As I grasped the door to open it, I realized the culmination of a year in business granted me the opportunity to forge a new path within the brewery community. Even though our new location will be one tasting bar absent, it will give Mad Lab the fuel it needs to venture into new markets. The Mad Lab Team has learned about our ability to push ourselves far beyond the comfort zone, resulting in a confident, flowing team building experience. In addition, we have met a few unique characters that have branded a mental picture in our memory bank, and their stories always create a jaw dropping moment. We would not change or regret one experience over the past year because each experience or challenge gave Mad Lab the push it needed to mature, and grow as competitive brewery in a sea of creative brewing minds.

Mad Lab will transfer its Federal and State License to the new location within one year, meaning, they have set a goal to start producing by July 2014. The one year period will give Mike the necessary time to resolve his disability with the VA. Last year, Mike discovered 3 herniated discs in his lower and middle spinal area during an MRI; in addition, he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Mike filed his paperwork with the VA 3 month ago, but he will be required to attend several physicals to finalize his disability claim. Once the burners turn on next July, the Mad Lab Team does not want any distractions; therefore, the one year period will allow the Mad Lab Misfits to finalize any personal loose ends.




The finest city in Southern California is riddled with art, history, entertainment and culture that drives the human senses into a stormy whirlwind. The culinary and professional beverage connoisseur does not have to travel far to make their taste buds dance to an endless pallet pleasing playlist of carbonated suds. San Diego does not serve beer, instead, we paint your pallet with an incredible array of full flavored hand crafted artisan ales.

The dedicated craft beer watering places are a sanctuary for Craft Beer Enthusiasts (CBE), but the choices are endless. How do you choose, or do you choose? Why not visit all of them! What attracts the CBE to its personal craft beer cathedral? The second you open the door, cross the threshold and plant your first step is the defining moment that will determine your return trip to this particular craft beer cathedral. It is a combination of sight, sound and the rush of malt and hops that linger in the air. Is this combination the only determining factor? Could there be a secret, hidden connection that tugs at your craft beer spirit? A force that exceeds the boundaries of your sophisticated pallet! A force that can not be defined by your conscious mind, but your subconscious is well aware of this mysterious, emotional connection.

An emotional connection that is shared within your specific community. A craft beer cathedral that reflects and absorbs your values, friendship and social practices. An artisan hand crafted well that allows you to wash away your weekly worries and share local community comradery in a familiar surrounding. Your identity is no longer marked by “Consumer”, instead, you are known by your specific name. A place that serves you and everyone asks you about your week. It is not just a craft beer watering place; it is YOUR craft beer cathedral where you know your known.


The exhilarating & frantic moments of deciphering a puzzle is a heart pumping, adrenaline junkie’s sweet dream. Their eyes become dilated and their hair follicles stand at attention, while their mind races faster than the speed of light. All of this natural blood pumping amphetamine feeds the desire to solve the puzzle. What happens when the puzzle is solved? Does the built up desire satisfy the puzzle solution?

The dream of making the perfect beer resides in the brewer’s puzzle. The endless combination of hops, malt, yeast and filtered water are the pieces of the puzzle that we love to put together; however, the pieces can be rearranged and changed at our beckon call. Are we looking for the perfect puzzle or do we salivate at the opportunity to chase the perfect puzzle? What keeps our interest in rearranging the pieces, so we can create a different puzzle without ever solving it?

The only person that has the answer is the consumer or Craft Beer Enthusiast (CBE). They create the exhilaration as they reach into the cooler and grab the bottle neck. Their heart starts to pump as they walk toward the cash register. As they leave the store, the CBE grips the bottle neck and peers at the logo design to check for the craft beer’s creative pulse. Craft beer pulsating, carbonating neurons travel from the pupils activating the saliva glands, which send the body into a euphoric state.

