“We opened in the middle of the pandemic for some crazy reason.”
That’s the beginning of the story for Craft Coast Beer & Tacos in Oceanside. However, it’s merely the next chapter in the education of Blake Masoner.
“Everyone was like, ‘Why aren’t you waiting with all the uncertainty?’” recalled Masoner as he stood inside the restaurant and brewery he co-founded and opened in August of 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The vision of Craft Coast was to be a place where community, friends, family, could all join,” he smiled.
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It was the joining part that was tough. Masoner couldn’t have guests inside. Thankfully, he had patio seating and a kitchen that allowed Craft Coast to roll with the pandemic punches.
“We just have this really rad crowd of people that come back time and time again,” he said while sipping the Moonstone pale ales he brewed.
Masoner said he spent six years learning at Pizza Port in Carlsbad’s Bressi Ranch community. Craft Coast was his first solo effort as a businessman in a worldwide industry dominated by San Diego breweries.
“It shows in competitions the number of medals it awards that San Diego receives,” he said proudly.
So, imagine his surprise when the San Diego Brewers Guild asked him to collaborate with long-standing breweries like Societe and Ballast Point on this year’s Capital of Craft IPA. It’s the showcase beer featured during the annual San Diego Beer Week, which goes through Sunday.
“I think that’s a cool honor,” said Masoner.
San Diego Beer Week was derailed a bit by the pandemic in 2020, but Masoner says it’s much better this year. However, he is really looking forward to 2022 when craft beer fans can feel freer to toast the next Capital of Craft IPA as well.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” he smiled.