Business

'Queens of Beer' to open first LGBT brewery ever in San Diego

“This is Britney Spears!” quips the guy who picks up the phone at Mo’s Universe, owner of three popular restaurants and bars that cater to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clientele in San Diego.

This month, as communities around the country celebrate gay pride, the company – now calling itself the “Queens of Beer” – is gearing up to launch what it’s calling the first “out and proud” brewery in the world.

One slogan, according to spokesman Eddie Reynoso? “We’re here, we’re queer and we love beer.”

At 2,000 square feet, Hillcrest Brewing Co. will be able to sit 60 guests comfortably inside. There’s an open ceiling, concrete floors and a 15-foot chandelier made with beer bottles. Customers will be served homemade microbrews and specialty pizzas created in stone ovens.

Sound more or less like any other brewery? That’s the point, Reynoso said.

Breweries under LGBT management exist, he said, but they tend to market themselves very quietly to fellow gays and lesbians, if at all. Beer labels such as Purple Hand and Salamandra from Mexico are often infused with fruity flavors and honey – “and that just feeds stereotypes,” he said.

“We decided that we were going to market ourselves differently,” Reynoso said. “We’re just like anyone else – everything we do is in line with our heterosexual counterparts. We want it to be a welcoming place where people can come in and have an amazing-tasting beer.”

Beer with “outrageous, over the top” names such as Brain Lubricant and other, raunchier options.

Hillcrest Brewing Co. soft-opens Friday night and will have its official grand opening ceremony later this month. The event, Reynoso said, will likely coincide with the 43rd anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which helped kick off the gay rights movement in the U.S.

Pressure’s on you, Castro.

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