Rincon Reservation Road Brewery’s first off-reservation tasting room showcasing tribal art and culture will debut on Newport Avenue on Jan. 16. The remodeled retail space will feature a main bar and tasting room with views of Newport Avenue along with a backroom.
After a private tasting on Saturday, Jan. 15, the 3,200-square-foot tribal tasting room will open to the public at noon on Jan. 16.
Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians opened their 3R Brewery in January 2020. This new OB tasting room marks 3R’s initial expansion elsewhere in San Diego.
“It’s Rincon’s first tribal venture outside the reservation in more than 100 years,” said Ruth-Ann Rodriguez Thorn, board chairwoman for the Rincon Economic Development Corporation.
Thorn pointed out tribes like Luiseno have traditionally invested only in other people’s businesses, or been sponsors for events or stadium naming rights.
“Tribes haven’t owned and operated an actual business with their name on it,” she said. “So 3R is creating a whole new opening for the next generation of tribal enterprises.”
Much planning, construction, and care have gone into creating the newly renovated space previously inhabited by Belching Beaver. Rincon’s latest venture is more than a tasting room. It is also a space highlighting Native American culture and art.
“We have an incredible mural by Native American artist Joe Hopkins of the Luiseno people who were hunter-gatherers,” said Thorn. “They went down to the ocean to get seafood, then they would go up to the mountains again when the acorns were ripe. We are wanting people to travel with us down the road of our history to where we are present-day.”
It’s not a coincidence that OB was selected by the tribe to roll out its first off-reservation business.
“Way back in the day, Ocean Beach was as far as Luiseno tribal lands went going all the way from the base of Palomar Mountain down to the beach, which we shared with our cousins, the Kumeyaay Tribe,” noted Thorn adding, “Our goal is to build a national brand.”
Many of OB tasting room’s brews will bear the tribe’s signature.
“Some of the beer names are actually from the Luiseno language and culture, like Rez Dog Hefeweizen, a term of endearment meaning resiliency, referring to reservation feral dogs,” said Thorn. “Another beer named Tuupash means blue and was named after a spiritual gathering place on our reservation called the Oasis. Our tribe is putting their names out there to start a conversation about who we are.”
In addition to having guest brewmasters, 3R Brewery’s seasonal beers will be brought in throughout the year for patrons to enjoy.
Currently San Diego County’s only tribal-owned brewery, 3R started at Harrah’s Southern California resort as SR76 Beerworks in 2016. Three years later, it was rechristened as 3R Brewery and has since sold its products at Costco and BevMo.
OB tasting room brands served from a dozen taps will include Red Rattler Amber Ale, Chief IPA, Luiseño Hazy IPA, Oasis Blonde Ale, Tuupash Blueberry Saison, Alaawaka Spiced Hefeweizen, and a pair of stouts (oatmeal and coffee). Upcoming collaboration beers brewed with fellow San Diego breweries will also be offered, along with beer-based cocktails, including micheladas, beermosas, and “The Grazy,” a blend of hazy IPA and grapefruit soda.
OB’s latest tasting room is not yet licensed for food service but an upgraded license has been applied for. Former La Jolla Marine Room chef de cuisine Ron Oliver is devising a menu utilizing Indigenous American ingredients like elderberries, mesquite, tepary beans, and acorn oil. Oliver is also growing foodstuffs such as squash, corn, and beans for use in 3R Brewery’s traditional dishes like fry bread and wewish (acorn porridge).
Since its debut in Valley Center, 3R Brewery has been named one of the 12 Best New Breweries of 2021 by Hop Culture and is quickly making a name for itself in the local craft brewing industry. Now everyone can take a journey down Rincon Reservation Road, even if they aren’t on tribal land.
3R BREWERY TASTING ROOM
Where: 4836 Newport Ave.
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays noon-10 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays noon-midnight, and Sundays noon-10 p.m.
Contact: 3Rbrewery.com, 619-786-1152.