I recently visited Temecula’s newest craft brewery, Karl Strauss. I have, several times in the past, visited Karl Strauss in Carlsbad, CA and San Diego, CA. They have changed their menu over the years. Wifey and I don’t care for anything since around 12 years ago when our first taste was at a catered function at the brewery some 14 or so years ago.
Karl Strauss has been around since around 1989, planting it’s roots in San Diego. Karl has several restaurants in the area, but has recently (Nov ’13) moved their brewing operation (1 single line) to Temecula. Now what’s interesting is the direction Karl is attempting; that of which I have recently wondered (upon collegiate research), why Karl is only the 5th craft brewer in the lower Temecula Valley; since there are (here’s where the memory lapses) approximately 42 craft brewers, 300+ “brew pubs” “ale houses” “brew house’s” . . . who knows what else they were classifying them as, just South of the Riverside/San Diego County line, less than 60 miles from Temecula. The second largest and fastest growing craft brew industry is San Diego, North County to be exact, less than 30 miles from Temecula. San Diego’s craft brew industry is currently growing at about 2 breweries each year. (Memory, 2014) Breweries like Stone, my personal favorite because I have been gaining knowledge about Stone since first opening its doors several years ago when I began contacting the CEO Greg Koch about their sustainability initiatives. Other such breweries that have begun their pursuit in the industry are Belching Beaver http://belchinbeaver.com/ and Groundswell http://groundswellbrew.com/. Belching Beaver did a small favor for me entertained through a mutual friend; and one of Groundswell’s creator’s, Kevin Rhodes, was a professor of mine through schooling recently. Hence the reason I feel Karl is making a huge push by placing their latest addition in Temecula.
The reason I mention the trip to Karl’s in Temecula is because my long time psycho concert buddy has eaten their 4 times since their opening and just raved about it. . . Ok, we’ll go, anticipating the same very mediocre food, service and atmosphere. Yup, just as expected, very mediocre. I say mediocre because there are many, many, many similar target demographic restaurants catering to the same mediocre (expecting) public. Although the service staff all seemed very well versed in their surroundings, the company history, their service techniques and friendliness; unfortunately, our (American) desires lend us to think this (food) is some great shit . . . The flavors, taste and texture were all fine, it was just a pretty standard demographic menu that include the likes of Asada Fries and burgers. Nothing really special.
My Sister-In-Law has a small operation of making cake pops and other crafty treats and novelties. She had delivered baskets full (and boxed) of her ‘baby head and pacifier’ pops to our dinner meeting area outside on the very cold patio, this evening, of the new Strauss Brewery. During the short wait for our initial beers to arrive, a server arrived at our table and recognized the baby head craftware creator and began to strike conversation asking several times for the artists business card. Sister-In-Law just kept jabbering away, seemingly avoiding the necessity of producing the 2″ X 3.5″ billboard. I quickly noticed the dereliction of an immediate sale and began my pursuit of a chance to trump that scene with a CritDicks business card, slapping it down as if I had just won the hand of Spades; saying, “If your not producing, then I’m writing” . . . and thus this story.
I’m guessing why Karl has placed it’s latest “name-brand” beer operation in Temecula, CA. Why is there only, now 5 craft breweries in Temecula when there’s the second fastest growing craft industry just a short drive away? Perhaps, Karl is getting a huge tax break to bring more of that industry, and recognizable industry right up next to California’s second largest and fastest growing viniculture? Perhaps that’s why there’s only 5 so near by, and not 15 . . .
So the moral of this story is . . . don’t be a Dick, I will!