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After nearly a decade, Oceanside's Bagby Beer was sold to an Orange County brewery. Photo via Facebook/Bagby Beer
After nearly a decade, Oceanside's Bagby Beer was sold to an Orange County brewery. Photo via Facebook/Bagby Beer
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Oceanside’s Bagby Beer sold to Orange County brewer

OCEANSIDE — Bagby Beer Company is leaving downtown Oceanside after the husband-and-wife ownership team sold their award-winning business to Orange County brewer Green Cheek Beer Company.

Bagby Beer, located on South Coast Highway 101, announced last week on social media that the changeover is expected “sometime in the mid-first quarter of 2024.”

“The time has at last come for a change here at Bagby Beer Company,” a Bagby announcement reads. “Our brewery has been the singular focus of our lives and has been a deeply felt, extraordinarily personal endeavor from inception. We’ve hoped to share our love for great things of top quality through countless expressions — large and small — that collectively have become the Bagby experience for our guests and employees.”

According to the 10-year-old brewery, the business had been struggling to return to pre-COVID-19 numbers, which resulted in its decision to hand over its space and operations to Green Cheek Beer.

“It shouldn’t be news to anyone that restaurants have been absolutely gutted throughout COVID, but also in the years that have succeeded it,” the brewery’s announcement said. “We’ve struggled to find our way back, and with a spot as large and complex as ours, we now know this effort exceeds our own abilities and our emotional, psychological, and financial fortitude.”

Co-owners Jeff and Dande Bagby launched Bagby Beer in 2014. Previously, Jeff served as director of brewery operations at Pizza Port until 2011, earning the highest possible honors (Brewer of the Year and Brewery of the Year) for three straight years (2009-11) at the Great American Beer Festival.

With the Bagby Beer takeover, Green Cheek is set to open its fourth Southern California location. The other three locations are all located in Orange County.

According to, the 8,500-square-foot Oceanside location includes four bars, a large outdoor area, ocean views, an onsite brewery, and a full kitchen with a pizza oven. It is set to open in the spring under the Green Cheek Beer name.

“We’re excited to announce that we’ll be opening in Oceanside,” announced Green Cheek Beer on Instagram. “Our good pals Jeff and Dande Bagby are closing their beloved Bagby Beer at the end of the month, handing us the torch, and we’ll be opening Green Cheek Oceanside in early March, with the exact date to come soon.”

Longtime friends Evan Price and Brian Rauso founded Green Cheek Beer in 2017. According to its website, the brewery is best known for its hoppy beers, crispy lagers, big stouts and hard seltzers. Its restaurant menu includes American-style burgers, wings, salads and more.

The Bagbys praised the Green Cheek Beer team.

“There is no other brewery ownership team — Brian Rauso and Evan Price — that we have had the privilege of knowing on a personal and professional level for almost a decade, for whom we have the utmost respect, than the very fine folks at Greek Cheek,” the Bagby announcement reads. “We believe we share similar passions for awesome beer, excellent quality, and steadfast integrity.”

Green Cheek will maintain Bagby Beer’s existing staff who are interested in staying on board.

“Importantly, Green Cheek has shown honor and respect for what we have built over the years in Oceanside and understands how important our team is to us,” the announcement continues. “They have indicated they will endeavor to retain our staff to the extent our existing team is interested; we are confident this transition will favorably position our current employees for the long term, with stability and additional avenues for growth and development.”

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