Community, culture and craft are all extremely important aspects of our local craft beer community. With so many breweries popping up on the scene, the "neighborhood" brewery is nearly commonplace. Most Americans now live within 10 miles of a brewery. Beer lovers can grab a pint down the block from home after sitting in traffic for an hour. Have friends over and show them the awesome new brewhouse within walking distance. I am lucky to have one such mecca two street lights and a stop sign away.
Benchmark Brewing opened in summer 2013 in a neighborhood in need of new brewing life. In the heart of Grantville, Matt Akin is pumping out some top notch fermentables. Roughly a mile east of the 15 and north of the 8, tucked away in an industrial park (rare, right?) the brews are worthy of a visit. The lay of the place is very casual, wood and metal decor give it that rustic feel. Rotating artwork and photography take up space on one wall, a huge map take up space on another. Food trucks sling food or you can bring your favorite dish. Cask brews are often available and the Trail Crew series takes on classic beer styles as well as hop-head favorites. The oatmeal stout is worth waiting in any traffic jam on the 15 freeway for.
Fitting right in with the neighborhood feel of the brewery is the family aspect of Benchmark. Jim, Matt’s dad, helps run the brewery, and Rachael Akin is responsible for marketing and the look of the place. Matt is a native San Diegan and earned his chops with the highly regarded local giant Alesmith Brewing.
Benchmark has some core beers: a table beer, blonde ale, brown ale, IPA and the oatmeal stout. Eight taps plus an occasional cask will see a rotation of the cores, a DIPA from time to time and the Trail Crew series which is brewed on the brewery’s 20-gallon experimental system. Follow all social media aspects of Benchmark to see the rotating handles.