By Cody Thompson | Suds in the city
30th Street in San Diego has been nationally recognized as one of the best stretches for craft beer in America, being named “The Nation’s Best Beer Boulevard” by Men’s Journal earlier this year. Stretching from Normal Heights through North Park to South Park, 30th Street boasts numerous breweries and famous craft beer bars that have helped solidify this ever-growing reputation.
Coming in mid-December to an already breathtaking line up of craft beer and gourmet food locations is a brand new tasting room and eatery presented by one of North County’s strongest breweries, Rip Current Brewing Company.
In the summer of 2011, Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe, two home brewers, founded Rip Current Brewing Company in San Marcos. The pair decided to share their passion and expertise with a greater audience than they were capable of reaching with their modest home brew operations. Since opening their San Marcos location, Rip Current Brewing has garnered a massive following in the craft beer world thanks to their solid lineup of beers including, of course, fan favorites Lupulin Lust IPA and In The Curl IIPA.
“North Park has an awesome craft beer culture, [and] is close to downtown, but has more of a ’local’ feel and is undergoing a bit of a renaissance that we really wanted to be a part of,” Shobe said. “It gives us a better opportunity to reach our customers in the southern part of San Diego County, and, hopefully, gives us exposure to new potential customers. We also wanted a location that was in the heart of a thriving commercial district, that wasn’t destination-specific.”
The 4,000-square-foot location at 4101 30th Street will open with 20 taps — mostly Rip Current beers — with potential to eventually expand to 40 taps. The potential tap expansion will give Rip Current the ability to host guest beers from other great breweries, as well as a bottle list and limited wine selection.
“Our guest beers will be styles that complement and round out our own offerings, and that’s something we’re really excited about.” Shobe said.
The new location will feature a 45-foot-long bar as well as two additional seating areas, one for small groups and another for a more communal dining experience. To enhance the customer experience, the building’s original windows have been removed, as well as part of the existing wall to make room for three large, roll-up doors so guests can enjoy craft beer in a true neighborhood environment.
When you visit Rip Current on 30th Street, you will find yourself in much more than your average tasting room. The Rip Current family decided to team up with James Limjoco, founder of Sublime Ale House in San Marcos and Sublime Tavern in Del Mar. This partnership goes back years, as Sublime was Rip Current’s first wholesale account. The day Rip Current opened with only four beers on tap, Limjoco came in and purchased two kegs on the spot.
“Like most people, we’ve always been huge fans of the food at Sublime,” Shobe said. “We wanted to be able to offer food in our North Park location, but really had no interest in getting into the restaurant business. Sublime wanted to be in North Park, which is a new market for them and a real ‘foodie’ community. So I think James saw it as not only an opportunity, but as a challenge to attract and win over a sophisticated and diverse food community.”
The kitchen will be completely run by the Sublime team and will offer up a diverse and eclectic menu. Items range from gourmet burgers, pizzas and beer mac ‘n cheese to quinoa bowls, duck wings and kale chips. Much like the beer at Rip Current, the food menus will constantly change and evolve. Everything offered will be made fresh, as this new location will not contain a freezer.
As for Rip Current’s brewing operations, all brewing will continue to take place in the San Marcos brewery. The plan currently is to offer most, if not all, of Rip Current’s beers at both locations. Coming sometime in spring 2015 will be Rip Current’s bourbon barrel-aged program. When released, these beers will only be offered in their two tasting room locations.
“Our goal is to create a comfortable enough environment that our customers can enjoy the culinary experience of what the beer and food is all about, and at a reasonable price,” Shobe said.
So, North Park residents, when you sit on Santa’s lap and he asks what you want for Christmas, you can tell him your holiday wish has already come true right here on 30th Street now that Rip Current Brewing Company will be opening shop this December. Holiday dreams really do come true.
—Contact Cody Thompson at email@example.com.