The fine art of brewing beer is returning to San Diego after a 40-year absence, thanks to a distinctly 1980s mix of business school savvy and seasoned skills. In a sense, Karl Strauss' Old Columbia Brewery and Grill, opening Thursday at 1157 Columbia St., has its roots in the 1880s when Karl Strauss' great aunt followed her heart from Germany to San Diego.
Although part of Strauss' relationship was setting up a bakery shop in 1880s San Diego, Strauss' grandfather was running a tavern. His father later operated a brewery in Westphalia. It was fitting, then, for Strauss to enter the Technical University of Munich to study the art of brewing.
Not only does he have Strauss' expertise, but [Chris Cramer] is riding the crest of a trend that took off in Northern California about five years ago. Buffalo Bill's BrewPub in Hayward is often credited with pioneering the microbrewery and restaurant in which simple food is served with freshly brewed beer. Strauss himself has been involved with starting microbreweries from Northampton, Mass., to San Diego in his new career as a consultant.