Mission Brewery – San Diego, CA
Tours Offered: Yes
Food Service: Foodtrucks
Kids & Pets: Kid and dog friendly
A Brief History
Mission Brewery was originally established way back in 1913, but closed several years later due to Prohibition. In 2007, Dan Selis revived the brand, and begun brewing beer under the Mission Brewery name once again.
Having quickly outgrown a brewery addition in a UTC restaurant, followed by a shared brewery in Chula Vista, Mission Brewery was relocated to their current downtown location on L Street in 2010. Based out of the historic Wonder Bread warehouse, Mission now had a spacious 25,000 square feet at their disposal for operations.
Mission Brewery produced about 12,000 BBL of beer in 2015 between their 30BBL Premier Stainless System and 7BBL pilot. With past and future upgrades, they expect to double capacity in 2016 to about 24,000 barrels. Their acquisition of 3 Floyds’ old bottling line has drastically increased production, filling bottles 6 times faster. Upcoming brewery improvements include four new fermentors and two new bright tanks, along with a centrifuge to be installed in their old bottling line space.
You can find Mission Brewery’s award winning beer distributed in California, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania, with more states on the way. Outside the US they can be found in Sweden, Mexico, and Japan. Their beer is packaged in 12oz and 22oz glass bottles, or 32oz cans cleverly referred to as “cannons.”
Mission just debuted a Petco Park exclusive 25oz can for the 2016 Padres baseball season. Growlers of all sizes can be filled at the brewery including “blanks” or taped up containers, with additional savings on fills by joining their free “Growler Club.”
More Pictures from Mission Brewery
Our Visit to Mission Brewery
We have been to Mission Brewery many times over the years, but with baseball season underway, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite ways to “tailgate” for Padres home games. Yes, there’s no shortage of places to grab a beer around Petco Park before the game. But what other establishment is a full scale production brewery serving up a huge menu of tasty brewery fresh beers?
Not only that, but Mission Brewery is extremely close to the ballpark. You can walk from the brewery to the East Village or Park Blvd entry points to Petco Park in about 4-5 minutes. There are also daily food trucks to grab a bite from, and Mission opens 1 hour early (11AM) for 1PM home games.
Mission Brewery can get packed, especially on game days, so having a place to rest your beer is always an added bonus. If you arrive early enough you can claim a barrel, start a game of shuffleboard, grab a seat at one of the tables, or belly up to the massive bar that spans the entire room. Another cool feature of the tasting room is the wrap-around counter that corrals the brewing area for observation, just feet away from the brew deck.
Thanks to Mission Brewery’s new event space, there should be a lot more standing room going forward. “The Cellar” (downstairs), and “The Loft” (upstairs) were recently built out behind the merchandise area, and are now available for private events such as weddings, engagement parties, and corporate events. Either floor, or both, can be rented out for private parties along with catering or food truck service. If no events are scheduled, the public is welcome to enjoy their beer in either room.
Being housed in the old Wonder Bread facility, the brewery kept the old-style rustic warehouse theme intact, with red brick walls and unfinished wooden rafters. Those brand new event spaces maintain that same decor, with the addition of several metallic round booths, and hardwood flooring upstairs. Besides its openness, “The Loft’s” most impressive feature was an unhindered view of Petco Park.
During our tour we saw both rooms in their un-finished state, but Mission has been hard at work adding on the finishing touches like free WiFi and flat screen TVs. Wall ledging for your beer will be added, and the second bar in “The Cellar” should have its draft lines installed by the end of April.
We can’t wait to come back down and see the finished product, with even more beer flowing, and look forward to another season of pre-gaming (or post-game) at the more spacious Mission Brewery.
Exclusives on Tap
Mission Brewery has really increased their count of R & D beers on tap since our last visit, so we tried to stick to those experimental beers:
- Hefeweizen: 3.5/5
The only “core” Mission beer on the menu we had never tried, so we added it to our flight. Very true to style with banana and clove on the nose, and tasted exactly like we were drinking banana chips.
- Coffee IPA: 4/5
If you don’t like strong coffee, then move along from this one! Super coffee bitterness — and yes IPAs are bitter too — but we’re pretty sure it was all bean, not hop. Refreshing like a cold pressed coffee, and definitely seemed more bitter than 66 IBUs.
- Citra Session IPA: 3.5/5
Some beers just work on simplicity, and Mission brewed up exactly what you’d expect out of this beer: juicy Citra hops, a slender 4.5% ABV, and just enough bitterness to keep you on pace.
- Jump in the Rye: 4/5
Based on all the rock/punk music played at brewery, we are guessing this beer was named as a nod to the Metallica song, “Jump in the Fire.” This DIPA started off floral with malt sweetness, then heated up with peppery rye in the finish. Our favorite beer of the day.