Tom Vogel, Owner & General Manger
I have wanted to open a bar, or pizza brewery for years. I have made offers on what I thought would be good locations, but the numbers never really worked. I thought I would have to wait until retirement. Then for some reason, one day I was drinking at Port Brewing Company in San Marcos with some buddies, looked around and just decided I was going to open a brewery, and that was it.
I have been a back yard brewer and wine maker for many years now, and loved what I was making. At the same time I was playing poker with Troy Smith from Coronado Brewing Company, and he was helping me make beer. So one day I just asked him if he wanted to do his own thing. Troy said yes. So I had the brewer I wanted. I figured that was a pretty good start.
I met Dave Mobley, an accomplished Architect, in a wine class several years ago, and we started making our own wines together. One day he asked me if I was still going to open a brewery, and I told him I was. He asked if he could partner up, and after about an hour of both of us saying we didn’t like the idea of partnerships, we decided to forget about it and hit the local San Diego breweries. By the time we were at the 5th (and last) one, Stone Brewing Company, Dave said, “That’s it! Let’s do this! I love these places.”
Now since I had the brewer and a partner, my wife was much more agreeable to me moving forward and that was the last piece of the puzzle. With my new found team in place, and the help of a few hearty home brews, Belching Beaver was born!