New Bar Offering Every San Diego Craft Beer Under 1 Roof

Experience all of San Diego's craft beers in one location.

patio seating - the brew project

Let your taste buds be satisfied and your thirst quenched. SD Brew Project has your craft beer adventure covered all under one roof. The Brew Project started 3 years ago with a goal of creating more exposure and awareness for San Diego breweries. In 2012, owner Beau Schmitt partnered with a bar in Mission Hills to create the first beer bar concept wholly dedicated to San Diego beer. With a new location opening in October, Schmitt talked with FINE Magazine about the Brew Project. 

The Brew Project

3683 5th Ave, San Diego, CA | Website

Q: What is the back story of the Brew Project?

A: My buddy Kyle and I liked visiting San Diego breweries. At the time there were 63 in San Diego County (now there are 115). While we enjoyed driving to the breweries, we really wished there was a bar that served all local breweries under one roof. Of the 63 open breweries, we could only find about 8 on draft at the most in a single bar. The idea was born out of that 'want.' When we opened The Brew Project at our old location in Mission Hills, we launched with 31 different breweries on draft. For 2 years we maintained at least 25 different local breweries on draft (because some breweries had multiple beers on draft). In our new location, we will have 24 rotating drafts and will concentrate on specialty beers from the larger breweries (Stone, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Coronado, Karl Strauss) and standout beers from the smaller, harder to find, lesser known or newer breweries. 

Q: What is unique about the Brew Project to other breweries?

A: We don't actually brew our own beer. The Brew Project is a concept based on localism. It's the notion that a bar can exist from wholly supporting local, independent businesses. We only serve beer brewed within San Diego County lines. 5/6 of our house cocktails will also feature San Diego distilleries and our kitchen will source ingredients locally. 

Q: What can you tell me about the tasting room?

The bar/tasting room will actually be a full service restaurant and bar. The main interior bar overlooks the street-side patio and 5th avenue with open windows and doors. In the back of the main bar we have a bottle shop for on-premise or off-premise consumption. Our unique license allows us to sell beer and wine to-go. So if you really enjoy that citrus IPA or Napa Cab, you can take a couple bottles home with you. 

Q: What types of beer do you offer?

A: We will offer a well-balanced draft list. On one end of the spectrum we will have more sessional beers (under 5%) like lagers, pilsners, wheat ales and wild beers. On the other end we'll have high octane beers (high ABV%) like double IPAs, imperial stouts, barrel aged specialties and barley wines. In between, we'll concentrate on a mixture of core styles and specialties. Core styles include brown ales, red ales, ESBs, pale ales and Belgian Ales. Specialties include flavored beers, fruit/vegetable beers, smoked beers, spiced beers and one-offs. 

Q: What kind of food menu do you offer?

A: Our full kitchen will produce fare that is best described as San Diego/Mexican fusion. For breakfast/brunch we will have breakfast sandwiches and burritos. For lunch and dinner we will have specialty sandwiches, tortas and entree sized salads. And lots of avocado. 

Q: When is the grand opening?

A: We are pushing for October 25th. We just went through our first round of open interviews and are on track for that week. However, it's a full service restaurant and delays are common. We're in full motion and almost there. 

Q: What can the locals expect from the Brew Project?

A: San Diegans can expect great service, a very unique San Diego beer tasting experience, delicious food, and a fun, interactive environment. We're a neighborhood spot and are excited to get involved with the fun Hillcrest and Banker's Hill communities. 

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

Mike Sill is my Business Partner and specializes in the cocktail program, late night energy and operational integrity. Tom Miller is our head chef and has been in the industry for over 20 years. He was previously at Ballast Point in Miramar and has extensive experience in making food for beers and cocktails.