A new brewery, with a unique story, is taking on the well-established craft-brewing scene in San Diego. Dubbed Airdale Brewing Company, the brewery is founded by Tony Clarke, a former Naval aviator with a passion for home brewing. “I wanted to be a part of the incredible craft beer scene here in San Diego,” says Clarke who worked as a flight instructor at NAS North Island on Coronado.
So what inspired Clarke to take this career chance? A combination of things factored in, from his desire to work for himself to his passion for craft beer to a need to challenge himself. But in the end, he simply wanted to create great craft beer. Armed with a self-written business plan, investment money from friends and family, a brewery to brew at, and an award-winning local brewmaster in brewer David Lusk, Clarke brewed Airdale’s first batch in August. And his gamble paid off. Now Airdale’s three beers—Altitude (an American pale ale), Horizon (an American Hefeweizen), and Homecoming (a spiced holiday porter)—can be found in more than a dozen notable local establishments, including the USS Midway Museum, Local Pub & Eatery, Point Loma Sports Grill & Pub, and Neighborhood.
Airdale’s success stems from the fact that Clarke and Lusk use only the finest malts and hops available, paired with premium yeast strains and water tailor-conditioned for each specific beer style. And San Diego serves as the perfect backdrop for such a launch, with its unbeatable aviation culture and more than 30 microbreweries and brewpubs located in the area. “I wanted to make quality, artisan ales for people who choose to work hard and play hard!” Clarke says.
Founded in 2008 by Tony Clarke and brewmaster David Lusk, Airdale Brewing Company (airdalebrewing.com) embodies a passion for aviation, and a love of great beer.