Harrah’s Rincon officially opened the first Native American craft brewery in Southern California Wednesday, featuring a signature IPA made from indigenous American hops.
The new Rincon Reservation Road Brewery was celebrated with a traditional prayer and blessing, Native American Bird Singing and a ribbon cutting at the resort and casino in Valley Center.
“This is so unique in the craft world,” said brewmaster Shawn Steele. “You see all the farms around here? We’re going to try plenty of local ingredients.”
The brewery’s signature IPA — “Chief” — uses hops that originated in the mountains around Santa Fe rather than traditional European varieties.
It’s one of four beers already in production, and Steele said future brews will use blueberries, raspberries, citrus and other local ingredients to add unique flavors.
The brewery began as SR76 Beerworks, but is now operated by the Rincon Economic Development Corporation, the business arm of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians. Steele, a 22-year veteran of the craft brew industry, was recruited from Coronado Brewing Company.
The brewery is open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesday.
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