Eppig Brewing: Point Loma’s Harbor Front Gets First Brewpub

by on February 8, 2018 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Photo credits: Todd Warshaw, Eppig Brewing

By Matthew Wood

Has the OB brewery craze made its way over the hill into Point Loma? If so, Eppig Brewing will be the trendsetter.

The tiny North Park brewery brings its specialty lagers and other selection of suds to a harbor-front location just off Shelter Island, with a soft opening on Friday, Feb. 9th.

“We were really looking to bring the small craft brewery scene to this neighborhood,” says co-owner and namesake Stephanie Eppig. “There’s nothing like it near here.”

Indeed, while it seems that breweries and beer bars are more plentiful than old guy surfers in OB, there’s a dearth of options on the harbor side of the peninsula. You have to weave through the ever-growing crowds at Liberty Station to hit Stone Brewing or make your way through the seedier part of the Midway District to get a pint at the massive warehouse of a brewery at Modern Times.

While neighborhood spots like Harbor Town Pub, Mitch’s Seafood and the brand-new Fish Shop offer fine beer selections, this will be the first place to serve its own beers in the area.

“This location was perfect,” Eppig said.

“We’re one of the few breweries that has a dedicated lager brewing program that fits in with San Diego lifestyle of drinking outside. The location is the only harborside tasting room in the county. It was an opportunity that we felt very strongly about, and wanted to jump on.”

The new spot features a patio right on the water. While it’s hard to describe the exact location, it’s basically right behind Point Loma Seafoods on H&M Landing. The open setting and location will be a bit of a contrast to the original spot.

“We had been looking for a satellite tasting location almost since the time we opened our brewery in North Park,” Eppig said. “(The current brewery) is really small. It’s very common to walk in and be shoulder to shoulder because it’s not a big spot and people want to drink our beer.”

The place will offer around 16 beers to start — all Eppig brands. They have also partnered with a local chef to prepare packaged foods like sandwiches, wraps and salads. Customers are also welcome to bring outside food (fish sandwich from Point Loma Seafoods, anyone?) but no outside alcohol.

“If a fisherman is going on a multi-day trip, they can get some food quickly without a wait,” Eppig said.

Eppig said when the management team — which includes her husband, Todd Warshaw, and Clayton LeBlanc, formerly a brewer at Ballast Point — was looking for a new location, they didn’t seriously consider OB.

“We did not because there were so many breweries experiencing licensing issues,” she said. “The pull out of Little Miss Brewing was a big factor. They had so many issues.”

That brewery was set to open on Newport, then abandoned the plan after failing to get an ABC (alcohol) license among protests from the community.

Eppig had the harborside location secured last year, but waited — as so many businesses in this town do — to get their permits in order. They finally got word that all was a go right around the holidays and immediately started work.

“It took a lot longer than expected,” Eppig said.

“We had everything lined up as soon as it was in place. We were waiting on the last signature. Of course it came right before Christmas, so we had to work around that.”

The new location brings Eppig’s childhood full circle. She grew up on Narragansett Avenue — the daughter of a Navy nurse stationed in the area — and attended Silver Gate Elementary School before her family moved to the East Coast.

When Eppig opened the North Park location in 2016, it carried on a family tradition that dates back more than 150 years. Brothers Joseph and Leonhard Eppig created a brewing empire in Brooklyn that dates back to 1866 and continued through Prohibition. After years of lying dormant, Stephanie carries on the family’s brewing name.

A private opening last weekend for friends and family was a blast from the past for Eppig.

“Some people who have known me my whole life were there,” she said. “We have quite a few Eppigs who are putting San Diego on their vacation destinations. I’m meeting family members I’d never known before and are sharing stories.”

The tradition continues for the Eppig family, and maybe a new one begins along the harbor.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Bearded OBcean February 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm

While it might be the only harbor side “tasting room,” Fathom has an amazing line up of taps and it sits on the pier on Shelter Island.

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Avatar Confused and Amused February 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm

And even better sausages!

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