Modern Times Brewing: Open-Source Brewing

By Kirby Bennett

Opening a new brewery is not only hard work, it’s also exciting, especially when you pass a huge milestone like finding the perfect location and signing a lease. No one knows this better right now than Jacob McKean. Formerly the social media coordinator at Stone Brewing Co., McKean just signed a lease for Modern Times Beer in the Point Loma area of San Diego, close to both Old Town and Ocean Beach.

This location is kismet as McKean explains in his newsletter:

“The building, quite by chance, is located in an apropos location: Point Loma. You see, way back in the late 19th Century, Point Loma was more or less uninhabited, until a group of eccentric communitarians moved in and established Lomaland, a “Theosophical” utopian community that is now Point Loma Nazarene University. Modern Times Beer…takes its name from a 19th Century utopian community on Long Island, NY.”

McKean chose this name because he is “fascinated by the colorful, ambitious little pockets of history that develop in the folds of progress, the forgotten little paradises that barely register in the onward rush of civilization.”

Modern Times Beer is going to be possibly the worlds first open-source brewery. They intend to post all of their recipes online and expect feedback from homebrewers, fans, and craft beer lovers alike. They believe “the beauty of open source is that it allows for the collective intelligence of a community to create something better than any singular entity could achieve”, stating that “even on our best days, we cannot muster a fraction of the intelligence, experience, and cleverness of the homebrewing hive mind.”

Brewer Michael Tonsmeire, has been working closely with McKean on recipe development, and posting the process and results on his blog, The Mad Fermentationist. In the works are Nelson Nectar IPA, an oatmeal coffee stout, a hoppy rye, and a hoppy wheat. They are working like “crazed lemurs” to open Modern Times Brewing, but in the meantime check out their Facebook page and keep an eye out for prototype tastings in the San Diego area.