The Old Harbor Warehouse is a clear span building much like an aeroplane hangar. It is located on 17th & K Street in the East Village of San Diego, California. We came to decision that this was the space for us for a number of reasons: Location. Size. Layout & Materials.
East Village is in our eyes, the next frontier for development in San Diego. When you look at the above photo there is a clear difference in height between the Gaslamp Quarter/Marina/Civic Core/Columbia and East Village. There are about 13 new high rises going into EV over the next few years along with lots of new businesses and restaurants. We want to be a catalyst for the area by bringing some local flavors to our hood. Beyond that we are a few blocks from the San Diego Harbor from which we take our name.
Spanning one hundred by seventy-five feet for a total of 7,500 square feet this space is considerably larger than any start up distillery would need. However we are in this for the long haul and intend to be able to add additional still capacity while having room for all the barrels and infrastructure needed to support producing a goodly sum of whiskey, rum, gin and the like.
This was a clear span warehouse. Which means we could pretty much do anything we wanted inside. This allowed us to design the space to our specifications. The only existing structure in the warehouse was the top right room, which unfortunately was not up to current code, so we got to tear it out and replace it with a fire-code friendly room while expanding the restroom to meet current ADA standards. We also added the tasting room, entrance, two offices, proofing room, bottling room, finished product storage room, sump pump room & a brand new emergency exit!
We believe that whiskey is greatly altered by the environment in which it ages. Specifically temperature and humidity will effect the evaporation rates of water and ethanol out of the barrel. It’s a complicated subject that we will get into later, but ideally there will be fairly wide temperature swings over short-ish periods of time. Our building is made out of concrete & corrugated steel. We have seen some dramatic temperature changes inside thanks to the huge metal roof that absorbs the suns energy and radiates it into our warehouse while the large concrete floor and open air expanse of the warehouse will allow it to cool drastically during the night.