December 22, 2013
Billed as one of San Diego’s newest nano breweries and which recently opened in September 2013, 2 Kids Brewing Company is located in the western Miramar area at 8680 Miralani Drive, Suite 123, San Diego, CA 92126. Situated in an approximately 1,000 square foot space and part of the Miralani Business Park, 2 Kids was founded by Rob and Sam Dufau.
According to their website, the brewery was established by “Two Kids who love beer and couldn’t stand to be doing anything else in the world.” The pair goes on to say, “We’ve done the school thing, we’ve worked jobs we loved and jobs we hated, but nothing compares to making beer and sharing it with our friends.” In what has become a never-ending attempt to visit every brewery, big and small throughout San Diego County, 2 Kids was an easy one since it is a short drive from our home. We have found Sunday’s to be a good time to get after it, so following a five minute car ride, we arrived at the brewery to find just one other “taster” at the bar. Funny enough, he happened to be our neighbor and fellow home brewer. The main entrance to the brewery is through its single ground level roll-up door and upon walking in, you are immediately surrounded by color – as in yellow and blue (from what I can remember).
2 Kids currently operates with a three barrel brew house but I did not get any information on their fermentation capacity. Furthermore, it appeared to me that they were not investing a significant amount of attention to temperature control. There were a few plastic conical fermenters in the brewing area, one of which was wrapped with a large blanket. It may have been a heating blanket to help maintain temperatures in the appropriate zone and achieve the best results possible. It didn’t take more than a few steps before we were front and center at the tasting bar. The two owners were very friendly and welcomed us to their brewery. I never got exact names, but I assume Rob was tending to the brewery and Sam was pouring at the bar.
There were eight beers on tap representing eight different styles. The line-up was as follows:
- Incredulous, Ordinary Bitter, 25 IBU, 3.1%
- OneTwentyThree, Cream Ale, 15 IBU, 4.6%
- Unusual, California Common, 27 IBU, 5.4%
- Obligatory, IPA, 70 IBU, 6.3%
- Winning, Chocolate Stout, 28 IBU, 6.2%
- Fo’ Drizzle, Saison, 22 IBU, 6.7%
- I’m on a Boatmeal, 32 IBU, 4.7%
- Nut-thing for X-mas, Nut Brown Ale w/Roasted Chestnuts, 26 IBU, 4.2%
All tasters were priced at either $1.00 or $2.00 while pints and ½ pints ranged from $4.00 to $6.00. Growler fills were listed with a range from $12.00 – $30.00 and half-growler fills were priced from $6.00 to $18.00. Other beverages offered were water for $1.00, Izze soda for $2.00 and Goldfish crackers for $1.00. 2 Kids Brewing pint glasses were offered at $5.00 each.
I opted for five tasters including OneTwentyThree, Nut-thing for X-mas, I’m on a Boatmeal, Obligatory and Winning. I found each of the five beers to be good, not great. In fact, one of the first questions I asked myself was, “what is it that sets these guys apart from the other 81 (as of December 2013, Westcoastersd.com lists 82 operational brew houses in San Diego County)?”
If I were to choose one beer, the Winning would have to be it with a wide assortment of flavors that were complimentary to the winter season. It can often be much easier to mask possible flaws in darker, more complex crafts than lighter, simple grain and hop bills. One thing was for certain, the owners were enthusiastic about their nano set-up and seemed stoked to be able to wake up every day and brew for a living. When chatting with the bartender, I specifically remember her asking me what some of my favorite breweries were around town.
When I mentioned a few locals, and then asked if she had been to them, she told me “no.” I was surprised by this answer and had expected a much different response and that as a new brewery in town you would be familiar with the other folks in the “crowd” and have a good understanding of the competition. In other words, a more clear perspective on what sets you apart from the other 81. In my mind, when it’s “all said and done,” aren’t we in business to make money? But, then again, what do I know!
One thing I did find to be very inspiring about the new brewery was their Kickstarter page and video. Their Kickstarter page states that as of December 26, 2012, they had raised $25,845 from 51 backers. Wow! Being able to raise nearly 26 grand in a online forum is awesome. On average this equates to nearly $507 per backer. I am sure this includes several family members, but nonetheless, that is a good chunk of dough.
Over the last few years, the San Diego region has grown to become one of the largest craft beer destinations on the planet. As I continue to cross breweries off my list of those visited, I have increasingly been asking myself the question of what truly sets each of these breweries apart. My answers to that question and others that follow are nothing more than my opinion based on my love for craft beer and business.
Aside from my opinions, I definitely encourage you to visit the 2 Kids Brewing Company tasting room the next time you find yourself in Miramar passing through or part of a larger brewery tour. Finally, I look forward to seeing growth and progress with their brewery into 2014 and beyond.
Have you visited the 2 Kids? If so, drop a comment and let me know your thoughts!