10 Barrel Brewing, which operates a brewery in Bend, Oregon and brewpubs in Portland, Bend and Boise, Idaho, is headed to San Diego with plans to build out a new brewpub that will open this year at 1501 E Street, activating a dormant corner of 15th Street in the East Village.
The 10,450-square-foot space will house a 20 BBL brewhouse, with a nine tank farm and a dozen serving tanks, and will include a rooftop dining area; 15 tap handles will pour some of 10 Barrel's core beers, but the brewing system will be dedicated to R&D beers that will be unique to the San Diego location. Its head brewer will be a San Diego native who has brewed with 10 Barrel for several years. The brewpub's food offerings may feature a few signature items from its other outposts, but the majority of the from-scratch menu will be open to the creativity of the locally-installed chef.
Though the project has barely gotten off the ground, 10 Barrel's entry into San Diego has already attracted controversy, as some members of the local beer industry have taken issue with 10 Barrel's craft status. The 10-year-old brewery was sold to beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev in late 2014.
10 Barrel founder Garrett Wales, who still runs all brewery operations along with co-founders Jeremy Cox and Chris Cox, was in San Diego recently to attend a Downtown Planning Advisory Council meeting and talk with several of the project's opponents. He told Eater that 10 Barrel had been looking at San Diego for expansion even before the sale to AB InBev, and that he and his co-founders still have "absolute control" of the company. Wales says that ultimately, he thinks the product will speak for itself and hopes that local consumers will make a choice to support the brewery based on their experience at the new brewpub and the quality of its beer.