San Diego

Plan Brewing for Mecca of Beer Museums to Land in San Diego's East Village

The museum's founders plan to build the museum in America's Hoppiest City by 2020.

Beer lovers, rejoice! Plans are brewing for the mecca of beer museums to land in San Diego.

The founders say this isn't your parents’ museum. The San Diego Museum of Beer will be Instagram-able and interactive, all in an effort to promote San Diego's craft beer industry.

While enjoying beers at Amplified Aleworks in the East Village, Ashley Wyzykowski and her buddies toasted news of plans to build the museum in America's Hoppiest City by 2020.

“I think that would be wonderful in a city that's so beer-centric," said Wyzykowski.

Renderings show what the proposed 12,000-plus square-foot museum could look like. To get things rolling, co-founder Mike Kociela says it’ll cost them about $2 million.

Founders plan to use a mix of their own money along with investors’. They’re also crowdfunding on Indiegogo and are offering a wide variety of perks to donors.

Kociela, who’s also a co-founder of the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, is just one of the hop heads behind the Museum of Beer.

He’s teamed up with Anthony Ridenhour, executive director at the San Diego Model Train Museum.

“Five to 10 years from now I want it to be the gathering place for everyone to come together and learn and have a good time," Kociela explained.

For people looking to quench their thirst for beer knowledge, the museum will have eight core exhibits. Many of them interactive, paying homage to the history of San Diego's billion-dollar-plus craft brewing industry.

“You’ll learn how to pour, taste and smell beer,” Kociela said.

Want to be a virtual brewmaster? There will be an exhibit for that. And if you're a museum traditionalist, it will also spotlight artwork from the canvas to the can.

Interested in beers from around the globe? There will be a sensory map to teach you regional colors and flavors. And of course, there will be 66 beers on tap from micro and macro breweries from the San Diego Brewers Guild.

“San Diego is by and far the number one craft beer city in the world. We are the mecca. You want to come experience it, that’s what we’re doing. We’re hoping to elevate everybody and put them out to a worldwide audience,” Ridenhour said.

Sipping on a beer, Francisco Uriah said he couldn’t wait to tap into what’s brewing once the museum opens.

“I think it will be great. I'm always a student so it’s a great way to learn about different types of beers and to pair them with different foods I eat," Uriah said, referring to the beer and food pairings the museum plans to have.

The museum project still has to go through the licensing and permitting process.

While the founders have decided on East Village as a general location, they’re still deciding between three specific locations. And, the project still has to go through the licensing and permitting process.

Once it opens they plan on charging $28 per ticket. Yes, that will include tastings. A 50 cent surcharge will be tacked on to support California State University San Marcos’ brewing program, the San Diego Brewers Guild and a college scholarship the museum plans to start.

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