Skip to main content

Brewchive’ Tells The History Of San Diego Beer

This glassware from the

Credit: Courtesy of "Brewchive"

Above: This glassware from the "Brewchive" is a sample of the different shapes of glassware used at local breweries.

'Brewchive' Tells The History Of San Diego Beer


Judith Downie, curator, Brewchive at Cal State San Marcos


Beer — making it, selling it, drinking it — is an important part of San Diego’s lifestyle and economy.

Cal State San Marcos has begun to archive the history of San Diego's local breweries in a beer-centric special collection, one of only a few like it in the country. It’s called the "Brewchive."

The effort to archive the history of San Diego's breweries was first announced in August 2017 at Stone Brewing's 21st anniversary. The "Brewchive" covers what curator Judith Downie calls the third wave of San Diego brewing, which began in 1987 to the present day.

"We had pre-Prohibition, then a period after Prohibition until 1953 where we had local brewing, and then we didn't have anything in the way of local brewing until 1987," said Downie, the special collections and history librarian at Cal State San Marcos.

The "Brewchive" includes coasters, growlers, beer bottles and beer recipes. Downie said she is looking for lists of beers that local breweries have made.

"Our business students and the students that are going to be in the 'EngiBeering' program can learn from both the successes and failures the local breweries have gone through," Downie said.

Women in the brewing industry are a focus of the collection.

Downie joins Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss the beer-centric archive.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.