Tasting Room: Third Avenue Alehouse opened on Friday, October 9, 2015 and is a family run business. Owner Stephen Stenberg, his wife Melinda, their son Michael and Kendell Manion run the tasting room together.
A Family Affair
They are Chula Vista locals through-and-through. Stephen graduated form Bonita Vista High School in 1972 and Michael graduated from Hilltop High School. Together they take great pride in San Diego’s moniker of being the Beer Capital of the World. With 115 breweries throughout the County, Stephen couldn’t help but notice that no tasting rooms existed South of the I-54.
Instead of brewing their own beer, they decided to have the largest selection of local craft beers on tap anywhere within the County. For that, they created a stainless steel back wall with a whopping 29 taps.
Their true expertise happens when selecting only 29 beers from the 115 breweries available. Which to choose? The owners go and visit the breweries personally. They taste the beers, see what they like and usually create a top five list.
Stephen explains, “We know there were so many breweries who wanted to feature San Diego craft beer from around the County, but it might take you an hour to drive there. Instead, you can just come here and try them.”
For non-alcoholic enthusiasts who still enjoy the ambiance of a tasting room, Third Avenue Alehouse will also carry Legacy’s Root Beer. “They are still brewing it up in Oceanside and they only serve it there, but they said they’d be willing to take a chance on us and see how it sells in Chula Vista.”
They, of course, carry our very own Bay Bridge Rolling Hills Irish Red from Chula Vista.
Butcher’s Select Cut Rye IPA from Santee has a strong and bitter taste.
Mother Earth’s Cali Creamin’ Vanilla Creamy Ale from Vista has a sweet vanilla smell, but isn’t sweet to the taste.
Belching Beaver’s Miso Honey from Vista had an interesting smooth flavor. (They also have the interesting Peanut Butter Stout on Nitro.)
Legacy’s That Guava Beer from Oceanside is mild with no overpowering sweetness in taste — it’s just right.
Green Flash’s Jibe Session IPA from El Cajon is a robust, hoppy beer.
Stephen also carries our San Diego “traditionals” from Ballast Point, including the Sculpin and Pale Ale. Ballast Point’s latest is the Pumpkin Down.
For those of you just tagging along with your craft beer enthusiast, you can chose a Merlot, Cabernet or Chardonnay from a selection of Fallbrook wines.
Food Trucks and Take Out
They don’t sell food, but they carry menus from four restaurants that exist within a three block walking distance. Those restaurants deliver, so you can get your tasters, sit down and look at the menu, call to order and the restaurants will drop your order off right at the table.
Make sure to check out their Facebook page regularly too. Pretty soon they’ll have food trucks in the back where they have picnic tables and an Oktoberfest look-and-feel.
You’ll also see little changes as the tasting room develops, including new beers not available anywhere else and new levers for their taps, which will look like old antique door handles.
Address: 319 Third Ave, Chula Vista, CA
Prices: 16 oz glass is $7.00, 14 oz glass is $6.00 and 4 oz taster is $2.00.