When the CBE or Craft Beer Enthusiast reaches their destination, they immediately free the craft beer from its chamber and the CBE indulges in the aroma. The ritual of pouring the craft beer into a glass is elegant and heightens the senses of sight, sound and smell. The wait is over, and the solution to the puzzle has been granted. Does the solution to the puzzle satisfy the Craft Beer Enthusiast? The answer is in the heightened arousal of your senses, and the first sip that cleanses your pallet.

3000 pound grain delivery, 3 weeks and 720 gallons of craft beer was the final test of strength after a 9 month culmination of rigorous paperwork licensing craziness. At least, I thought this was the craziness; however, it was only the beginning. Looking back now, the three weeks prior to opening was the most sane moments of Mad Lab. Daphne and I worked 13 hours a day, and we dragged our tired bodies home to recover before the next day began at 6 in the morning. We were definitely working hard, but the stress of this schedule was never going to end.

After 3 weeks of a grueling schedule to prepare for opening day, we visited our first and only account, which was the Bullpen Tavern in Imperial Beach. Our good friend, Evan, was the owner, and he proposed a “Beer Release Party” at his establishment. The three of us sat down and planned the swaray within one hour. Then it happened! I started to breath deep and heavy and look of panic surfaced on my face. Daphne asked, “What is wrong with you?” Evan pointed his finger at me and laughed. I stood there between them in disbelief. It had finally become a reality, and I was so busy that I never processed it. I owned a brewery and people that I did not know were going to order and drink my beer. They were going to have a public opinion about the beer. They were going to tell their friends and family about Mad Lab. It was no longer an aspiration, instead, it was a reality staring me in the face.

The “Beer Release Party” was a success, and Mad Lab still has a tap handle at the “Bullpen Tavern”. 9 months later, it is still a shock to see Mad Lab on a tap lineup; however, I no longer leave the room in a panic when someone orders our beer. Instead, I introduce myself and answer their questions with ease. When we say, “We are excited to serve you.” We really mean it because the journey from grain to glass was filled with Stress, Sweat & Panic.

An eight month old Nano Brewery continues to crawl, while they learn and experience the harsh business reality world. A constant brewing schedule reflects the popularity of the craft beer lineup, but the small brewing system leaves a bitter, sweet victory. What are some of the difficult experiences the owners have encountered? What are the pitfalls of self distribution? These two questions are not specific to Mad Lab, instead, they are common to small scale breweries.

Small brewery test trials and learning experiences are necessary for growth, but the old adage is true. We grow through pain, and it takes a solid core to surge through the pain. The pain starts with, not asking the right questions. Ignorance can be bliss, but it does not lead to salvation. This is a statement that I have mastered well. If you do not have the experience to make the right decisions, you will learn through painful situations. Even though working in the brewing industry gives you experience, it does not cover every situation. Hiring the right professionals such as a lawyer and CPA is needed; however, they can not save you from every blind corner. Be prepared to experience scheduling shortfalls, delivery logistic problems, being take advantage of and hustled, inventory shortfalls, distribution problems and paying more taxes than you can imagine.

If the pain is difficult to bare, why continue to surge forward down this path? Everyone wants to be creative and academically stimulated. Everyone wants to take that independent leap, but the price of fear is steep. Once you get past the fear, the pain is not forever. Once you have stock piled a locker full of painful experiences, you know the right questions to ask and you can foresee the pitfalls ahead.

This is the reason an eight month old South Bay Nano Brewery continues to crawl. They are not aware of all the right questions to ask, but they have stored alot of painful experiences in their locker.




Hi Mad Lab Fan,

We are very busy this year, and we are streamlining our feedback system; therefore, we can better serve you.

Daphne and I are serving 18 business accounts, 2 craft beer festivals in March, 2 Craft Beer Festivals in July, Craft Beer Week is coming up in May, maintaining the tasting bar and keeping up with production scheduling to keep the Mad Lab machine moving forward.

However, your feedback is paramount to our growth and development. With our busy schedule and limited staff, we do not have the dedicated time to check craft beer mobile applications. Therefore, we have developed a specific feedback system that will address your needs and fuel our growth.

