss Brewing Debuts New Tasting Room at Main Brewery | Set to Open to the Public on July 27th

July 22, 2013

By Megan Gallagher | SanDiegoVille Contributor

Karl Strauss Brewing Company is pulling back the curtain on their 32,000+ barrel per year operation – and in a big way. After 24 years in the beer business, the not-so-micro brewery will open the doors of a tasting room at its main brewery in the unsuspecting location of Bay Ho for the first time on Saturday, July 27th. We recently got a sneak peek of the scene at the company’s preview party on July 13th, and we’ve got to say, we’re liking what we see.

The grand opening of the Karl Strauss Brewing Company Tasting Room and Beer Garden is the culmination of months of hard work dedicated to transforming the industrial building that the company has called home since 1996 into a destination for beer lovers. Local companies Urban Contracting (the brains behind Saint Archer Brewery, Left Coast, AleSmith and other local operations) and Public Architecture (think Snooze and Café on Park) took the lead in the redesign, creating an open, inviting space without sacrificing the “beers are actually made here” vibe.

The indoor area is centered on a long concrete bar, where visitors can take their pick of any of 20 taps, including staple brews like Tower 10 or Red Trolley Ale, as well as exclusive tasting room choices.  Fiberglass windows on the far wall provide a glimpse directly into the bottling line. The space also caters to semi-private events with a designated area lined with beer casks and occupied by a large communal table made from locally sourced wood.  

Just beyond the garage-style doors, a garden area highlighted with globe string lights provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying a summer pint. Though a bit smaller than some other San Diego counterparts, the beer garden has a unique charm and the sandy landscape gives a laid back feel.  The tasting room’s secluded location makes it an easy spot for late-night entertainment – no noise complaints here!  We got to enjoy the sounds of Carlsbad-based “Aloha Folk Rock” band, Trouble in the Wind. It’s always nice to see companies supporting local artists and if Trouble in the Wind were any indication of the acts to follow, the beer garden will certainly be over flowing with great vibes.

While there is no full-service kitchen a-la Stone Brewing Co. and other Karl Strauss brewery restaurants, they plan to make up for it with an ever-changing rotating food truck schedule. Chop Sooey, managed by Chef Deborah Scott and Cohn Restaurant Group, was on hand to serve their elevated on-the-street eats. We went with the signature Chop Sooey, a combo of stir fried somen noodles, bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, poblano peppers, onion, roasted portabella, sesame seeds, scallions, served with a lime wedge; and the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, stacked with savory pulled pork, house made BBQ sauce, cilantro lime slaw and an onion ring on a bun, both of which did an excellent job of soaking up the hoppy beers we enjoyed.

Since getting a sneak peek of the tasting room, I’ve suggested going there for happy hour at least three times, before sadly realizing that I was one of the lucky few who got to experience it ahead of their official launch. Needless to say, I’m counting down the days until July 27th!

Karl Strauss Brewing Company Tasting Room and Beer Garden is located at 5985 Santa Fe St.
San Diego, CA 92109.  For more information, visit the website or call 858-273-2739.

Monday & Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 2pm – 8pm
Thursday & Friday: 2pm-9pm
Saturday: 12pm-9pm
Sunday: 12pm-5pm