Something’s brewing in Vista.
In fact, there’s a lot of brewing going on in Vista, and members of the Vista Brewers Guild — which represents six local beer makers and a winery — are ready to tap into their vast selection of specialty brews and show off their unique craft brewing techniques during the Taste of Vista festival, scheduled for Wednesday, June 27.
The brewing companies that comprise the guild include: Mother Earth Brew Co., Aztec Brewing Co., Iron Fist Brewing Co., Backstreet Brewery, Latitude 33 Brewing, and Prohibition Brewing Co. The lone winemaker, Californian Fruit Wine, is an associate member.
Chris Gort, a brewer at Backstreet Brewery, says the Taste of Vista event will give festival attendees an opportunity to sample the quality of local craft-brewed beer.
“For some people, this may be the first exposure they will have with our brewery — or with any of the other breweries in Vista,” said Gort.
“I think there are a lot of people who don’t even know that there are six breweries in Vista. This will be a great opportunity for us to strut our stuff, so to speak, and to let people get acquainted with what we all offer.”
Each of the guild breweries offers several uniquely different beers, so festivalgoers will have lots to sample. The brewers are, if nothing else, as creative with their beer names as they are with recipes. At Mother Earth Brewing for example, there is a blonde ale called Barely Legal; a vanilla cream ale dubbed Cali’ Creamin’ and a double India Pale Ale (IPA) they’ve named Hop Diggity. The brewers at Latitude 33 have a Straw Horse Wheat Ale and a double IPA they call Camel Corps Double Hump.
John Webster, co-owner at Aztec Brewery, says his offerings have names befitting ancient Mexican culture.
“We decided to name our beers with Aztec history in mind,” said Webster. “There’s our Aztec Sacrifice, our Aztec Chipotle IPA — and we even have a beer called Noche de los Muertos (Night of the Dead). All of our beer names are tied to Aztec culture.”
Webster says he and his partners, Rob Esposito and Claudia Faulk, were creating beer names long before they brewed their first batch 10 months ago. The trio, Webster says, also had no idea they were getting in on an “explosion of breweries in the San Diego area.”
“You wouldn’t think that San Diego would become such a huge market for brewing,” said Webster. “When you consider that there aren’t any locally grown barley or hops, and with all the water shortages we face, it’s really surprising how much our area has become known for its breweries.”
For all their differences in beer styles, recipes and quirky names for their brews, the guild has maintained an unusual level of cooperation among its members. Rather than a group of competitors, the guild better resembles a fraternity of brewers who complement each other.
“We all do things a little differently from each other — that’s what makes us so special,” said guild member Daniel Love of Mother Earth Brewing Co. We all have our own niche and following of beer fans.”
“Anyone who comes to the Taste of Vista festival and samples our beers will be pleasantly surprised,” said Love. “They’ll be surprised not only by the number of beers we produce, but also with the quality and tastes — and the fact that they are all brewed right here in Vista.”
The Taste of Vista event is sponsored by the Vista Village Business Association, and will be held June 27, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. along Main Street in Old Town Vista. The festival will feature fare from several area restaurants, as well as the heady offerings from the Vista Brewers Guild.
Vista Brewers Guild
For tasting room hours at each
of the guild breweries, visit
Taste of Vista
For event information, including
admission prices, call the Vista Village
Business Association at 760-414-9391
or visit www.vvba.org