CARLSBAD — Opening a brewery and tasting room in the era of COVID-19 is a challenge.
It’s also what’s facing the latest business to enter the Carlsbad beer scene, as Pure Project opened for business on July 3.
The popular brewery, which has locations in Miramar and Bankers Hill, pivoted to a soft opening July 3 after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s health order last week closed bars for indoor service. Pure Project, though, has applied to the city of Carlsbad for a permit to put about 20 tables on its sidewalk and private parking spaces, according to Robby Baker, director of operations for Pure.
The city launched the temporary program in early June 3 to help restaurants and bars expand their capacity due to health orders mandating social distancing policies.
“It all depends these dine-in restrictions are applied to us,” Baker said. “We do have our restrictions and have to have a food component and get that ball rolling. Once we get that, we will function at that speed.”
While waiting for final approvals from the city regarding its outside seating and adding foodservice through a food truck or something similar, the brewery is selling to-go beers, sour, and kombucha, to name a few.
Even though Pure’s inside operations have been put on hold, Baker said there was a line wrapped around the building on opening day. Their location, he added, is in a premier spot in the city, adjacent to Handles and Shorehouse Kitchen on State Street across from New Village Arts.
It’s been nearly two years since Pure Project submitted its application to the city to renovate the empty space. And since then, the site has seen the addition of the popular ice cream shop and restaurant, adding to State Street’s vibrant atmosphere.
“Handles moving in was a big thing … they get a lot of foot traffic,” Baker said. “You got all the components (of State Street) and once we get back to somewhat normalcy, we’re really stoked about the possibilities.”
The concept, meanwhile, is an upscale rustic look featuring an aesthetic in line with the Village with a greenwood accent wall piece with wood tables and a bar to seat at least 12, when it’s open. There is a small patio for outdoor seating, which Pure can still use with the new health orders.
Another aspect of the taproom is staying true to its commitment to sustainability. Instead of using plastic ring binders to hold four- and six-packs, they use cardboard holders, and another made from used grain during the brewing process, said Lily Howard, Pure’s marketing coordinator.
Also, the beer is brewed from as many organic, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, she added. They also use wine bottles for some of their sours and popular Tyrannosaurus Rex-themed seasonal beers, such as Chocosaurus Rex.
“That’s what we are kind of known for, our organic ingredients,” Baker said.