Border beer: San Diego brewery blends the best of both worlds

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The head brewer for a microbrewery based in San Diego says his experiences along the border shape the way he makes and names beer for SouthNorte Beer Company.

Ryan Brooks says he learned about flavors and ingredients while in Mexico, lessons he applies when brewing beers.

SouthNorte’s Agavemente beer includes hints of agave and hibiscus. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

Beers such as “Sea Señor, Agavemente and NO Güey” are gaining in popularity with consumers in the San Diego-Tijuana region.

“We’re taking the best flavors in Mexico and transporting them to craft-beer scene in San Diego,” said Brooks. “Beer is supposed to be fun, we’re not doing anything crazy, we’re making great beer that makes people happy.”

SouthNorte products, for the most part, are sold in markets and liquor stores in San Diego and Imperial Counties, something that wasn’t the case before the pandemic began.

“We were in about 80 percent of bars and restaurants throughout San Diego, it was a big chunk of our business that drastically came to a halt,” said Breanne Heal, SouthNorte’s V.P. of Sales and Marketing. “We were able to pivot and service local liquor and grocery stores in the area.

SouthNorte’s slogan is “Hecho en San Diego.” (Courtesy: SOUTHNORTE BEER CO.)

Heal says the company is coming back and now plans on expanding.

“We’re very fortunate to say we’re at our pre-covid level of sales, it’s a big accomplishment for us, currently we’re expanding across the border to the south and into Los Angeles and Orange Counties,” she said.

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