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Kilowatt Brewing's latest tasting room in Oceanside features good beer, food, innovative lighting design, and a hip vibe near the beach. Photo by Bill Vanderburgh
ColumnsCraft Beer in North County

Craft Beer in North County: Kilowatt Brewing Taproom & Provisions is Oceanside’s newest tasting room

Kilowatt Brewing’s third location celebrated its grand opening weekend on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4. Located at 406 Mission Avenue in Oceanside, the new “Taproom & Provisions” features the wild lighting design of the other two locations, but for the first time adds on-site food.

Kilowatt Brewing began as a nanobrewery in a commercial strip mall in Kearny Mesa. And by nano, I really do mean small: They started on a 10-gallon brewing system. Later, they opened a tasting room in a former tire shop in Ocean Beach. That location has proved to be very popular, and it partly fueled the move to open the third location in Oceanside.

In the meantime, Kilowatt’s owners have brought on a new brewer and a much larger brewhouse. Kilowatt was voted the most-improved brewery in West Coaster Magazine’s 2018 poll. It is a fair assessment. If you haven’t had Kilowatt beer in a while, give it another try. I found Kilowatt’s Coconut Chai Porter to be the best of a lot of good beer I had at the 2019 Rhythm & Brews Fest in Vista. One of their similarly flavor-packed dark beers, Chocolate Macadamia Nut Stout, won a bronze medal for chocolate beer at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival.

The new Oceanside location has 24 taps available and they offer a wide variety of beers, some of which are quite unusual. On this trip I sampled four on the lighter end of the spectrum, and I was pretty impressed. My favorite was the 150 KWH session IPA, which is light and crisp, with a delicate biscuity malt balanced by a slightly piney and tropical hop note. It has moderate-to-high bitterness, which I love. The S3 Mandarin Orange Sour is very refreshing and will be popular among beach goers. It reminded me a bit of an orange soda, and at just 3.2% ABV you can safely have several.

The Oceanside tasting room has a long bar, beer rails at each of the two large roll-up windows, a couple of other standing rails, a long high communal table, plus some other seating. A band played in the backroom during the grand opening party but I’m not sure if that will be a regular thing.

The food on offer is catered off-site and mostly consists of wraps and sandwiches. I had a tri-tip steak wrap that was large, flavorful and loaded with crispy lettuce, a good deal at $9.

Kilowatt Taproom & Provisions opens daily at 11 a.m. and closes most days at 10 p.m.; 11 p.m. on Thursdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Street parking nearby is going to be difficult especially in the summer, so plan to walk or Lyft if you can. It is just an eight-minute walk from the Pier, and right around the corner from Breakwater Brewing.

Top: Kilowatt Brewing’s latest tasting room in Oceanside features good beer, food, innovative lighting design, and a hip vibe near the beach. Photo by Bill Vanderburgh

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