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Protector Brewery Opening At The InterContinental San Diego

The 100 percent USDA-certified organic brewery debuts its second location this Saturday on the bayfront
Interior of new San Diego brewery Protector Brewery a 100% organic business with a new location at the InterContinental Hotel downtown
Courtesy of Protector Brewery

On Saturday, June 15, San Diego’s first and only 100 percent USDA-certified organic brewery opens its second location—but not where you might think.

“The market’s saturated with breweries now, so people aren’t going to typically go out of their way to go to an industrial park to a brewery tasting room,” says Sean Haggerty, founder and head brewer of Protector Brewery, which opened in Miramar in 2017. 

When he and his wife/cofounder were looking for possible locations, he knew they had to go where people were, whether they be craft beer-savvy locals or curious tourists. As soon as the first-floor bayfront suite inside downtown’s 400-room InterContinental San Diego became available, he knew they had found the right spot. 

Haggerty says they won’t just cater to hotel guests. He wants to ensure they provide a great value to anyone who stops by. “We really want to give people a good deal,” he explains, offering 30 taps of their beer and guest drafts, wine, and thin-crust pizzas from their in-house pizza kitchen. “We’ve learned you kind of have to have it all.” Thanks to the clientele of international visitors to the hotel, he says they’ll also have plenty of local craft beer on draft, familiar brands from overseas, and even a few Lukr side-pull faucets for pilsners and lagers. 

Exterior of new San Diego brewery Protector Brewery a 100% organic business with a new location at the InterContinental Hotel downtown
Courtesy of Protector Brewery

Besides various brews, Haggerty says a big draw will be their bayfront views. Their 1,700-square-foot interior opens onto an additional 500 square feet of outdoor patio space with a fire pit and bay-facing belly-up bar with panoramic views of the water, which he promises are particularly stunning at sunset. It’ll also be a prime location to view the Big Bay Boom fireworks show on the 4th of July, which coincides with Protector’s planned grand opening celebration

1To commemorate the new space, Protector collaborated with Societe Brewing on The Hide Site IPA, an unfiltered American IPA. “A hide site is really just an observation point with natural vegetation,” explains Haggerty, a former Navy Seal sniper. 

The brand mixes its military history with a focus on nature and sustainability, which is why the brewery’s production facility in Miramar is 100 percent USDA-certified organic and runs fully on renewable energy. “It was about as hard to get an organic certificate as it was to get a top-secret security clearance in the military,” he laughs, an effort he says is worth it to meet their sustainability goals. 

During the soft opening phase, beverage service will be available starting this weekend, and Protector will launch the full food service at their grand opening on July 4. Haggerty says they don’t mind taking it slow and focusing on the little details. “We really want to do it right,” he says. “We’ve been in business since 2017, and have learned that to make great beer and to serve great beer, it’s a whole experience that customers will really be able to enjoy.”

Protector Brewing at BRIC soft opens tomorrow, Saturday, June 15, at 901 Bayfront Court, Suite 102. Hours will be 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily. 

San Diego event The 44th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cookoff featuring chili tastings
Courtesy of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

The 44th Annual OB Street Fair & Chili Cookoff Returns

On Saturday, June 22, OB’s streets will be swarmed with hungry chili fans, music lovers, and probably more than a few hacky sackers during the 44th Annual OB Street Fair & Chili Cookoff. The festivities start at 10 a.m. and run until 8 p.m., including the world-famous (or at least regionally famous) Chili Competition with categories like the People’s Choice Award, Hottest Chili, and more. The event is free, but it’s $2 per chili entry of $25 to sample everything starting at 11 a.m. 

San Diego French restaurant Little Frenchie offering curated picnic baskets with charcuterie
Courtesy of Little Frenchie

Beth’s Bites

  • This week, both AYCE KBBQ favorite Taegukgi Korean BBQ in Kearny Mesa and Terra American Bistro on the edge of San Diego and La Mesa announced they’re closing their doors for good. One of my favorite pastimes was gorging myself at Taegukgi before hitting the lanes at Kearny Mesa Bowl, and now (sniff) both will only exist in my fond memories. I’ll never forget you, $30 beer tower!
  • Coronado’s Little Frenchie has always been chock-full of cuteness, but they’ve managed to outdo themselves. This summer, they’re offering curated picnic baskets with bread, cheese, wine, and other non-negotiables for the ideal picnic outing. Don’t drink? No problem. The restaurant will even swap NA canned wines upon request.
  • If ABC licenses are to be believed (and they usually don’t lie), then it looks like Mission Brewery is taking over all of Rough Draft Brewing Company’s locations, including their production facility in Miramar, at Sky Deck in Del Mar Highlands, and the UCSD pub. These will be Mission’s first expansions since taking over Kensington Brewery Company’s space in Kensington last year—big moves for the 17-year-old brewery!

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].

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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