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Saturday, July 11, 2015


Just a few blocks from Petco Park in San Diego, Mercado de Barrio will house a new tasting room for Vista CA's
Iron Fist Brewing Company.
Editor’s note: The following column has been reposted from West Coaster magazine’s website. First posted July 2, 2015.

GUEST BLOG—By Brandon Hernandez, Columnist, West Coaster Magazine--The satellite tasting room model continues to thrive in San Diego County, providing brewing companies greater geographical reach than ever before. The next business to go this route will be Iron Fist Brewing Company. The Vista-based, hop and Belgian ale enthusiasts are close to opening the doors to a tasting room in Barrio Logan that will be a sudsy cornerstone of the neighborhood’s new Mercado del Barrio mixed-use development.

Located at 1985 National Avenue, with apartment units directly above it and retail spaces below, the tasting room will offer 3,000 square feet of interior space as well as an additional 800 square feet on an outdoor patio. More than 30 taps will dispense Iron Fist’s core beers plus as many specialties and one-offs as the Vista brewery can brew. Those offerings figure to rotate regularly to keep the tasting experience interesting for patrons.

Outfitted with an industrial thematic punched up by textured treatments applied by Iron Fist co-owner Greg Sieminski (a painter by trade), the tasting room will be equipped with a large bar, plentiful seating and a room that can be rented out for special events. That unit has a ceiling built from reclaimed barrel wood and will remain accessible to the public whenever it is not being rented out. The kid- and dog-friendly space will also be used to host art shows and fundraisers and, though Iron Fist can’t book live entertainment during its first year of operation, The Mercado’s nearby outdoor stage can and will offer music.

The opportunity to snag this space came when Shea Properties approached Iron Fist. Knowing little about Barrio Logan, the brewery’s owners had initial reservations, but as they studied the area, they say they recognized the opportunity this venture presents, both for their company and the community. Key among the space’s plusses are the facts there is ample public parking and transportation, and it is only a few blocks from Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center and the Gaslamp Quarter. Also close by is Mishmash Gourmet, a mobile culinary operation that will be installing a brick-and-mortar restaurant next door to Iron Fist.

The Barrio Logan tasting room’s grand opening is scheduled for July 17. Also in the works for Iron Fist is a venue at the all-artisanal, farm-to-table North 40 development in Carlsbad. A long-contemplated tasting room in Santaluz is still in the company’s plans but admittedly on the back burner. On the beer side, 2016 will see the launch of Iron Fist’s Velvet Glove Series, which will see brewmaster Brandon Sieminski infusing the company’s oatmeal imperial stout with different ingredients to produce vanilla-and-ghost-chile and coffee crème brûlée versions. Also on deck are more releases from the Ken Schmidt Aloha Brews Series based on beers from the local homebrewer of the same name. Up next will be his very popular coconut, macadamia nut and coffee imperial porter, which was first professionally brewed by Stone Brewing Co. in 2009.

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