32 North Brewing Co – San Diego, CA
Tours Offered: No
Food Service: Foodtrucks / Bagged Snacks
Kids & Pets: Kid and dog friendly
A Brief History
32 North Brewing Co. opened its doors in October 2014. With a food service background owner Steve Peterson was planning on opening a restaurant, but opted to join San Diego’s thriving craft beer scene instead.
“32 North” alludes to the brewery’s position in latitude on the Earth’s axis. The geographic reference in their name also helps support their exploratory spirit, and adventure into uncharted territory in craft beer. Their conquistador branded logo also carries this theme.
In 2 short years they have already demonstrated this adventurous outlook by expanding their footprint with a satellite taproom. Located inside the Moniker General retail and community space at Liberty Station, you can enjoy 32 North beer (11 taps) while shopping for home goods and furniture. Some of those releases are collaborations with Moniker General Coffee Co.
Their main brewery is based out of a spacious Miramar warehouse, complete with 2,400 square feet of tasting room (15 taps) and event space. 32 North Brewing Co. operates a 20 barrel system complete with 8 fermenters and 2 brite tanks. The newest equipment addition in the brewhouse was their canning line, that cranks out three of their core offerings.
Look for Best Coast IPA, Pennant Pale Ale, and Shelter Island Blonde in 6 packs to go at the brewery or reputable bottle shops throughout San Diego. You can also find additional 32 North beers on tap around town, including other popular releases such as Landfall and Pilsner the Conqueror.
More Pictures from 32 North
Our Visit to 32 North Brewing Co.
We like to concentrate on the positives, but for a period of time last year 32 North Brewing Co. suffered from some brewhouse turnover, which led to a bit of a downturn. That’s all in the rearview mirror now, thanks to recent hires Nick Ceniceros, Mike Mellow, and Jeff Swem who have immediately turned 32 North around.
Think of a baseball team that spent money wisely on some big name, impact player free agents. Those talents joined the team last September and October, and have taken 32 North to new heights right off the bat.
Not only is the buzz around 32 North huge amongst the local craft beer geek community, but the new beers we tasted during SD Beer Week back in November were impressive. And the biggest sign of all, 32 North is currently suffering from the best problem a brewery could ever ask for — keeping up with demand for their beer.
The brew team is working around the clock to stay on pace with the canning schedule, and making sure full kegs go out to fulfill increased sales numbers. Not to mention, keeping all of their new beers flowing on tap at both 32N locations. After speaking with brewers Collier and Jeff Swem, we learned they might be busy, but are also loving every minute of it.
At 32 North Brewing they are given full creative control to brew their own recipes. A barrel aging program is now under way with Death of a Brewer imperial stout quietly resting in bourbon barrels. With his expertise in the style, Jeff Swem is also hoping they’re able to tackle sours next.
The facility itself offers plenty of space for both brewery operations, and its thirsty patrons. Running with the exploration theme, the decor is both modern and rustic at the same time. Weathered wood paneling, and roomy tables constructed out of thick cut wood resemble something out of the conquistador era.
32 North has also been having great success with hosted events as well. You can rent space for parties, spin and yoga classes, corporate events, and their most popular occasion — weddings. Event options include a choice of spaces within the brewery, or the entire venue which include packages of beer ranging from a few pours, to complete open bar.
Starting in January, 32 North is also rolling out a new “Foodtruck Fridays” program that will include lunch and a beer for a set price. Thumbs Up Catering will be the first truck for the whole month. Another special event will be January 5th, when 32N hosts a release party for Julia’s Grand Cru, which you can learn more about in this video or from our tasting notes below.
32 North Brewing Co. is on the come up, and absolutely killing it! Be sure to get in there and check out their new line-up of tasty brews for yourselves.
What’s on Tap
Landfall is a longtime staple of the brewery, but we wanted to concentrate on trying the new creations coming out of the new brewing team’s recipe book:
- Hello, Darkness: 4/5
With an early visit, this was our first sample of the day and it worked fantastic as a breakfast beer. Although this was their non-coffee variant, it tasted like there was plenty of dark roast in there already. Served on nitro for extra creaminess. We’d also recommend their Breakfast Red brewed with maple syrup.
- Pilsner the Conqueror: 3.5/5
Such a crisp lager with amazing clarity, and the Conqueror didn’t skimp on any hop character either! With an ABV (5.5%) right in anybody’s wheelhouse, this hop forward lager is definitely sessionable enough to drink all day. It would kill it in cans for summertime.
- Julia’s Grand Cru: 4/5
An amazing beer for an amazing cause! Brewed by Jeff Swem so all sales proceeds could be donated to his friend’s the Davidsons, in benefit of their daughter Julia’s battle with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. An 8.5% beer should not drink this smooth, and it was all too easy to get distracted by its candied brown sugar and raisiny sweetness.
- Best Coast IPA: 4/5
One of Nick’s first recipes, and this West Coast style India Pale Ale will end up being their new flagship beer. Massively dry hopped with Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial, there’s just enough malt backbone to prop it up against the snappy pine and citrus goodness. West coast, best coast…