Interview with San Diego's Own Groundswell Brewing Company

San Diego Craft Brewery

Groundswell Brewing Company

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Beer has been a longtime favorite for many adults around the world. With San Diego having near to perfect weather year round it is no surprise that breweries have continued to open all over San Diego County. FINE Magazine spoke with Christianne Penunuri of Groundswell Brewing Company about the San Diego staple.

What sets Groundswell Brewing Company apart from other breweries in San Diego?

Two things set Groundswell Brewing Company apart in our market.

1. We brew low ABV beers that are well-balanced and high [in] flavor. High ABV serves its purpose, but it also is easier to hide flavor flaws behind high alcohol content. Our brewers excel at coaxing nuanced flavors from a variety of hop styles. Why low ABV? This leads to the second element that sets up apart from the market.

2. Our brand focuses on relationships and community––beer is social, our tasting rooms are designed for guests to come, bring families and dogs, play games, visit, and enjoy. And, San Diego lifestyle is outdoors––we are active: beaches, hiking, surfing, sports, etc. Our beer complements these activities.

Why should people that haven’t tried craft beer check out Groundswell?

There is no reason to drink big beer in San Diego. With nearly 150 breweries, there is something out there that you will enjoy. If you are uncertain about what you like, we can help you find something. And if there isn't something at Groundswell you like, we will make recommendations at other breweries... we just want you to drink craft!

I'm not a fan of big beer. It doesn't taste good, [and] it has ingredients that you don't need. I can't speak for other breweries, but we don't use artificial ingredients. We use barley, hops, and water, and our fruited tarts add real fruit. We may add other ingredients sourced from local vendors––cocoa, coffee, fruit––but there is no rice, [and] there are no additives.

If you had to choose three beers from your core and seasonal beers, what would they be?

This is probably the hardest question you have asked!

I would choose our Tart simply because the fruit rotates seasonally, and it's really like selecting 6-7 beers. My favorite so far has been the Plum Tart, but we are experimenting with Dragon Fruit and Pomegranate.

I would select Hubba Hubba, because we named that beer after my dad. He died in 2008, long before we had a brewery, but he taught me to drink beer (and good beer at that), and I know he would be thrilled with where we are today. My mom and my sister are active supporters of the brewery, so it's a family affair too.

Finally, I would choose our Quattro IPA. The recipe came from a collaboration between our brewers Callaway Ryan, Zack Hayes, and Fede Savinon from Hoppy Beer Hoppy Life. The beer is a four hop IPA that always reveals new flavors every time I drink it, but is also represents the best of the San Diego craft beer scene.

Where can our readers find your beer other than your breweries?

We distribute to a lot of restaurants and craft beer bars in San Diego. Because we pair well with San Diego outdoor lifestyle, we are also on tap at SeaWorld and Aquitica. We just expanded brewing operations in January and hope to be canning by mid- to end of summer.