Local Brewery Spotlight: Hess Brewing


I am quite partial to Hess Brewing, a self-proclaimed nano-brewery, and not just because they were the first to help Reed break into the beer industry. It’s true that this is where he started as a volunteer brewing assistant, usually at 4am on a Saturday, but it’s also true that this is just an excellent place to be. The whole operation fits into 800 square feet in a nondescript warehouse area between Miramar and Mira Mesa. During tasting room hours (Wednesday-Saturday) they have to roll the brewing tanks outside to make room for customers.
Certain Thursdays are deemed Tri-Tip Thursdays and involve some truly excellent barbecuing free of charge in the hopes that you’ll stick around longer and sample the beers. Needless to say on Thursday, September 15 this is where I will be. Once a month they host the Friday Afternoon Club with a band and food truck; the next one will be September 16. In the few short months since it began, it’s turned into quite the scene and is not really a good opportunity for a first visit. A better way is to show up on a normal day and pay $10 for an honest pint glass and 5 tasters of your choice (they had 8 taps on during my most recent visit). Two of these were the stout, one with nitrogen instead of the usual carbon dioxide connected to the keg. There was an obvious difference in appearance and taste, so if you like sweeter stouts I recommend the nitrogen.

CO2 versus N2

They are a San Diego brewery which means their pale ale is a triple, their stout is an imperial and their IPA is black. I’m relegated to the crisp kolsch and the vienna cream ale, which tastes like a pleasing mix of cream soda and brown ale.
Hess recently celebrated their one year anniversary with a special bottling of a belgian IPA, but usually the only way to take home their beer is in one of their awesome growlers. Mike Hess is often around and the same guy, Mike Skubic, is pretty much always behind the counter. They are present at the local festivals and during San Diego Beer Week, there is talk of expansion, and they are currently barrel aging for the first time, so I expect good things from Hess for years to come.

Taking some to go!