BY CAROLINE ABKAR | Red Tree Realty | October 2017
Excitement is through the roof as I meet Morris Nuspl, the co-founder of Deft Brewing, a new Craft brewery and tasting room in the heart of Bay Park/Morena serving delicious West European-inspired beers crafted with “San Diego deftness”. Deft Brewing is set to welcome the community on Friday, October 13th 2017!. How does beer under hop plants on an outdoor patio sound? That’s right! Morris and his team’s passion for beer was palpable in the hour we spent chatting about everything from the Deft concept and the brewing process, to the tanks, barrels, and cool room where the kegs will be stored. Hope this interview quenches your curiosity while you exert just a little more patience for this much awaited, family friendly hangout to open its doors to our community!
Caroline Abkar: Morris, can you tell us a bit about the concept for Deft Brewing?
Morris Nuspl: Absolutely! First and foremost, my co-founding partner Kevin Malik, my wife Robin, my Assistant Brewer Mike Finn, the entire team and I want this brewery to be a comfortable, welcoming, family friendly hangout where people can enjoy some skillfully crafted European inspired beers in great company. Our interiors and exterior patio are meticulously designed to be welcoming and comfortable, yet exude the essence of a brewery when seen from the exterior. Our patio will light up at night and we hope it draws a lot of people, along with ample word of mouth. We plan on being open from 3pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm Fridays, 11am-11pm Saturdays, and 11am-8pm Sundays.
Caroline Abkar: Why did you choose to settle in the heart of Bay Park/Morena?
Morris Nuspl: Bay Park is where we’ve lived for years and still do, so it benefits our family because it’s close by, we know and absolutely love the area, and we know the people. It took us a long time to find real estate here, both in terms of space and facilities suitable for a brewery and tasting room of our size and business model. The building owners here, also Bay Park residents, have been extremely supportive and excited about our project. It’s also close to USD, Old Town, Bay Ho, Linda Vista, Mission Hills and so many other great neighborhoods. We’re just a block off of Morena, behind the Brickyard Batting Cages and right in front of Sears Outlet.
Caroline Abkar: What does Deft mean?
Morris Nuspl: Deft is an English term used more frequently in Europe, but that has started to trend in the US. It means “Demonstrating skill and cleverness”, for example “The potter used a deft hand to create his art” or “that soccer player made a deft pass to set up the winning goal”. The term was absolutely perfect for how we want people to think about us and our beer. We want to be looked at as artists and engineers. The engineer in me (mechanical engineer) loves the cleverness associated with all the problem-solving, coming up with ad-hoc solutions and new ideas in this business. In my previous career everything was focused on left side of the brain thinking, so I didn’t really have much of a creative outlet. That creative side has been wanting to bust out, which is happening in the form of my passion for beer. I am so thankful to my amazing wife Robin and son Elias who have been so incredibly supportive throughout this journey.
Caroline Abkar: Did you always brew beer?
Morris Nuspl: My skills were self-taught over time. I have attended numerous seminars, and our home brew club QUAFF won National Home Brew Club Of The Year the past couple years. It’s an amazing group with many members who live right here in Bay Park. Everybody helps each other out. We do events such as home brew tastings, exploring different styles of beer, ingredient discussions, club competitions, etc. It allows for experiences that you normally wouldn’t get on your own through reading and research alone. I learn new techniques all the time through other home brewers, and maybe vice versa.
Caroline Abkar: What inspired you when you designed the interior and exterior spaces?
Morris Nuspl: We went for a cool old industrial space built in the 50’s and embraced everything it had to offer. We love the configuration with the gabled roof, giant roll-up overhead door, all the windows, and old cedar wood from our old backyard fence straight out of Bay Park. The bar top is California Redwood from Made Lumber Supply right next to us. In addition, our hop plants outside makes everything come together and add to the unique feel. These hop plants actually come from our backyard too!
This patio will evolve into a really cool hop garden where can sip a beer under the hops that will eventually go into a future batch of Deft beer.
Caroline Abkar: Can you tell us about the type of brews you will offer?
Morris Nuspl: San Diego breweries offer an amazing array of beer styles, but by far the most common offerings in town are very hoppy, with relatively little malt influence.
While we are going to offer some truly delicious hoppy beers, we are more focused on brewing balanced and malt-forward beers with a nice malt backbone developing complimentary flavor and aroma notes like caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nutty, raisin or stone fruit, chocolate, and coffee.
