VISTA — Vista residents are just weeks away from experiencing a new side to the thriving Belching Beaver Brewery. The hopping four-year-old company plans to open its Tavern and Grill on East Broadway by mid-March.
Tom Vogel, who first opened Belching Beaver on Park Center Drive with Dave Mobley, said the downtown location will serve upscale pub food created by local chef Ramiro Guerra. It will also have 70 beers on tap, wines on tap and eventually, serve full liquor.
But don’t expect just the typical Belching Beaver pints. Vogel said brewmaster Thomas Peters was hired specifically for the 10-barrel location. Peters will only make one-off beers.
“It’s not going to be anything that’s the same,” said Vogel, who also owns a location in North Park. “Anything you can imagine, he will be able to do at that location. We’ll still have our mainstay beers. They just won’t be made there.”
It’s not just good drinks and food visitors can expect from Belching Beaver’s new location, which is an old bank. Vogel said the nearly $1 million investment will offer people a unique experience that was specifically developed with the help of the company’s current employees.
“We’ll have two patios,” Vogel said. “The one in the front will be a nice, upscale dining area and the one in the back will be just like our current Vista location. It will feel like you’re sitting on the beach at a campfire drinking beer. It’s basically two restaurants in one.”
Vogel said the restaurant hopes to hire between 25 to 30 employees, doubling Belching Beaver’s current workforce.
The thriving company’s crew will further grow to 100 employees after it opens its Oceanside production facility in early 2016.
The 24,428-square-foot facility allows Belching Beaver to grow from producing 10,000 barrels a year to 40,000, said Vogel who is from San Marcos. The ultimate goal is to grow to 60,000 barrels a year.
It caters to the company’s growing retail sales. Belching Beaver brews are currently available in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Nevada, with plans to expand to Washington and Arizona.
But Belching Beaver won’t stop at just beer production. Vogel said the company has plans to also get into bourbon and wine production.
“We just like bourbon and that’s the next step for us,” Vogel said. “I have one of our brewers practicing making bourbon right now. We expect to have that done in two years. And, we’re just doing wine for fun. We don’t expect to make any money off of it.”
The growing success of the Vista-based company and the passion behind beer making is why Vogel and Mobley continually invest their earnings back into the company. In fact, the former mortgage company owner still remembers the taste of his first craft beer.
“I was at a bar in Carlsbad and a friend of mine asked me if I wanted a beer,” Vogel said. “I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and said ‘this is amazing.’ That was in 1996.”
For more information about Belching Beaver, go to belchingbeaver.com.