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Meet Beau Schmitt of The Brew Project in Hillcrest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beau Schmitt.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Beau. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The Brew Project started when I got laid off from my corporate finance job 5 years ago. I now had a lot of free time, so my buddy and I started visiting breweries that summer. It was 2012 and there were 63 breweries in San Diego County, most of which were up North. We got tired of driving north to find all our favorite small batch beers, so the idea was born to create an all-local ‘tasting room.’

After many ups and downs, and moving from our original location, we’re now settled into a 1902 Craftsman house in Hillcrest. We were in our first location for almost 3 years before making the move. The move afforded us a much better venue, location, and license (we now have a full kitchen & liquor license).

The only way we got where we are today is: Persistence. The bar & hospitality industry is not for the sensitive, soft-skinned or impatient. Many ask if we went to business school for this. Our response is that 5 years of ups and downs was our million dollar business school. Our unique passion for wholly supporting local and independently owned breweries has kept us thriving.

Now 2017, there are over 155 breweries in San Diego County. What we strive to offer is a fun, unique atmosphere to enjoy local small batch beers, solid cocktails and kick-ass bar food. We’ve also focused more on private events and sports because they pair so well with our respectable beverage program. It’s more enjoyable to celebrate a birthday party or watch a Seahawks game with a great beer in hand.

Everything we do now is focused on our 5 core values: be authentic, be raw, have fun, pioneer change and continuous learning through education.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The most common struggle is permitting, city fees and regulatory bodies. Hands down. The largest obstacle was one of our original partners stealing money from us. But the most important thing is to look at everything as a challenge, never a curse. If you think everything obstacle is a cursed, then you will never make it. Every failure has made us pivot to become stronger.

The Brew Project – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Brew Project is the best San Diego beer bar, ever. While there are many awesome beer bars in San Diego, none support (even close) to as many San Diego breweries as we do. Our tagline is “A San Diego Brewery Tour Under One Roof.” Over the past 5 years of operations, we’ve never served a beer brewed outside of San Diego County. We’ve offered no guest beers, no guest taps with no exceptions.

What this does is offer our guests a truly local experience. Last year, we were fortunate enough to win “Best Draft Selection & Rotation” in San Diego. We were also recommended as the #3 stop in San Diego by The New York Times, in print and online.

But what we’re most proud of is our staff. Bars and restaurants open and close every day. In San Diego, the turnover rate is high. We’re proud to have 20 amazing “brew crew” that we can support and that support us back with their unrelenting hard work. Without them, The Brew Project would cease to exist.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I personally define success as operating a business that creates happiness, longevity and profits. Our management team, staff and guests must be happy. Our business must be scalable and systematic so that it can grow without major opposition. And we must be profitable so that we can pay our vendors, our staff and our investors.


  • We have an amazing 2nd Story Lounge that can be rented for private events. Minimums start at $250 during weekdays.
  • We always have our custom Brew Project IPA on draft (made by Mason Ale Works) to enjoy during sports games.
  • Every Wednesday, we have $5 Keep-The-Pint Nights, starting at 6pm with a rotating San Diego brewery.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Beau Schmitt

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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