More often than not, a tasting room’s ambiance makes a good representation of the brewing company’s overall vision. If you took away the tap system and menu at San Diego’s second-to-open-in-2016 brewery, you might be hard pressed to identify the type of business they are doing. Organic coffee shop? Yoga studio perhaps? The beers being brewed at Pure Project speak for themselves, and are a perfect zen-like representation of the founders and brewers behind this small Beeramar startup.
California natives Jesse Pine and his wife Agi were living in Costa Rica for several years, and yearned to start a craft brewery in their remote jungle-like part of the country. They recruited partner Mat Robar to help turn their business plan into reality, but were quickly stopped in their tracks due to the lack of basic utility infrastructure in their area. Just to get a wastewater treatment plant to handle their brewing operation would have cost them a half-million dollars. So, when a friend back in San Diego mentioned to them that property management powerhouse HG Fenton was building out a few turnkey breweries and was looking for tenants, the trio sent off their business plan and soon found themselves back in America’s Finest City.
HG Fenton’s Brewery Igniter project is truly an amazing sign of the times that we’re enjoying as a brewery mecca here in San Diego. The company saw the resounding success of some of their brewery tenants in the city, and actively looked to attract more new breweries into their portfolio. They took the unprecedented step of not only locating and permitting the brewery sites, but also outfitting the facilities with state-of-the-art seven-barrel Premier Stainless brewing systems. The first two Brewery Igniter spaces were set up on Kenamar Drive in Miramar, just a few doors down from Duck Foot Brewing Company. One space was quickly occupied by Pacific Beach’s Amplified Ale Works (who has been brewing, but hasn’t opened their tasting room on site as of yet), and the second is now home to Pure Project.
Pure Project’s founders recruited the young, talented brewmaster Winslow Sawyer to bring their brew recipes to life. Winslow was last crafting beers at Boulder Creek Brewery near Santa Cruz, but after a devastating electrical fire gutted the 26 year-old business he became a free agent. After a rigorous job interview process (ok, it was a surfing session), he was brought on and put in charge of the brewhouse.
As their tap list runs the gamut of styles, the common thread tying the brew together at Pure Project is their commitment to quality ingredients. Locally grown Valencia Oranges are brought in from Lodge Valley Farms to give a flavorful kick to their Romeo & Julius Cream Ale, which also uses fresh organic vanilla beans to emulate an Orange Cream Soda. Their stunningly beautiful La Vie En Rosé Saison gets its bright pink hue from organic Hibiscus flowers, and it’s touch of sweetness from locally sourced Raw Orange Blossom honey from Mikolich Family Farms. Brewmaster Winslow prefers to bypass the more common tier of hop suppliers, and sources many of his hops from his network of growers and distributors, often finding more interesting and rare varieties for his creations.
9030 Kenamar Dr #308
San Diego, Ca 92121