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San Diego Brewing Company Gets New Owners & a Refresh

The longtime local brewery will feature an updated food menu as well as new taps, a wine and cocktail list, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating
Interior of the newly renovated San Diego Brewing Company in Mission Valley which was recently sold in late 2023
Courtesy of San Diego Brewing Company

Most San Diego breweries are Gen Z or even Gen Alpha. But like Karl Strauss, Coronado Brewing, and AleSmith, San Diego Brewing Company (SDBC) is a solid Millennial, more Instagram than TikTok, with the serif fonts to prove it. 

Lee Doxtader and Scott Stamp revived the defunct brand in 1993, back when we could count the number of local breweries (or, in the parlance of the times, microbreweries) on one hand, and over the next 30 years, they watched the Chargers leave, housing prices rise, and the number of breweries increase. 

But SDBC remained. And remained. And remained. I remember the last time I visited SDBC before this week. It was probably 10 years ago, if not more, and there wasn’t much to say about it other than giving kudos for their SEO-savvy company name. Still, I’m a sucker for nostalgia and a good story, and finally, SDBC has something fresh to talk about. 

On November 1, 2023, Doxtader and Stamp handed the keys to the four new owners: Tyson and Kristina Blake and Bob and Lisa Townsend. Do their names sound familiar? They should. The Blakes have a hand in other beer-centric destinations around town, including O’Brien’s Pub, The Pub at Lake Cuyamaca, and West Coast Smoke & Tap House. The Townsends took over another San Diego institution in 2016: North Park’s San Diego Chicken Pie Shop

San Diego Brewing Company beer glass in the newly remodeled Mission Valley location
Courtesy of San Diego Brewing Company

If there was ever a team to breathe new life into a beloved icon, it’s this quartet. But they assure me their intention is to protect the legacy while also building a new, fresh future. 

“It’s all about improving what already exists,” Lisa says. They’ve already started working on some changes, getting rid of a (very-dated) wooden bar and replacing it with quartz and adding a sleek patio rail, fresh subway tile, plenty of new TVs, and a new stainless steel tap system with 50 taps.

The small brewhouse remains, but Tyson says they are running it more efficiently. Plus, he adds, guests can expect new recipes that modernize some of SDBC’s old favorites, like a “Pale Ale 2.0,” as well as collaborations like the Pink Boots Society double dry-hopped double IPA that comes out this week. Classic menu items like pizza, wings, and burgers will remain, but Kristina says they plan to improve their wine, cocktail, and beer menus so that there’s something for everyone. 

They also plan to roll out a refreshed brand in the next month and hope to mesh beer history with the new look by adding a San Diego Beer History wall with help from Judith Downie, San Diego beer historian and archivist at California State University, San Marcos. 

Revamping a beloved, if not somewhat antiquated, brand always risks alienating longtime customers. But Tyson says they’ve had many longtime regulars come in, see the changes, and get excited. 

“There are people that came here 10, 15, 20-plus years ago that have revisited and been like, ‘Oh my God, this place is great again!’” he says. “Now we get to be a part of the new stories.”

Event poster for Pacific Beach bar The Duck Dive's Silent Disco in San Diego
Courtesy of Evenbrite

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Boogie Your Butt Off at This Silent Disco

Starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 5, The Duck Dive in Pacific Beach will host a silent disco party with four DJs; drink specials from Harland Brewing, Mate Maker Hard Kombucha, and Roku Gin; and plenty of Instagram fodder. Tickets are $5 and include a half-hour headphone rental. 

Matsu Hosts Benefit Dinner For Local Chef Aarti Sanghavi

On Tuesday, April 16, chefs William Eick (Matsu), Davin Waite (Wrench & Rodent, The Plot), and Keith Lord (Strateje Fourteen, The Shed) will come together at Matsu for a six-course Baja-Indian dinner to raise money for local chef Aarti Sanghavi (Urban Kitchen Group), who is currently in recovery for breast cancer. Tickets are $225 and available here

Hotel Del Coronado's new restaurant and bar called The Laundry Pub opened this week in San Diego
Courtesy of the Hotel Del Coronado

Beth’s Bites

After devastating bread lovers all over the city by closing last year, Izola Bakery is reopening at 1429 Island Avenue in East Village in mid-May. Formerly occupied by Amplified Ale Works and ModBom, the space overlooks Fault Line Park, which boasts a dog park and playground. Dogs and croissants? Hell yeah.

Look out, An’s Dry Cleaning—there’s a new laundry-themed eatery in town. The Laundry Pub is now open inside the Hotel Del’s restored laundry building, with an 1880s-era bar and pub fare like a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, gochujang glazed pork nuggets, and chicken and waffles. 

The Convoy District suffered a massive blow when dim sum icon China Max was completely destroyed in a fire in 2020. But word on the street is a new iteration is coming this year, as well as another concept called Midnight Skewers at the same address. 

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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