January 13th, 2018 saw the grand opening of Wild Barrel Brewing which is founded by “Dr” Bill Sysak of Stone Brewing, brewing consultation, SDSU teaching and craft beer/food pairing fame. In addition to the expected sours and upcoming barrel aged releases, Wild Barrel is also brewing delicious IPAs, Stouts and other traditional styles. Wild Barrel Brewing headquarters, production and initial tasting room, a 10,000 square foot location, is divided to include a brewhouse, barrel storage, a processing center and a tasting room.
Directly next door and sharing the building’s lobby space is SoCal Batting Center. That’s right humans, you can have fun or work on your skills and then walk across the hall and have some amazing craft beer. SoCal Batting Center is the only place in San Diego county to have a PX2 Pro-Batter simulator. PX2s are professional level machines typically owned by major and minor league teams. Axe throwing is also available…yep, axe throwing. SoCal Axe Throwin.
When you walk into Wild Barrel Brewing, you will immediately know you are in for something special. The tasting room is huge and well laid out. Visually dominant, a giant barrel shaped room divides the large space nicely and following the curved walls, you are directed to the tasting bar where you can order any one of up to 15 craft beers. The humans serving up the beers are knowledgeable and friendly. They can explain their beers to you and help you decide on the best choice for you.
Once you have you beer or taster flight, grab a seat at one of the numerous tables, including inside that barrel shaped room, and enjoy. If you decide to wander around, you will notice local artists’ art on display and an incredible mural by local San Marcos artist Maddie Thomas. The art, the layout and the general vibe of Wild Barrel Brewing makes you feel welcome and you will want to stay a while and have fun.
Future plans for Wild Barrel Brewing include installing a coffee serving area that will be open from 7am to 11am (before the brewing is open), to cater to the DMV customers across the street and the police officers just down the street at the police station. Their barrel aging program will eventually expand to approximately 1,000 barrels of sour style beer and 800 bourbon barrels of aged non-sour beer.
During the grand opening party, visitors were encouraged to sign up for Wild Barrel Brewing’s membership program which will offer exclusives and planned future events. Guests were also the first to get to purchase Wild Barrel’s first can release, Murky Minds Drink Alike NEIPA, a collaboration with Burgeon Beer Company. Our favorite chocolate creating human, Johna, from So Rich Chocolates was on hand with a great selection of tasty treats to pair with the many craft beers on tap. For human food, Juicy Brucey’s Smokin Hot Meat was there with Pulled pork, Tri Tip, Ribs & Pig Candy. For those of you humans who have never had Pig Candy (and you are not adverse to eating animals), Pig Candy is an amazing experience sure to convince you that the “diet” you are on can wait.
Beers available for the gran opening were:
1. White Rabbit
2. Hipster Latte
3. Shape Shifter IPA
4. Prince of Dankness DIPA (Unfiltered)
5. Murky Minds Drink Alike NEIPA collab. w/ Burgeon Beer Co.
6. San Diego Vice Sans Fruit
7. San Diego Vice w/ Pink Guava
8. San Diego Vice w/ Montmorency Cherries
9. San Diego Vice w/ Strawberry
10. San Diego Vice w/ Mixed Berries
11. San Diego Vice w/ Black Currant
12. Hipsters Demise
13. Hipster Jelly Donut
14. Hipster Chocolate covered Orange
15. Hipster Chocolate Macaroon
All in all, it was a hugely successful grand opening. The humans attending all seemed to have a great time and the humans working there, while very busy, also seems to be enjoying themselves. “Dr” Bill was his usual jovial self and was very busy serving pints all night. Some estimated that 7,000 pours were pulled throughout the night and to that we say congratulation to “Dr” Bill and his team for creating and running what will sure become a “must visit” brewery for all who live in and visit San Diego, California.
Be sure to follow us on Social Media as we invade more breweries and discover more awesome craft beers from all over the world! Cheers humans!