My post San Diego Beer in 2018 was quite popular, so I thought people might be interested in some further details. If you are curious which breweries opened and closed in 2018, read on.
In the 2018 calendar year, 21 breweries closed and 25 opened. As I pointed out in my 2018 review post, though, a lot depends on what you count and when you count it. Measured January to January instead of December to December, the net growth is seven breweries instead of just four.
Those numbers include the six cases like Green Flash where an existing brewery was sold to a new owner, counting each case as a closing and an opening. One case (Ballast Point Scripps Ranch) involved a relocation of staff and equipment with no loses, and the location remaining open as a tasting room. Two (Acoustic, Oeuvre) were closures of “breweries” that existed only as contract brewed beer. One (KO Underground) was such an amateur operation that it probably should not have been considered a brewery at all.
In addition to the six cases of the same brewery reopening in a new ownership configuration, seven of the openings were breweries that took over space and equipment from a recently closed down brewery to start an entirely new venture. (Those are CAVU (originally called Absolution) who took over La Jolla Brewing, Beach Grease that took over SpecHops, Council Santee that took over Finest Made, Julian that took over a previous incarnation of itself, Latchkey that took over Acoustic, Papa Marce’s that took over Wiseguy, and The Bell Marker that took over the Beer Company.) Three (Harland, Prodigy, and SD Craft Beverage) currrently exist only as contract-brewed beer — Harland is opening its own brewery later this year but the others aren’t. Horus was founded in 2017, doesn’t brew its own beer but ages and blends, and opened a room for member bottle sales in 2018 but doesn’t sell to the public. The upshot is that there were eight “new new” actual breweries in 2018.
If all that is too confusing, here’s the list: