Local ingredients and a Costa Rican view Photo courtesy of Pure brewing
Local ingredients and a Costa Rican view. Photo courtesy of Pure brewing

Q24N – Three things help Pure Project Brewing stand out from the wildly saturated San Diego craft beer scene: its Costa Rican origin story, promises for an unyielding commitment to the local community and being one of the first two Brewery Igniter tenants (the other is future neighbor Amplified Ale Works).

The plan is to source uncommon ingredients from around the world to create unique brews. That remains to be seen, though, since it hasn’t opened its doors yet. Early 2016 is the best guess.

Californians-turned-Costa-Ricans and back again, Jesse Pine and his wife, Agi, gave “pura vida (pure life)” craft brewing a go a few years ago with the help of partner Matt Robar. But they found the rural Central American infrastructure prohibitive to their goal of making sustainable, environmentally friendly beer.

Fast forward to now. Shift back to San Diego. Add a brewmaster (Winslow Sawyer, formerly of Boulder Creek Brewery in Santa Cruz) and Pure Project is born. All it needed was the space provided by Brewery Igniter, a turnkey brewing facility.

Brewery Igniter aims to help small craft breweries get their footing before opening their doors and without sinking millions of dollars into equipment, permits, rent, ingredients and everything else required to launch in the San Diego beer scene.

Working with Brewery Igniter to launch the Costa Rican concept in San Diego was a “no brainer,” says Pine. “The timing just worked out in our favor and everything fell into place.” As far as their plans for the beer itself, Sawyer promises that they’ll “really be focusing on using seasonal ingredients. We’ll of course have a San Diego-style IPA, plus farmhouse stuff with wild yeast, a barrel-aging program, etc.” The initial output from their Miramar location is anticipated to be between 1,200 to 2,000 barrels, depending on which styles they choose to start with.

“One of the things we wanted to create is a little bit more of an ‘adventure’ brand and keep a bit of that travel element,” says Robar. “We want to be able to source unique, global ingredients and bring them back to make really unique styles. We’re always going to be looking for different ideas to really try to stand out and establish ourselves,” says Robar.

That’s a tall order in a city with more than 100 active craft breweries, but with seasoned neighbors like Amplified guiding them and investor backing driving development, it’s not out of reach.

“Our biggest goal in the first year is to move as much product as possible, but also to integrate with the community as much as possible,” says Robar. “Giving back is going to be a big piece of it.”

As a supporting member of 1% For The Planet, as well as the Surfrider Foundation, Pure Project has a goal of making sure the community and environment are maintained, along with just making damn good beer.

It has caught my attention, but we’ll have to wait and see if the new kid on the block delivers.

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.