Under New Management, Eppig Brewing Now Closing Main Brewery Tasting Room In San Diego's North County

December 15, 2023

Last month, San Diego's 7-year-old Eppig Brewing shuttered its satellite tasting room in the heart of La Jolla Village as part of a "revised strategy" under the company's new leadership. Now the craft brewery is shuttering its onsite tasting room at their main site in San Diego's North County.

We got heat last month when we labeled Eppig Brewing's new management team as "questionable," but things are already going south for the once-thriving San Diego craft brewery. Earlier this year, following founder Stephanie Eppig joining Mexican restaurant chain QDOBA in 2021 and recent health issues of her husband Todd Warshaw, the couple made the difficult decision to give up operational control of their brewery and enter into a strategic partnership with Newport-based West Coast Ventures & Resources.

West Coast Ventures quickly abandoned Eppig's central La Jolla-based tasting room and now has announced it will be closing the tasting room at their Vista brewery headquarters after service this Sunday, December 17. Also one of the original brewers, Nathan Stephens, has since left Eppig. 

Founded by Randy Teffeteller in 2006, West Coast Ventures and Resources bills itself as a "strategic business consulting group" and has its hands in a multitude of business sectors, ranging from waste management and pest control, to seafood distribution and grease bins, to environmental services and restaurants, among others.

In 2021, West Coast Ventures, through its hospitality arm Tableside Partners, took over operations at San Diego's Mason Ale Works and its sister concepts Urge Gastropub and The Barrel Room. Although that arrangement has seemingly been positive on its face, there are rumors that all is not as it seems and West Coast Ventures quickly closed Mason Ale Work's San Marcos tasting room upon partnering with the company. Furthermore, West Coast Ventures has been accused of destroying one-time Southern California-based award-winning seafood chain and craft brewery, TAPS Fish House & Brewery, which once had five locations before filing for bankruptcy this past summer amidst a $30 million financial mess.

As per updates on TAPS' Instagram account, the complications arose upon Randy Teffeteller assuming the role of CEO in 2019. Despite his extensive 30-year tenure in the industry, he was dismissed in September of last year. Allegedly, this action was prompted by failure to fulfill various financial obligations, including taxes, vendor payments, employee compensation, and operational expenses. Additionally, shortcomings in worker training, inadequate budget maintenance, and the improper allocation of funds from the Paycheck Protection Program and Restaurant Revitalization Fund were cited. During the pandemic, it's purported that Tableside amassed nearly $20 million in pandemic relief loans and grants, funds which a former partner says is now missing. Teffeteller has been quoted on record denying the allegations.

Eppig Brewing is a San Diego brewery started in 2016 by Stephanie Eppig, her husband Todd Warshaw, and brewer Clayton LeBlanc. The craft brewery was founded with the mission of honoring the brewing legacy of Eppig's great grandfather, who operated a 310,000 square-foot brewery in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1800s until it was shut down at the start of Prohibition.

Eppig originally launched in San Diego as part of the second Brewery Igniter craft beer hub in North Park. In early 2018, the company opened a waterfront Biergarten in America’s Cup Harbor on Point Loma's Shelter Island. In fall 2019, Eppig closed its original North Park brewing location and relocated its headquarters to an approximately 16,000 square foot building at 1347 Keystone Way in San Diego's North County area of Vista, allowing the craft brewery to increase production to meet demand.

Last year, Eppig Brewing took over a 1,300 square-foot former art studio space on Prospect Street directly across from Eddie V's and Georges at the Cove for the company's third tasting room. The La Jolla tasting room opened in August 2022 and was closed in late November as part of an alleged revised operational strategy implemented by Eppig's new leadership. The waterfront Point Loma tasting room remains in operation at this time and Eppig claims it is working on opening new tasting rooms.

"As part of this strategic realignment, the La Jolla location was closed, mean while, West Coast Ventures & Resources has inked multiple letters of intent for new Eppig locations in San Diego this spring, with details to be revealed at a later date," wrote West Coast Ventures & Resources in a press release announcing the Eppig Brewing arrangement. Eppig Brewing anticipates that this strategic collaboration will propel the brand to new heights, fostering innovation and reaching a broader audience in the craft brewing industry."

As previously stated, only time will tell what will come of Eppig Brewing under its new operational partnership.

For more information about Eppig Brewing, visit eppigbrewing.com.