A new brewery with roots dating back to the 19th century will soft open its tasting room today, with daily operating hours going forward. J & L Eppig Brewing is the first debut from a trio of microbreweries that have settled into CRAFT by Brewery Igniter, local developer H.G. Fenton’s turnkey brewing facility designed to accelerate the launch process for startup breweries; the newly-founded Pariah Brewing and a satellite spot for San Diego Brewing Company should open by the end of 2016. The El Cajon Boulevard hub is the second Brewery Igniter space in San Diego; the project also has a location in the Miramar area while another was just approved in Carlsbad.
Stephanie Eppig and husband Todd Warshaw live within walking distance of their North Park brewery, which represents the Eppig family’s return to the beer industry after 150 years. In 1866, Eppig’s ancestors founded a brewery in Brooklyn, New York, which lasted through the Prohibition era, and the modern-day brewery takes inspiration from its original focus on German beer styles.
Running the 10-barrel brewing system are the couple’s business partners, both Ballast Point Brewing Company vets; Clayton LeBlanc brewed in Scripps Ranch while Nathan Stephens created innovative R&D brews in Little Italy. Now pouring from the tasting room’s 16-taps are a Festbier and Zwickelbier that fall under Eppig’s Natural Bridge Lager Series, a Berliner Weisse with raspberry and cherry called Glitz and Glam, Civility West Coast Blonde and Even Better Session IPA. And Stephens says they have a Paloma-inspired Gose, Black Lager, and an Export Stout with coffee in the pipeline.
The brewery, which aims to grow into a larger production facility within the next couple years, plans to maintain its tasting room in North Park while expanding its presence in other neighborhoods around the region.