We’re back, and things are starting feel a little more normal. At least here in North County where our COVID-19 numbers have continued to stay low, vaccinations are ongoing, and the tiers our lives are so intertwined with start dropping away. In an effort to see how our local breweries are adjusting, I’ve been reaching out to see how they are doing in the moment.
This week, we’re in the moment with Jan “Yon” Buncher, a partner and the VP of Strategic Planning at Ebullition Brew Works. EBW has two North County locations. One is in Carlsbad’s Bressi Ranch, which has been open (when possible) during the pandemic, and the other is in Vista, which also features live music. Until recently, the Vista location was closed awaiting a change in the local coronavirus tier restrictions. That long wait finally came to an end.
Cheers: Hi, Jan. Thanks for catching me up on what’s going on at Ebullition Brew Works. More than a year into this wild pandemic, what is the physical and emotional status of your company and team?
Jan: To quote Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan, till they get punched in the mouth.” This crazy time in our history really spoke to the self-reliance and persistence for so many small businesses like ours.
By July of last year, it started to feel like an endless game of whack-a-mole. Just when you thought there was light at the end of tunnel, the light turned out to be another train. Fortunately, the outpouring of support from our patrons has been tremendous, and the spirit of being an entrepreneur is to keep on fighting.
Just the same, we are truly blessed, and our way of life was in no way compromised like the health care industry. A big thank you to our doctors, nurse, EMTs, and medical volunteers. We love ya.
Cheers: EBW is known for craft beer, craft food and live music. After a year in which live events with limited or even nonexistent, how did you adapt?
Jan: From the day we started our brewery, we knew we would have to have a diverse business model to survive. Fortunately, our investment into our new gastro pub in Carlsbad, and the wonderful staff we employ, has been enough to see us through. Our business has really come on strong in the last month, and we are breaking records every week, just about.
Cheers: As we are phasing out of the tiers … what is on-deck for EBW?
Jan: Quite simply, we are looking forward to getting back to some sense of “normal.” For now, we will focus on what we are creatively best at — amazing food, craft beer and entertainment.
Cheers: The Vista location was closed down to the public during the pandemic and you focused customers through Bressi Ranch. Any plans to reopen Vista in the near future, and do you already know who the first live music act to take the stage will be? What will it mean to reopen those doors?
Jan: Yes. We are now open—Fridays 3-8 p.m., Saturday 12-9 p.m. and Sunday 12-8 p.m. Currently we are targeting June to start up live music but, considering the mercurial nature of this pandemic and government regulations, you just never know. We will likely go with one of the house favorites—The Stilettos, The Sleepwalkers, SM Familia Reggae, Euphoria Brass Band, or The Rayford Bros., but stay tuned. We should be bringing in some larger acts with a national following. It’s all a step in the right direction, but I think it will be a while before we can have a packed house.
Cheers: What is the best way for North County residents to get their hands on EBW beer, and any particular brew you’re excited about this spring?
Jan: Come visit us at either location. Yes, we (love) our Blueberry Cream Ale. Also, I recommend Revival, a solid West Coast IPA — hop forward, but nuanced and a bit complex.
Cheers: Anything else you want readers to know about Ebullition Brew Works?
Jan: If you haven’t tried our gastro pub, I highly recommend it. Our great reviews on Yelp, Google, and social media say it all. Also make sure to call and check with us about weekend and holiday specials. If you are looking for a good way to celebrate that special event, call ahead and reserve one of our tomahawk steaks, served with a huge spread of vegetables, and bone marrow, all cooked to perfection — a local favorite!
If you like craft beer, you probably also love a good cup of coffee. Pour a mug, and check out most recent episodes of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast featuring interviews and coffee education with great local coffee professionals. Stream it now on The Coast News online or search for it on your favorite podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Thanks for listening, and for following Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.