A Stunning New Craft Brewpub in San Diego (North Park)
Name: North Park Beer Company
Location: 3038 University | San Diego, California
Cost: Pints $4.75-$6.50
About: Situated on the corner of University Avenue and Ohio Street in the heart of North Park, the brewpub’s original Streamline Moderne exterior design with classic aerodynamic curves, was preserved.
Inside is a resplendent tasting room, reminiscent of the 1920s American Arts and Crafts movement, with Argelith hex tile floors, a glamorous slate bar top with inlay, and a back bar paneled with quarter-sawn oak, stained to showcase the grain of the wood. Craftsman-style copper tiles, pyramid-shaped hardware, and classy art deco-style mirrors adorn the beautiful paneling and back bar.
In the center of the room are thick oak tables matched with hefty antique Stickley-esque library chairs. The ground level Craftsman design marries with a contemporary industrial-style ceiling overhead, exposing the mighty trusses, ducts, and piping for the brewhouse, fermentation cellar, and direct-draw serving tanks inside the massive cold box behind the bar.
On the Ohio Street side of the tasting room stands the gleaming stainless steel vessels of the fermentation cellar and tanks for the 15-barrel, direct-fire brewhouse. Surrounding the brewhouse and cellar are historical quotes from William Morris cut into a metal railing atop an oak paneled pony wall.
Years in the making, the Craftsman ideals of simplicity, honesty in construction, and truth to materials for the brewpub design comes from founder, artist, and master brewer, Kelsey McNair. He wanted to incorporate the architecture style of his North Park neighborhood into a “great place where people can enjoy beer.”
McNair clearly accomplished his goal, as the Basile Studio-designed interior is unique for San Diego breweries, and stunningly beautiful.
Currently on tap are four classic ales (Red, Scottish, Stout, Pale), but eventually more beers, including the famous Hop Fu IPA which McNair is known for, will be flowing. In addition, guest beers, craft sodas, wine, hard cider, and cold brew coffee will be available. Later this year Mastiff Sausage Company will move in to operate the brewpub’s kitchen.
What I Drank: Panoramic (6.6% ABV), an American Pale Ale. My tasting notes are below.
Amber in color, very clear, with a large, white head that leaves beautiful, sticky lacing as it dissipates. Aroma is pleasing to the nose, fresh and floral-like, with hints of tropical fruit and melon. Flavor is aligned with aroma, supported by a nice touch of malt. Mouthfeel is creamy with good carbonation, and the finish is smooth and clean. Overall, Panoramic is well made, balanced, and exemplary of the style.
Likes: North Park location, elegant tasting room, excellent service, and a tasty selection of beer styles. Hip and cool vibe. The beers are well made and very reasonably priced. Loved the three pristine and stylish restrooms! Stand, Sit, and Sit or Stand.
The Verdict: A perfect neighborhood place where fresh, in-house brewed beer is served. I cannot wait to return when more beers, especially Hop Fu, are on tap and the kitchen is operating. Highly recommended.Share This: