Inhabiting what was once a beachside restaurant in a small town by the same name, Pacifica Brewery, just south of San Francisco, has become a destination gastropub. Featuring creative, locally sourced food from it’s executive chef-owner, Pacifica boosted it’s presence by hiring on brew master Kim Sturdavant, formerly of Social Kitchen & Brewery in San Francisco.
For those unfamiliar with Kim’s work, he’s considered the progenitor of the Brut IPA which was incubated at the Social Kitchen brewhouse. An experimental take on the IPA style, that in many ways departed the beer landscape almost as quickly as it burst on to the scene. He effectively put this small neighborhood brewery on the map during his 7 year tenure, leaving the brewery a year before the onset of the pandemic and the brewery’s subsequent closure in March.
Sturdavant first began brewing as he worked his way up at the venerable Marin Brewing Company, becoming an assistant brewer before leaving in 2012. While he enjoyed the free rein of experimentation at Social Kitchen, he still focused on classic styles that jived with the pub’s food offerings. His hard work was recognized when he won two GABF Gold medals for his Mr. Kite Pale Ale, in the Classic English-style Pale Ale category, in 2015 and 2017.
Upon leaving Social Kitchen in February of 2019, he made a sojourn across the country, which included a brew day with Scratch Brewing in Ava, Illinois. His journey then took him across the Atlantic, getting the chance to visit some of England’s historic breweries, as well as those in Belgium and Germany.
Returning again to the Bay Area, Kim briefly worked with Woods Beer & Wine, a San Francisco based family of brewpubs, bars and wineries. When the pandemic hit, like many others, he was laid-off with the intent of coming back to Woods, though couldn’t resist an invite to join the newly opened Pacifica this Spring.
Pacifica Brewery, the brainchild of husband and wife team Sylvain Montassier and Helen Nasser, opened their beautifully renovated space and patio in October of 2019. Together they fuse his lifetime of work in the culinary arts as a chef in the French Alps, Paris, London, and San Francisco with Helen’s experience managing her family’s Deli & Wine shop and as a native resident of Pacifica. Nasser envisioned their new enterprise as having “good food, with good brews and no white tablecloth. ‘Coastal local’ with a nice classic French twist.” The location’s current setup features private cabana seating, an abundance of space on their patio, as well a beautiful indoor dining area.
Pacifica’s brewhouse includes a state-of-the-art 10 barrel system and 70 barrels of fermentation space, with it’s output focused on accessible beers that cater not only to the area’s underserved craft beer scene, but also it’s well rounded menu of fine cuisine.
This week we’re quite fortunate to have received three canned offerings from Pacifica Brewery, being distributed in Oregon for the very first time! You can find the following beers available in Portland today, then throughout the state next week:
- King Sunny – New England-style IPA (6.5%) – A blend of pale and pilsner malts and three types of wheat make this beer soft, pale, and fluffy. Fermented with an extra fruity yeast interacting with the hop oils to produce a sum greater than its parts. Simoe, Strata, and Sabro hops create a bright fruity profile of pink lemonade, passion fruit, and a dash of coconut.
- Bright Helles – Lager (4.8%) – We proudly brew this classic Munich style pale lager true to tradition; easy on the eyes, delicate and tasty. Crystal clear and super pale, featuring flavors of lightly toasted grains, honey, and a floral hop note.
- Pampas Flowers – New England-style Double IPA (8%) – Pampas grass is blooming beautiful foxtail like flowers all over Pacifica, so we brewed a Double IPA in celebration. Made with a blend of flavorful malts, a dash of wheat, and fermented with a super fruity yeast. Hopped with Mosaic and Crystal for notes of passion fruit, all types of citrus, and a little evergreen hovering above. Finishes juicy and luscious.
Content for this article was sourced from Pacifica Brewery, Half Moon Bay Review, Pacifica Magazine, Patch, Hoodline, Woods Beer & Wine, Drink Beer, Think Beer podcast with John Holl, and Kim Sturdavant.