Spotlight on local business: La Jolla Brewing Company now open with custom crafts


By Marti Gacioch

With the recent opening of the La Jolla Brewing Company (LJBC), the Village gained both a spacious new neighborhood restaurant in the heart of town and an opportunity to sample the craft beer boom exploding locally.

“There are 60 to 70 breweries in San Diego now — and it has really taken off in the last 18 months; we’re the hot spot in the country for craft brewers,” said Joe Matibag, marketing representative for La Jolla Brewing Company. “We’re really excited about brewing our own beers in La Jolla.”

Phil Aitken, founding partner of the brewery, who also founded the Gaslamp’s Stingaree bar/lounge, welcomed the opportunity to open a neighborhood restaurant with a casual atmosphere where people could relax and enjoy sampling good beer and food.

Leigh Gibson, operations manager, opened the Commons in downtown San Diego and owns Dirty Birds in Pacific Beach.

LJBC’s spacious, open, airy floor plan (nearly 6,000 square feet) integrates brewing equipment with a wood/iron décor and a capacity for more than 250 people. It features 20 TVs and three seating areas — a dining room/bar, a dog-friendly patio with a retractable roof, and a private meeting/special events room. The brewing company has some 40 employees.

“There aren’t many private meeting areas in restaurants in the Village, but we offer one that can host private functions,” Matibag said. “The room also features a 24-tap rotating selection of San Diego County craft beers from brewers without tasting rooms in San Diego, who can highlight their beers in the back room.”

Head brewer Brett Stampf is making a variety of LJBC’s own craft beers, with local names like Sunny Jim’s IPA, Neptune’s Nitro, Glider Port Pale, Cove Side Stout and Bird Rock Brown.

LJBC serves a California coastal cuisine menu that emphasizes a fresh food selection that changes daily. Many of the entrees incorporate beer into the recipe, such as beer in sausages, duck egg rolls, a BBQ pulled-pork sandwich and roast chicken.

LJBC is open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eventually, owners will offer late-night dining on weekends from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.

— La Jolla Brewing Company, 7536 Fay Ave. (between Kline and Pearl Streets.) (858) 246-6759.

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