Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! We honor Veterans Day this week with our special guest, Timothy Parker, cofounder of Chula Vista Brewery! Timothy is from Chicago, and he moved to San Diego to pursue a career in the Navy, where he met his wife, Dali, and was introduced to Chula Vista. He opened up Chula Vista Brewery on Third Avenue as a way to bring quality craft beer to the South Bay. He retired from the Navy at the end of 2019 following two decades of service, and he is now a full-time presence at Chula Vista Brewery, which is one of the only Black- and veteran-owned breweries in San Diego. Its Browner than Ivan American-style brown ale won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival last year.
Timothy’s love for beer was sparked during his military career, as he traveled and was able to taste beer all over the world. When he returned home and looked for those international beers, he wasn’t able to find them. For him, it was a snowball effect: He started brewing at home, and as his imagination grew, it turned into a brewery.
Although their profit margins have suffered because of the pandemic, Timothy shares how they were able to branch out using their new canning machine. Before the pandemic, they were selling so much off the tap that they didn’t need to can their beer, but now they’ve had the opportunity to pivot. Their beers are now available at Bevmo, Grocery Outlet, and Sprouts. Timothy himself is the distributor and salesperson, and he shares about how intensive the work is.
Many breweries face the challenge of selling food on-site to keep their tasting rooms open. Timothy says that they had to get creative, so they collaborated with a kitchen down the street, and they use a barcode system separate from the brewery. It sends orders directly to the restaurant, so its cash doesn’t mix with the brewery’s cash—a problem Timothy says you can easily run into with food trucks.
He adds that the local veteran community has shown support for his brewery, and they recently collaborated with War Planes, a veteran-owned company that makes bodysurfing gear, to release War Planes Hazy Pale Ale. Timothy says the Black Lives Matter movement has brought an uptick in support for his business, especially from within the Black community itself and from out-of-town visitors. That support has been growing, and it’s actually helping get their community more into craft beer.
As for their collaborations, Timothy shares about Brewing the American Dream, which allowed them to collaborate with Samuel Adams and get their name out there when they were first starting out.
Timothy’s personal favorites are The Beautiful View, an American pale ale, and the LOL IPA, a clear citrus IPA they want to start canning soon.
In Hot Plates, Winston’s in Ocean Beach, a longtime institution for live music, is temporarily closed. Royale, a burger restaurant in Point Loma owned by Jordan and Mariah Brownwood, who also own a farm in Valley Center, announced they’re closing permanently. Now for some good news: Mujeres Brew House had their soft opening in Barrio Logan. It’s a women-led craft brewery, and we had one of the founders, Esthela Davila, on the show earlier this summer.
In Two People for Takeout/Two People for $50, everyone stayed in Chula Vista for their picks. Tim swears by Teriyaki Grill and recommends grabbing a poke bowl from this hole-in-the-wall spot. Marie selected the tortas ahogadas (a “drowned” sandwich) from the food truck El Gallito. Troy picked the quesadilla ahogada from Birrieria Don Rafa, while David did Two People for $50 drinking style with craft beer at Bar sin Nombre.
Thank you for listening! As always, we want to hear from our listeners. Do you have a question for Troy? Need a recommendation for takeout? Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? Let us know! You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re too shy, you can email us at [email protected]. And if there’s another patio you think we should record on, let us know!