Harland Brewing Company, Carmel Valley’s newest craft beer tasting room, has opened up shop in One Paseo. Since the taps first started pouring on July 23, the beertenders have been hard at work.
“That first night, it was packed,” said co-founder Josh Landan. “It’s crazy how busy we’ve been every day.”
On tap you will find Harland selections like the Mexican Lager, The Blonde Ale, a Hazy West Coast IPA and specialty releases once a month. Landan promises there will always be a new beer at the tasting room with its 16 beers on tap and take-home options such as a rotating four pack of 16 ounce cans.
Harland Beer, created by Saint Archer Brewing Company alums Landan, Jeff Hansson and Anthony Levas, embodies the spirit of rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done. Stamped on their cans, inlaid in the floor tile at the tasting room and brewed into everything they do is their blue-color motto: “A Labor of Beer.”
“Harland is the working class and finding inspiration in the people working with their hands for a living, working their asses off and providing for their families,” said Landan, an Encinitas resident. “That aesthetic inspired me, working hard and not complaining, trying to find something that you enjoy.”
The new brewery is a departure from Saint Archer, which Landan founded in 2013 with a group of professional skate and surfboarding friends just looking to show their passion, dedication and love for craft beer.
“I wasn’t a brewer, I didn’t know anyone in the beer businesses,” said Landan, who was at the time a documentary filmmaker and admirer of the entrepreneurial spririt. “It was quite the stretch not even being a home brewer or anything, it was us jumping right into the deep end.”
The group must have been doing something right as after just two years in operation, the brewery was purchased by MillerCoors.
After the sale, Landan spent 18 months with MillerCoors before walking away and starting the Villager Goods brand with former Saint Archer VP Hansson. Villager specializes in organic coconut water and Little Villagers, organic juice for kids.
Together they also created Scout, a distribution company for local craft beer and wine. With Scout, he drew on his experiences of being a brewery owner and not knowing much about the distribution, sales and marketing side of the business. It was exciting and gratifying for him to get back into the beer biz by partnering with other brewery owners who needed the help.
It was perhaps that taste of the beer industry that gave him the hankering for another go at a brewery.
“I think I just missed it,” Landan said. “I missed the community of it, going to the brewery and having a beer with my friends.”
This time around, Landan said they went into Harland armed with more knowledge, making the business that they wanted to make. “We know what we want and how to achieve that,” he said.
Shortly after signing the lease with One Paseo they started brewing last year out of their 40,000 square foot facility in Scripps Ranch, which is also home to Scout. A new tasting room at the Scripps Ranch location is set to open in September.
“With Saint Archer we got so big so fast,” Landan said. “We wanted Harland to be just local to San Diego; having as many tasting rooms around the county is what we’re going for. It’s nice to just be focused on where we live. Our sole focus is San Diego.”
Landan said the possibilities are endless as he eyes potential Harland tasting rooms in perhaps unexpected and underserved locations—for Harland, it is all about building communities and he believes he has found a really good fit in Carmel Valley.
Landan is thrilled with the tasting room’s ample space in One Paseo, tricked out with textures of brick and leather and rustic, weathered wood floors. At the center of the bar is a gold tower beer tap with light-up bulbs naming the four beers that flow—the tap style was something Landan saw while touring Australia and Europe, telling his wife that when he opened his next spot, they had to find that kind of tap.
“It’s definitely not a common thing to have in the U.S., it looks awesome, it’s killer,” Landan said.
There are plenty of places for people to enjoy a brew outdoors on the front or back patios or to gather inside and shoot pool, belly up to the bar or settle into one of the couches or booths. Landan envisions that it will be a comfortable spot to watch a football game and will be somewhere to stop in after enjoying the many food destinations in One Paseo. Location-wise, Landan said One Paseo is “pretty tough to beat” with all the options to eat, shop, work and live.
In its spot in “Plaza West”, Harland is bordered by the office building on one side and the residences behind—“The first thing they’re going to see every day is Harland, I think it’s going to be crazy.”
For more on Harland, check out harlandbeer.com