North Park is an urban neighborhood located on the northeast side of Balboa Park. The neighborhood boundaries are roughly Mission Valley to the north, Interstate 805 to the east, Switzer Canyon to the south, and Florida Canyon to the west. In the past year North Park has received some national attention including being named the 13th best hipster neighborhood by Forbes. This ranking was based on the following criteria:
- walkability according to Walkscore.com
- number of neighborhood coffee shops per capita
- assortment and Zagat ranking of local food trucks
- number and frequency of farmers markets
- number of locally owned bars and restaurants
- percentage of residents who work in artistic occupations
Despite this lofty ranking, North Park has not been well represented in one of the most noted industries in San Diego: craft brewing. Despite the presence on 30th Street of many fantastic beer bars, at the start of 2012 there was not a single brewery operating in North Park. This dearth of suds creation appears to have been taken to task by a number of local entrepreneurs in 2012 and the future of beer making (and beer drinking) appears to be set for a stellar 2013. Brewery additions to North Park include (in chronological order):
- Poor House Brewing
- 4494 30th Street, Established: September 2012
- Thorn Street Brewery
- 3176 Thorn Street, Established: November 2012
- Mike Hess Brewing
- 3912 Grim Avenue; Established: Coming early 2013
- Future openings in North Park include: RPM Brewing, North Park Beer Co.
- These breweries taken from the premier source for San Diego beer news, the WestCoaster
Additionally, beer store Bottlecraft is opening a second location just off the intersection of 30th and University in the near future.
An interesting coincidence of these additions to North Park is the overlap with the New York Times 45 Places to Go in 2012 list. That article included San Diego at number 14 and focused on the beer scene. Included was a gallery of 12 photos to highlight the brewing arts in the area. Of those 12 photos the majority were of two of the new entrants to North Park. Six were of Hess Brewing (now renamed Mike Hess Brewing) and four of Bottlecraft. With so many splendid breweries, bars, and other beer-related businesses in San Diego (White Labs comes prominently to mind) it is quite a compliment that the Times would feature these two businesses and a boon to North Park to see them open their 2nd locations in the neighborhood.
I’ve seen many mentions and comments in social media regarding the beer scene in North Park of late and I think the following from the Voice of San Diego’s Liam Dillon sums it up most aptly (Although this tweet is specifically about the new Bottlecraft location I believe the sentiment can be applied to the beer scene in the neighborhood as well.):
New bottlecraft in north park? #swoon
— Liam Dillon (@dillonliam) December 15, 2012
Cheers to the weekend and a thirst-quenching 2013!