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By Henri Migala

April 12, 2022 (Alpine) -- One of the greatest benefits of living in East County is to be able to enjoy our wide open and natural spaces. The best thing to come out of the pandemic is the move of restaurants to open outdoor eating and drinking areas.

Couple this with one of San Diego’s oldest breweries and great food, and you have Hess Brewing’s newest location in Alpine, which has a spacious outdoor patio as well as a fully remodeled interior, great beers and foods.

According to the Hess Brewing website, Mike Hess Brewing is the region’s 33rd brewery, and San Diego’s first nano-brewery.

“Featuring a full kitchen with pub fair, including pizzas, salads, 100% grain fed wagyu burgers, and an expansive menu for kiddos, Mike Hess Brewing - Alpine has more than 20 beers and seltzers on draft, wine, kombucha and cider, a large outdoor grass area and a lovely, landscaped patio with shade sails, firepit, and an impressive outdoor bar,” the site states.      

Additionally, patrons can enjoy playing cornhole, trivia and arcade games, as well as  listening to live music, in a dog-friendly, kid-friendly family restaurant.

East County Editor Miriam Raftery and I had a chance to sit and speak with MHB General Manager Tony Attardo, who worked at the same location when it was still owned by Alpine Brewery.

 “The friendly staff and delicious food are all the same, only the beers are different,” said Attardo. “We’re a brewery that has wine.”

“We closed for two days and switched everything. We switched all the kegs,” said Attardo. “And the regulars are all very happy with the transition.”

Since it’s a brewery, the first thing you notice as you walk in is the bar and a wide and varied selection of beer.

“We have all kinds of beer, and a beer for everything,” continued Attardo. “We have dark beer, light beer, sour and happy beers. We have a very wide spectrum of beer for anyone and everyone.”

Another thing that is special about Hess Brewery is the allergy-friendly menu and even beer selections. Brewery founder Mike Hess’ wife has allergies so the menu was created with a special sensitivity to people with allergies. Even the beer is gluten-reduced.

We asked Attardo what he recommends trying and, without hesitation, he said the smoked mushroom pizza. He also asked if we had tried the hard seltzers. So, we started there.

The hard seltzers, the Lemon Lavender and Cucumber Crisp seltzers, are probably not something I would have ordered on my own, but we were both very glad we did. Both are wonderfully cool, refreshing and delicious.

With a deep, rich, thick and smokey flavor, the pizza is, without exaggerating, one of the best I have ever eaten. Just the right size for one very hungry large adult, or two adults also having salad, the pizza alone is worth the visit.

We also savored a fresh house salad with choice of citrus vinaigrette, ranch or bleu cheese dressing, watermelon radishes, arugula and more all artfully arrayed.

The beautiful bright and airy space, with a wonderfully serene and tranquil outdoor area that’s beautifully landscaped with large rocks, a fire pit and small pond, can be rented out. It would be perfect for rehearsal dinners, weddings and wedding receptions, graduation parties, celebrations of life, birthdays, and many other events.

“Hess Brewing is a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable,” said Attardo. ”Bring the whole family and toss some cornhole bags, breathe in that fresh mountain air, eat, drink and chill with us in Alpine. As with all of our locations, MHB—Alpine is kid-friendly and pet-friendly.

Hess Brewery is also hiring!

Hess Brewery in Alpine is open daily 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and is located at 1347 Tavern Road in Alpine in the former Alpine Beer Company location.

For more information, visit

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