Source: Valley Roadrunner

Valley Center Brewery to open tasting room in April

by Michael Crane
Staff writer

March 13, 2014

More than 3,000 gallons of craft beer brewed since Labor Day, and that’s just the start of it.

Valley Center Brewery, Valley Center’s new commercial brewery, will be moving into a brand new, 5,800 sq. ft building in April, complete with a brewing supply store and tasting room that can accommodate hundreds of people. Founded by Bob Marek, Alex Marek, and John Mangan, the new tasting room is poised to become a hit new haunt for beer-lovers in town.

Since September, Valley Center Brewery has been based on the Marek’s property, where they have brewed 20 batches for commercial distribution. Their most popular beer, the Cumbres Pale Ale, is already on tap at Portino’s. However, with a public tasting room of their own located at 28477 Lizard Rocks Road, the brewery is stepping up their game.

“We’re taking over the whole building,” said Bob Marek. “We’re shooting for having a Valley Center opening around April 19, then after that we’ll have a much larger grand opening.”

If all the brewing equipment is installed and ready to go, there may be a soft opening as soon as April 12. In addition to the tasting room, the site will also include the Valley Center Brewery General Store, where customers can purchase home brewing supplies, wine-making supplies, and other cooking products not found elsewhere in Valley Center.

Although the brewery is prohibited from hosting live music or any amplified entertainment under their current license, Marek promises there will be multiple TVs for sports events and other background entertainment.

“It’s going to be pretty Valley Center-ish. We’ll tend to probably make it more like a barn than anything else,” said Marek. “Our bar, for example, is just going to be made out of old bourbon barrels and 2x12 planks.”

The Valley Center Brewery has four standard beers at the moment: Cougar Pass IPA, Cole Grade Porter, a yet-unnamed red ale, and their fan-favorite Cumbres Pale Ale. By the opening, Marek also hopes to have a blonde ale, a cream version of the blonde, and a vanilla porter.

“We’re probably going to be running 11 through 7, Wednesday through Sunday. We’ll be closed on Monday and Tuesday initially,” said Marek. The tasting room will also be dog-friendly.

Although they are not bottling yet, Valley Center Brewery will have growlers available for patrons to take beer home with them. Growlers purchased elsewhere are also welcome to be filled-up, as long as the original label can be entirely covered by the Valley Center Brewery label.

“It’s against the law to put beer in a container that’s labeled other than what’s in the container,” said Marek.

If all goes well in the next few months, the brewery will be looking to expand further, begin bottling, and review their business license to open up an outside patio area and bring in live entertainment.

Valley Center Brewery will also be a title sponsor at the Valley Center Food Truck Festival at Bates Nut Farm on April 5, and will be distributing their beers in the beer garden at Western Days this year, according to Marek. With the operation ramping up in the next few months, Marek is excited to keep brewing and give more people the opportunity to try his beer in the tasting room.

To find out more about the tasting room or the different beers, visit