Back in the mid-1980s, San Diego was void of the thriving beer scene it has today. In fact, the city hadn’t seen fresh beer since Prohibition, and the term “craft beer” didn’t exist. But that wasn’t going to stop Chris Cramer and Matt Rattner; two college buddies eager to change the status quo. Inspired by a brewpub Chris came upon while backpacking through Australia, the pair had a dream: bring local, handcrafted beer back to San Diego.
With the help of Chris’s cousin, Master Brewer Karl M. Strauss, it was on February 2, 1989 that Karl Strauss Brewing Company officially opened its doors in downtown San Diego and kicked off the city’s craft beer industry. Happily, as Karl Strauss Brewing Company grew, so did the industry as a whole.
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