Things are changing and changing quickly. Recent coronavirus tier changes have allowed North County breweries to go from takeaway only to outside service with food to both outdoor and indoor with restrictions. It’s a wild slide through the tiers after months of stagnation. Once again, it feels like a good time to check in with a local brewery to see how they are responding to the moment.
Joshua Schreer is the owner and founder of WestBrew, based in Vista with a satellite kitchen and tasting room in Del Mar. WestBrew moved into its Vista location in 2019. Their planned early 2020 opening was delayed until October, giving them a unique experience on surviving the always difficult first year in the life of a brewery as they seek to “celebrate the best of the West.”
Cheers: Hi Josh, thanks for catching me up on what’s going on at WestBrew. As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of this wild pandemic, what is the physical and emotional status of WestBrew? How are you doing as a person, a team and a company?
Josh: Emotionally, we are eager to get out there and show San Diego what we have to offer. With the pandemic we have been held back from really getting out in the market. We put so much into our business and hired so many talented people on our team. We are eager to get our product in front of this great county we live in. We are proud of our brand and can’t wait to be fully opened up to share what WestBrew is all about. Our morale is high as we see signs of opening back up, and our team is pushing hard to market our brand and get it out in the San Diego community.
Cheers: How has COVID-19 impacted your brewery over the past year? What are your expectations for the rest of 2021?
Josh: We opened in October 2020. Shortly after we opened, the state mandated we must close to the public. It has been a tough go to start, but now that the state has reversed some of the restrictions, we are optimistic that we will be able to bring our product to our customers and build our reputation in [this] amazing brewing community. We hope to see things continue to open up so all businesses in San Diego can begin the road to grow and recover. There have been so many businesses and families impacted during this past year. We hope all of us pull through this.
Cheers: WestBrew has a distinctly SoCal vibe, but you’re originally from Brooklyn. Whereabouts, and have any of those East Coast roots influenced the type of brewery you’ve become?
Josh: I am originally from Flatbush Brooklyn. I have been in California now for almost 20 years. My East Coast roots stem from my great grandfather, John Lambrecht, who immigrated from Germany in the late 1800s. He went to brewmaster school in NYC and became a brewmaster.
Cheers: What is the best way for North County residents to get their hands on some of your beer, and is there anything new that local craft beer lovers should be looking out for?
Josh: We are open for business for on-site and off-site sales. They can come to our Vista location at our production facility (1061 La Mirada Court) or at our Del Mar restaurant and tasting room (1435 Camino Del Mar). We will also be opening a third location at 701 Island Ave. in downtown San Diego one block north of Petco Park in late May/early June of this year. Every month we are releasing at least one to two new beers for the public and our fans to try.
Cheers: Anything else you want readers to know about WestBrew?
Josh: We are glad to be part of the San Diego community. I graduated the SDSU brewing program and attended the UCSD brewing program. We are huge Padres fans, and we are excited for the upcoming season.
Check out Westbrew on Instagram at @WestBrewSD and @WestBrewDelMar for updates on beer releases, hours and updated coronavirus protocols, or head to their online shop to order beer for home delivery in San Diego County.
Do you listen to podcasts? Are you interested in interesting things being done by interesting people in North County San Diego. Be sure to check out the most recent episode of the Cheers! North County podcast with Jenny Mann, local beer photographer, influencer and social media maven, and Shaheen Javadizadeh, the founder of the TakeIn food delivery app.
Stream it now on The Coast News online or search for it on your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Thanks for listening, and for following Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.