We’re focused on Western European styles originating from Belgium, Germany, and the British Isles. We opted for this direction not only out of passion and personal preference, but also after getting valuable feedback from numerous local focus groups, surveys, and tastings that we held over the past couple years.
We feel like we will have a nice broad range of beers that will appeal to a lot of people.
Caroline Abkar: How will you make Deft Brewing particularly welcoming to the community and families?
Morris Nuspl: We have so many great ideas in store, from entertainment in the indoor tasting room to a specific kid friendly area to make it easier for families to bring their kids and hang out while their parents have a good time. We plan to eventually serve a craft soda that we’ll make ourselves, like maybe a root beer for kids to enjoy too. We will be offering Wi-Fi and convenience outlets to charge laptops and phones. We’ll have at least one TV so we can show the big games and we’ll have music to make the tasting room experience a pleasant one.
Caroline Abkar: Here’s a question I know will be on many people’s minds. Will customers have the ability to enjoy your beers with a good meal?
Morris Nuspl: We absolutely want people to enjoy some nice food to go with our beers. We are working on attracting some good food trucks and/or partnering up with local restaurants to facilitate the process of deliveries and eventually offering a couple light pre-packaged food options. We would also love to facilitate beer and food pairings thru website and social media. For example, we would design a beer tasting flight for given menu items from local nearby restaurants and get feedback from our customers on site! Suggesting take-out or delivery options and offering beer pairings really makes “dinner out” fun and takes away the guesswork of where to eat tonight. You get to enjoy four 4-5 oz tasters with the food and get to engage with us. We will also have a bunch of nearby restaurant menus available with delivery numbers.
Caroline Abkar: There’s something nice about the open space and being able to see the equipment where all the magic happens. Will it stay like this?
Morris Nuspl: Yes, this is intentional. We want our guests to truly feel like there are in a brewery, albeit a very clean, comfortable, inviting one, and not just another bar. In 2018, we will be receiving some nice stainless steel barrels which will be 2-4 times the size of the barrels currently there. We thought it made sense to create this place in such a way that it is geared for growth without any interruption to our operations. We have the capability to add equipment and kegs in our cold room as we need to. We are very focused on our opening and serving our customers in the tasting room right now, but thinking bigger at the same time so we can eventually distribute our beer locally and beyond.
Caroline Abkar: I see a meeting room in the back?
Morris Nuspl: Yes! We want to offer a space for people to come and conduct work meetings in an informal setting, study sessions for grad students, small parties, events, and why not some Fantasy Football drafting (or any sport obviously!).
Caroline Abkar: What is the Deft culture going to embrace?
Morris Nuspl: My partner in this endeavor and I have a desire to create a corporate culture very different than ones we’ve worked in earlier in our careers. We realize how important culture is to customer satisfaction, and we know our employees hold the keys. When you have a sincere, fair, and positive corporate culture and happy employees who know how to have fun, yet still be professional, customers will in turn sense it and will tend to love the atmosphere.
Yes we are Craft Brewery who is going to focus on making really good beer; but equally more important, we want a truly customer-centric business where guests and employees alike feel welcome, comfortable, and they want to come back and bring friends again and again.
In addition to enjoying our beers, we hope some of our guests will want to engage with us and give us feedback when they are here; that feedback is incredibly valuable in our efforts to perfect our beers. We also want to give our guests the opportunity to be enriched in some way. There are a lot of people out there who want to get into the craft beer culture but don’t know much about beer and brewing or even what to order. Our menu will include more info about each beer style so guests new to the craft beer scene can make an informed choice, and perhaps even learn a little something new. We really can’t wait to share our delicious Deft Brewing beer with our guests from Bay Park and elsewhere.
About the owner: Morris Nuspl is the proud co-founder and co-owner of Deft Brewing located at 5328 Banks Street, Ste A, San Diego, CA 92110. Make sure to follow Deft Brewing’s Facebook page and check out their website at http://deftbrewing.com/ where you can sign up for the Deft VIP mailing list!
About the author: Caroline Abkar is a Real Estate professional who is absolutely passionate about helping her clients with one of the most important decisions of their lives. She loves to be an advocate for those who place their trust in her and will go above and beyond to serve anyone needing her real estate services. She also loves bringing the community together any way she can. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.