After attracting a fair share of attention and scrutiny since first announcing its expansion into San Diego in early 2016, 10 Barrel Brewing is more than likely just a week or two away from officially presenting itself to the East Village and the greater local craft beer community. Founded a decade ago in Bend, Oregon, 10 Barrel now operates its production brewery and pub in Bend along with brewpubs in Portland, Boise and a just-opened location in Denver; in 2014, the company was sold to Anheuser-Busch Inbev although its original ownership still maintains control of operations.
Co-founder Garrett Wales draws comparisons between 10 Barrel’s hometown of Bend and our similarly active-minded city, saying that the brewery identified San Diego as an expansion even before its acquisition. He told Eater that he hopes their new 10,450-square-foot space which spans three levels, including a rooftop dining area and bar and mezzanine drinking deck, will prove itself through customers’ experience with the brand and its products to become a landmark in San Diego.
Though some of 10 Barrel’s core beers will be shipped from Oregon, the majority of its taps (two bars sporting 20 taps each) will be stocked with beer brewed on site by Ben Shirley, a SoCal native who has worked at 10 Barrel for six years. On the 20 barrel brew system, with a tiered setup that houses the grain mill on the roof, brewhouse on the mezzanine and fermenters on the ground floor, Shirley said he will be producing everything from light summer beers to explosive hoppy brews; there should be at least 15 beers on tap when the brewpub opens.
Shirley also plans to make experimental beers using locally-sourced products or ingredients from the kitchen, where executive chef Tommy Fraioli is overseeing a menu that ranges from 10 Barrel favorites, including steak nachos and the Pub House burger, to his own creations. Fraioli, a longtime local chef who last worked at Beaumont’s Eatery in Bird Rock, brought over his signature mussels and clams dish with sausage, celery, charred tomato, pub beer, chicharron and spicy tomato broth. He also plans to add original pizzas as well as specials that features local fish and Baja flavors.
10 Barrel Brewing is also the first major venue to debut in Makers Quarter, the new urban district that spans six blocks of the East Village; another established hospitality concept, Denver-based Punch Bowl Social, is now scheduled to land across the street later this year. Stacey Pennington, the urban planner behind the development, told Eater that the 10 Barrel connected to the vision and energy of the Makers Quarter concept with a shared belief in the potential of the project; Pennington said the family-friendly brewpub will plug into the fabric of the neighborhood to enhance options for East Village residents and draw in new visitors to the area.