Del Mar’s First Brewery
Charles Koll moved to Del Mar when he was 5-years-old. After short stints in Colorado and San Francisco, he discovered his passion — pairing seasonal food with craft beer. He soon realized he could share this passion with others, so he returned to his adopted hometown. And thus, Viewpoint Brewing Co. was born, becoming Del Mar’s first craft brewery.
Viewpoint opened this July; its beginnings are fairly straightforward. “I really didn’t think about much except wanting to make good beer and food and create a great space to do those things in,” says Koll. Offering something new to an area can be risky, but Koll’s relationship with locals allowed him to see that it was a welcome addition. “The community supported me throughout the process of opening and still continue to, and I’m pretty lucky for it.”
And he doesn’t do it alone.
“All of the hyper-seasonal ingredients we use come from local favorite Chino Family Farm in Rancho Santa Fe,” says Executive Chef Gunnar Planter. He uses seasonal ingredients with a distinct take on gastropub favorites, like the beef tartare, bread pudding, and steak frites with a coffee stout demi. That’s right — Planter incorporates Viewpoint’s beer into some of their recipes, including their favored mussels and nduja dish.
And speaking of beer, Head Brewer Moe Katomski brings Viewpoint an eclectic mix of in-house, local, and specialty craft beers. “We select the guest beers based on what we like to drink and styles that we have not had time to brew yet,” he shares. “We are trying to get beers on tap that are not available at most other locations to lend to the unique experience offered at Viewpoint Brewing Co.”
So far, fan-favorites include the SMASH French Saison and Mandarina Pale Ale. “We do have some new beers coming out that I believe will take off and be the new favorites,” says Katomski. “I just did another SMASH beer with all Mosaic hops and the fruity character is big and robust.”
Viewpoint’s building, which accommodates 200 guests, is located off the 5 freeway at Via de la Valle, minutes away from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Koll knows the restaurant sits in a prime and unique location, which inspires him to give back. “Our location on the San Dieguito Lagoon influenced our decision to do something that benefits those working to conserve it.” He’s referring to Buy a Bird a Beer, a beer on the menu in which all the proceeds are donated to the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy. “We want to support the beautiful natural habitat we’re so lucky to have as our view. Our team is currently working on a t-shirt design that we’ll sell and have proceeds go to the conservancy.”
They also plan to launch a ‘Mug Club,’ allowing members to get a special engraved mug and a discounted pour. Koll says the idea isn’t original; he was introduced to the concept at a Hofbrauhaus in Germany. “I suppose ours is unique because we are designing our mugs with Dave Adams, an industry go-to, and John Laver, the former potter of Eucalyptus Stoneware that used to have his studio where Viewpoint now is,” says Koll.
Viewpoint just opened, but do they have plans to expand? “Absolutely,” says Koll. “When and where I couldn’t say. I will say though that it will be a challenge to top our first but challenge accepted!”
Viewpoint is located at 2201 San Dieguito Dr. and opens daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. ViewpointBrewing.com