Oceanside — Thirsty craft beer enthusiasts will soon have a new watering hole in Oceanside.
The Legacy Brewing Co. is scheduled to open a brewery and tasting room this week at 363 Airport Road, said co-owners John Snyder and Mark Mericle. The brewery will be the third in Oceanside, with at least one more expected to open early next year.
Snyder said Legacy will focus on quality ingredients and traditional beer styles, such as porter, stout, Scottish ale, Irish ale and India pale ale.
“We both love beer and we wanted to bring some of the more traditional beers to North County,” Snyder said.
A tentative opening is set for Friday, Snyder said.
Mericle, who will serve as head brewer, has been making beer for more than 20 years. He previously co-founded the Heritage Brewing Co. in Dana Point in 1990. Mericle said he was inspired to enter the industry after visiting Bavaria, Germany, about 30 years ago.
“The styles that we are going to brew are going to be true to (those) styles … We’re not going to take any shortcuts,” Mericle said.
The 4,400-square-foot brewery will have a 1,000-square-foot tasting room, which will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. They plan to produce 60 barrels of beer a week from a 15-barrel brewing system.
Snyder said the brewery already has more than 30 accounts, including restaurants and pubs. It also has a bottling system that will begin operating soon after the brewery opens, he said.
Mericle and Snyder, both from Fallbrook, and Bob Adamson of Poway have been building the brewery for nearly a year. Snyder said they only recently started brewing at the facility due to equipment delays and building renovations that needed to be done.
“We’ve put in a ton of overtime to get it all ready, so it’s very rewarding to finally brew the beer,” said Snyder, who also runs an audio/visual production company.
Another brewery, called Bagby Brew Co., is expected to open on South Coast Highway next spring, said Tracey Bohlen, the city’s economic development manager.
Bagby is owned by Jeff Bagby, the former head brewer at Carlsbad-based Pizza Port, she said. The brewery will open along with a restaurant and tasting room at the site of a former Saab dealership, Bohlen said.
Oceanside has two other breweries already operating, including Oceanside Ale Works on Ord Way and Breakwater Brewing Co. on North Coast Highway. They join nearly 20 other breweries along the state Route 78 corridor in Vista, San Marcos and Escondido.
The booming craft beer industry in North County is good for the city’s economy, attracting visitors from near and far, Bohlen said.
“There are a lot of people who like craft beer and they like the concentration of breweries so they can go brewery hopping — much like people to go wine tasting,” she said.