IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — A taproom and restaurant in Imperial Beach is now serving coffee, the most recent business addition the company has made since the pandemic began.
The shaded patio at Mike Hess Brewing in Imperial Beach quickly fills up with customers wanting their favorite local brews and tacos. But on Thursday, they started serving up another kind of brew.
"The big transition for us was just a learning curve for making coffee," general manager Aaron Stillwell said.
Stillwell said the company is no stranger to trying new things in the middle of the pandemic.
"With everything going on with COVID, it's been tough times for everybody. Restaurants especially have taken a big hit," Stillwell said.
Last year, when their taprooms had to shut down, they switched gears from pouring to canning their beer. Then, to keep their other employees working, they used their alcohol to create hand sanitizer.
"Be with the times and change what you need to in order to stay alive, you know?" Stillwell said.
Now, after many months of low sales, the new coffee stand allows the company to increase its hours of operation. It is something their employees and community have been wanting.
"The coffee out here in IB isn't available until around 9 a.m. in most places. There's a couple of places that are open earlier. But that was kind of our push to get the call-around," Stillwell said. "It's a brew and a brew. Basically, we're all-around brewers over here!"
So far, Mike Hess' Imperial Beach location is the only one with a coffee bar.