Entrepreneurial spirit and craft beer passion started Bay City Brewing Co.
by LUCIA VITI
Published - 12/08/17 - 07:52 AM | 3645 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ben DuBois, Chris West (head brewer) and Greg Anderson at Bay City Brewery Co. /  PHOTO BY WILL GARCIA
Ben DuBois, Chris West (head brewer) and Greg Anderson at Bay City Brewery Co. / PHOTO BY WILL GARCIA
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Benjamin DuBois is a successful orthopedic surgeon shoulder specialist. The 46-year-old loves his family, medicine and craft beer. Greg Anderson is a successful, established restauranteur. The 60-year-old owns Mission Valley’s McGregor's Grill and The Ale House. Anderson also loves his family, his work and craft beer.

Both grew up in the Pacific Northwest, an area famous for its designer brews. Fueled by an “entrepreneurial spirit,” the duo turned their passion for craft beer into an enterprise – giving rise to Bay City Brewing Co., a hot spot for high-quality – and delicious – designer brews.

Located in the Midway District, Bay City Brewing is accessible to its coastal communities and downtown San Diego. Espousing an “urban” vibe, the brewery, tasting room, spacious outdoor patio and Suite C, a private event space, lies north of the Sports Arena.

DuBois knew that he wanted a brewery “right smack dab in the middle of everything – the beach, the bays and the city.” The Peninsula’s Hancock/Kurtz Street location pays homage to its tag line, “Brewed between the bays.”

Although happily nestled in San Diego, both nod to the Pacific Northwest as the pioneer for cultivating the craft beer culture. Anderson and DuBois purchase their hops from the Pacific Northwest. All other ingredients are purchased locally.

Anderson grew up in Yakima, Wash., a locale he refers to as “God’s country” and “America’s hops capital.” He’s “honored” to return to his roots to “support local hop farming families.”

DuBois once called Seattle home. During his six-year orthopedic residency and shoulder surgery fellowship at the University of Washington, the emerging surgeon developed his taste buds for quality brews.

“I’ve had an interest in designer beers and micro brews ever since I tasted my first craft beer,” he said. “During my residency and internship, I thought that if medicine didn’t work out, maybe craft beer could.”

But medicine has “worked out really well” and DuBois has “no plans of stopping anytime soon.”

“I reached a point – personally and professionally – that enabled me to take a risk beyond medicine,” he continued. “Four years ago, Bay City Brewing was all chatter and ideas. Today I balance family, medicine and a brewery that just celebrated its second anniversary.”

Touting the “best of both worlds,” the shoulder surgeon by day, brewery owner by night is “fortunate to be using both sides of my brain.”

“It’s interesting, fun and challenging to deal with different businesses and people,” he said. “I interface with doctors, nurses, physical therapists and patients during the day and the brewery at night. I have the skill sets to deal with both, but they’re truly so very different. Greg and I started Bay City despite never before owning a brewery. We learn more every day.”

And learning has been key to their success as they have no issue in “deferring to those who know what we don’t.”

“I’m not the brewer, I’m the taste tester,” continued DuBois. “Chris West is our head brewer. Brewing requires an interesting blend of skills. Like Chris, one needs to be scientific, creative, and instinctual. Chris was even involved in our planning process. Working collaboratively – Chris, Greg and myself – with the architect, Bay City Brewing was turn-key for a 20-barrel system.”

DuBois described Anderson as the people person, “the businessman who’s been around the restaurant and beverage industry block,” and his employees as “hired to be all in.”

“Our employees appreciate that this isn’t just a job,” he continued. “We’ve built a business from scratch that employees can be proud of, a business that they can grow with.”

Community outreach is tightly stitched into the fabric of Point Loma’s popular brewery. The roomy, 8,300-square-foot warehouse is perfect for hosting fundraisers, community events, art shows, meetings and “all kinds of parties.” Once a month, the brewery hosts “Crafts and Drafts” showcasing upon selection, the work of local artisans. Dog rescue parties the likes of Pints and Paws and It’s the Pits are also quite popular.

“Dog rescue events host a lot of people, with a lot of dogs, having a whole lot of fun,” said DuBois.

The annual Jingle Bell Run, a 5K sprint held in Balboa Park on Dec. 9 that supports the Arthritis Foundation, reigns supreme to DuBois’ fundraising fame. Serving tirelessly as a board member of the organization dubbed the “Champion of Yes,” DuBois is “thrilled and honored” to earmark Bay City Brewing as the 2017 corporate honoree – a designation he describes as “nothing short of special.”

Beer consumption dates back to 4,000 BC, making the bubbly one of the oldest – and most popular – alcoholic beverages. The drink, and its ingredients – water, barley, yeast, and hops – is relatively simple to brew. But while the ingredients and process may be simple, taste standards are set high. Bay City Brewing has truly hit its bullseye.

Among the core beers always found on tap – IPAs Pale Ales, Lagers, Pilsners, Baltic porters, and sour Radlers – the venue features rotating beers and “One Ups,” beers showcased for a limited time or “once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

“One Ups keep our creative juices flowing,” said DuBois. “These beers are creative outlets used to experiment and explore.”

Martin Scorehazy, a pine and passion-fruit flavored brew, is the fifth edition in their Hazy Series. Predecessors included Fog on the Bay, Murky Was the Case, In My Younger Haze, Haze Against the Machine.

“A good tasting brew’s in the eye of the beholder,” said Dubois. “Everyone has a different palate for beer. We’re proud of the Bay City hallmark, our alcohol content isn’t over the top. No one fights to drink our beer.”

Bay City Brewing also serves fresh beer to go in Growlers – 32 or 64-ounce glass jugs and 32-ounce Crowlers – cans that stay fresh cold for up to two months. Future plans for “getting our feet wet” includes selling bottled and canned beer in local supermarkets and liquor stores.

Anderson and DuBois agree, Bay City Brewing is a “dream come true.” Ask DuBois why he would fit a Brewery into an already busy life and he’ll readily admit, “life is meant to have more than one passion.” Anderson is simply excited to “have a hand in serving the finest city with the finest ales.”

Bay City Brewing, the “I-saw-the-billboard-from-the-freeway” ale house welcomes San Diegans to enjoy its incredible brews.

Bay City Brewing Co.

Where: 3760 Hancock St.

Hours: Tasting room hours 3 to 10 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, noon to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Info: baycitybrewingco.com, 619-727-4926.
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