There’s a delicious secret brewing in San Juan Capistrano, but it won’t be hush hush very long. The Dog Pawrk Brewing Company has officially been in business since July 2019, but just recently finished their tasting room’s initial construction phase, and are excited to welcome the local community into their process.
Co-founder and Director of Innovation Nathan Beckham is proud to compare their brews to mankind’s best friend: “while dogs are comforting – loving and caring – you should be able to come in and find the beers you know and love, like IPAs, lagers, Stouts, etc. But our mascot Apollo, our 85 lb. American Bulldog is squirrelly and unpredictable, so we can make anything else we want! Sours, hazys, and barrel aged beers.”
Just making a solid brew isn’t enough for Nathan and the team in San Juan Capistrano. They’ve become THE dog-related brewery, and a hub for local community, charity activity, and fluffy four-legged shenanigans.
“Hyper-localism is our focus,” he says. “Giving back is what drives us and hosting a full spectrum of flavors and experiences, keeps our tag line “Reliably Unpredictable” alive and well.
It wasn’t always so official though. “Back in the day, I used to home brew, but I found out fast that the styles I was interested in at the time (Belgian and Barrel Aged beers) took a lot of time and were more complex than I thought I could do.” Out of necessity comes invention, and suddenly the focus shifted to finding rare brews and making down home connections in the industry.
When a family friend asked him to start a brewery in 2016 two roads diverged, as it were, and “beer flavored beer” took a backseat.
“It has been a long journey, but my wife and I are excited to have created what we have. My motto… If it tastes good, it’s my fault. If it looks good, it’s my wife’s fault.”
Nathan, wife Danielle and Co-Founder Robert Padilla sometimes joke that they’re barking up the wrong tree.
“We joke that we have more of an East Coast Beer Program,” says Nathan. “Not because of the flavors, but because we have flavors! The west coast is full of IPA options and we strive to offer not only a variety of IPAs, but many fan favorites. Spanning Hefe’s, IPAs, Stouts, Gose’s, Fruited options, Seltzer and Slushies (adult and NA for the kids in all of us).”
While there has been an uptick in IPAs across the craft brewery scene. The Dog Pawrk has embraced the hoppy craft movement while striving to provide something for everyone. And while Mississippi native Nathan is a fan of BBA, sours and hazys, he likes to take an untraditional take on the brewing experience. Never claiming to be of the technical brewing greats he enjoys brewing by flavor and creativity. Like the untrained Chomp’d champ that can create creative and inventive experiences.
Much can be said for local collaboration, with a business like Nathan’s. “Because our focus is on community and hyperlocalism, we want to continue to offer more food and beer events. Things continue to open up, and we’re excited to bring our donut + beer pairing with JD Flannel back again with some consistency.”
Great reviews are one thing- being able to look ahead and give the people what they’ve been searching for in quantity and scale is the other. While it might have been a long lead in, things are going well. Seems like all your experience is paying off, I note, and Nathan grins. “It definitely doesn’t hurt to have been a professional beer drinker for years.”