10 Barrel Brewing is finally ready to swing open the doors of its much-talked-about 10,450-square-foot multilevel brewpub. It launches this Saturday, May 27, in conjunction with a grand opening block party scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m. that will include live music, food trucks and more with proceeds going to the San Diego Hunger Coalition.
To say that 10 Barrel Brewing’s entry into San Diego has been controversial would be an understatement, thanks to its ties to macro beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch Inbev. Since the brewery, which has roots in Oregon, first announced that it would be expanding into East Village’s burgeoning Makers Quarter district, a good portion of the local craft beer community and its constituents have been pushing back. Several breweries have gathered to brew a beer together in revolt, while a crowdfunded protest sign will reportedly be flown over the brewery this weekend.
10 Barrel general manager James Gomez acknowledges that some audiences may never set foot inside the brewpub, but speculates that others will be open and curious enough to test the waters. Once inside, Gomez hopes that the customer experience, beer and food will win people over. The soaring space spans a downstairs dining room, bar and outdoor patio plus a mezzanine deck and rooftop bar. Its two bars, each loaded with 20 handles of 10 Barrel beer, will initially be stocked with beer flown in from its other facilities but head brewer Ben Shirley should have some San Diego-brewed beer to debut soon. The all-day full-service menu incorporates brewpub signatures along with additions and specials from local chef Tommy Fraioli (Beaumont’s, Sea Rocket Bistro).