San Clemente brewery serving up more suds
Even in a down economy, consumers have an appetite for specialty beers, and San Clemente's Left Coast Brewing Co. is setting out to quench more thirsts.
This week, the brewery replaced two of its fermenting tanks and one of its serving tanks with new ones almost twice the capacity.
Left Coast produced 7,000 barrels of beer last year but now can produce 12,000 barrels a year, General Manager Tommy Hadjis said. A barrel is equal to two kegs.
The increase could make Left Coast the largest production brewery in Orange County, Hadjis said.
Recently, the 10,000-square-foot brewery at 1245 Puerta del Sol leased a 13,000-square-foot warehouse next door to add storage for the beer. Left Coast expects to open a tasting room there in about two months.
"You'll be able to sample all of our beers," Hadjis said. "This will be a great outlet for us to talk to the customers. They'll be able to get the beer fresh from our systems and out the door. We're also going to be having a merchandise store and a home-brew supply store. You'll be able to buy your grains, your yeast ... home-brew kits ... hats, shirts, sweat shirts, beanies."
Hadjis' father, George, chief executive of Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co., opened the brewery eight years ago. Left Coast is a bigger entity, not only supplying Oggi's restaurants with a selection of Oggi's-branded beers brewed by Left Coast but also producing four beers exclusive to Left Coast.
Beers are sold on draft at bars and restaurants in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oregon and Washington and in bottles at retail outlets. Left Coast also distributes to Japan and New Zealand, Tommy Hadjis said.
"We do 12 (beers) full time and we do seven seasonals," he said.
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