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North Park Beer Company Ready to Open in Crown Point

The brewery will open this week near Rocky's and will debut a new artisan pizza shop soon
Exterior of new San Diego Brewery North Park Beer Co.'s new location in Crown Point
Courtesy of North Park Beer Co.

Kelsey McNair doesn’t do anything quickly. (Or easily, for that matter.) After a long and successful homebrewing stint, it took him years to open North Park Beer Company. It took another seven to open his second outpost in Bankers Hill. He’s never really stopped fiddling with his award-winning signature IPA, Hop-Fu! Lately, however, his attention has been on another type of fermentation—perfecting his pizza dough recipe for his take on New York–style pizzas. 

He’s finally bringing his pizza passion to the masses when North Park Beer Company Pizza Shop soft at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 21, with a grand opening planned for Saturday, June 22.

“I’ve been dying to do something with artisan pizza for so long,” he says. “It just felt like the right place and the right time to do it.”

Pizza and beer from North Park Beer Co. which opened a new location at Crown Point in San Diego
Courtesy of North Park Beer Co.

McNair opened NPBC with his wife Amanda in 2016, quickly racking up awards and accruing accolades. When they decided to open a second location, Bankers Hill, it was their first foray into managing their restaurant within a brewery, and, in true Kelsey fashion, he decided that even that wasn’t enough for their third location. Pizza and beer are a natural fit—plus, with Rocky’s Crown Pub on the same block, replicating the same burger-centric Bankers Hill menu didn’t make any sense.

He had to keep things fresh and different but still under the quintessential NPBC brand and high-quality standards while maintaining an approachable feel. 

“We didn’t anguish over the details of our beer to drop the bar down when it comes to our food,” he says, adding that by offering a different menu at all three locations, he hopes it gives loyal patrons a reason to visit all the locations. “You get a different environment to enjoy your food and beverage, on top of having a different culinary experience in each place, with the beer being the common variable.” 

He says they’ll start with pizza, salads, and some appetizers, like meatballs inspired by McNair’s mother. Eventually, they’ll add more items, like their 24-hour beer-brined wings with sauces made from scratch. “We would be foolish not to bring over our awesome chicken wings and chicken tenders,” he laughs.

NPBC’s Crown Point location also has an entirely new draft system. It’s 100 percent Czech Lukr faucets, which pour from the side rather than a typical American top-to-bottom tap handle. This means McNair has to order all new glassware to ensure the glasses are large enough to hold a full pint and leave room for a thick layer of foam at the top.

“We will [also] have pitchers available—something that we haven’t done yet anywhere else, but given that it is a pizza joint that just feels like a natural thing to do,” he adds. 

The space, which Tecture and Hauck designed with architect HRVST, is a significant departure from the signature Art Deco of the first two taprooms. McNair says he wanted to lighten the mood by using some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired imagery mixed with the Hop-Fu! Can character. 

“[We’re] just trying to make the space approachable, friendly, and fun but still have the maturity level that people expect when they come into our other locations,” he says. When asked about future locations, McNair says anything is possible. “We’re always just seeing what’s out there.”

Courtesy of California Wine Festival

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Sample Local Beverages at SIP The City on Friday, June 21

Sip all San Diego wine, mead, and cider at SIP the City at BRICK at Liberty Station. It’ll be a great way to get familiar with local makers and the fun stuff they’re fermenting, and Raging Cider & Mead offers a buy-one-get-one ticket deal when you use the code RAGING-BOGO at checkout. Tickets to the 21+ event are available here, and yes, there will also be food available. 

California Wine Makes a Comeback in Carlsbad on June 28 & 29

California does have it all, and we should celebrate that—with wine! Head to the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad on Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, for the California Wine Festival, a celebration of California food and drink brought to you by makers from Napa, Sonoma, Temecula, and more. Local restaurants include BESHOCK Ramen, Prager Brothers, Bluewater Grill, and many more. Presale tickets are available here.

Beth’s Bites

  • Speaking of brunch, Breakfast & Bubbles is out, and XOXO, Retro Neighborhood Diner is in. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but hopefully, their pancake stack will be, too. It is now open at 3831 Park Blvd, on the edge of Hillcrest and North Park.
  • Helia Brewing is officially for sale in Vista, and honestly? I’m kind of bummed about it. The number of breweries and taprooms in San Diego has dwindled over the last few years, and I like Helia’s Far From East IPA. Anyone looking to buy a brewery?

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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