Wyoming-Based Melvin Brewing Ends Run In San Diego's East Village

February 17, 2020

After less than a year and a half in business, Wyoming-based Melvin Brewing has pulled the plug on its brewery and restaurant in San Diego's East Village.

Founded in Jackson Hole, WY, in 2009 by Jeremy Tofte, Melvin Brewing is an award-winning craft brewery that currently operates two Wyoming brewpubs, Thai Me Up restaurant in Jackson, a brewpub in Eureka, MO, and a now-sold outpost in Bellingham, Washington. The company is also rumored to be pursuing locations in Denver, CO and Olympia, WA, although we are not sure how the San Diego closure affects expansion plans. In fall 2018, Melvin Brewing opened a brewery restaurant at 634 14th Street, Suites 109-110, in the space that previously housed Primo Sports Bar in downtown's East Village. The space housed an onsite brewery with an Asian fusion restaurant and beer bar.

In April 2018, Melvin Brewing came under fire due to allegations of sexual misconduct after the company's co-founder and head brewer was accused of inappropriately touching a waitress in a nearby brewpub by the since-shuttered Bellingham, WA location. This resulted in further accusations that Melvin has cultivated a "bro-culture" amongst its staff due to its "bad boy branding." Although no charges were filed, these allegations have resulted in backlash, with some establishments boycotting Melvin products. The company also instituted a new sexual-harassment policy that includes mandatory sexual-harassment training for all of its employees.

"We recently announced to our staff that Melvin Brewing San Diego is closing," read a statement from Melvin Brewing. "We opened our doors with great excitement and high hopes of becoming part of what we imagined would be a vibrant East Village development. The reality was that much of the area’s improvements were slower to develop than anyone anticipated, and the foot traffic and critical mass of potential customers we counted on failed to appear. We simply could not achieve the economic success we needed to keep Melvin Brewing San Diego open. As we shared with our team, we are exceedingly proud of the work they’ve none, and the top-notch brew pub they helped create. We are working to do everything we can to reduce the disruption we know this causes our team members, including providing severance, and any assistance we can offer to help our talented team find other positions."

For more information about Melvin Brewing, visit melvinbrewing.com.

This is a developing story: We will update this post as we learn more.