If you need or want to contact us about our product, you can send us an e-mail to If you are a facebook user, you can send us a message on facebook. If you would like to follow up with a phone call, Daphne and I would be happy to talk to you.

If you love our product, we recommend taking these steps:

1. Contact us via e-mail ( or facebook message.

2. Tell us “Why” you like the product. Please be specific

If the product does not communicate hand crafted passion or you are disappointed, we recommend these steps:

1. Contact us via e-mail ( or facebook message.

2. Tell us “Why” you dislike the product and where you purchased it. Please be specific

3. Follow up with a phone call (619-254-6478).

Mad Lab Craft Brewing is proud of our product, and we are passionate about hand crafted beer. We run toward challenges, so we can grow and nurture of consumer relationship.


Mad Lab Craft Brewing

6120 Business Center CT Suite F-700

San Diego, CA

Welcome to the Perfect Pint!

We have a limited supplies at this time, but we will build a larger inventory over the next few weeks. We have a 3 roller grinder, so you can crush your grains. Grains are sold by the pound, Hops are sold in 2oz varieties and we have yeast packets. For any questions, call Daphne McFarland at 619-254-6478.



Rahr 2 Row ($1 p/lb)                 Biscuit Malt ($1.65 p/lb)

Crystal 15L ($1.55 p/lb)          Honey Malt ($1.65 p/lb)

Caravienne ($1.65 p/lb)          Vienna ($1.65 p/lb)

Crystal 45L ($1.55 p/lb)          Munich Type I ($1.65 p/lb)

Roasted Barley ($1.85 p/lb)   Crystal 77L ($1.55 p/lb)

Crystal 60L ($1.55 p/lb)          Peated Malt ($1.85 p/lb)

Carafa Type I ($1.85 p/lb)       Chocolate Malt ($1.85 p/lb)

Flaked Corn ($1 p/lb)                Rolled Oats ($1 p/lb)

Hops (2oz varities $3.99)

Columbus           Super Galena          Tettnanger

Williamette        Brewer’s Gold         Bullion



Fermentis US-05 (American Ale Yeast, $3.99 p/packet)                            Fermentis S-04 (English Ale Yeast, $3.79 p/packet)

White Labs Abbey Ale Yeast ($7.99 p/vial)

If you think you are bigger than your size represents, you might fall down. The fall can be hurtful, but the lessons you learn are more important. If you do not reflect long enough to learn the mistakes that you make, the next fall will be more detrimental to your emotional stability and self-worth. The feeling of inadequacy can be minimized by self-reflection. This is the hardest activity for anyone to complete. You will actually have to be honest with yourself because the act of true self-reflection will pave the road of your success.

We have only been in business for a few months, but we have learned more than we ever thought possible. I have kept my mind and eyes open to every consumer that I have encountered. Even though some of the feed back is difficult to absorb, it is important to be attentive and listen. Every person has something to offer; therefore, I do not react to challenging comments. Instead, I absorb everything and review the conversation in my mind at a later time. When I am in a relaxed state, I find the information that will make our brewery better or help us grow to the next level. This raises an important question. What is the next level?

We have recently discovered that many people like the idea of unfiltered craft beer; however, only a few people actually like unfiltered craft beer. Two completely different concepts with varying outcomes. Our final decision over several months of deliberation, we have decided to filter all of our beers. What else have we discovered?

Brewing two batches of beer back to back allows us to use 60 gallon fermenters and save on fermentation space, but it is not practical. The day is extremely long, and we have limited our selves on the amount of brewing days per week. If we brew one batch of beer per day before we open, we can increase our productivity. In addition, the brew day is shorter, and we can package beer in the afternoon as well. Also, the long brew day inhibits your attention span; therefore, the ability for mistakes to occur has increased.

We are a very young brewery that is trying to find our niche in a saturated market. At the same time, we are the first local craft brewery in South Bay. A unique combination that still requires us to pay attention to our consumers, be competitive and continue to grow in an expanding market place.

If you ever get the time, we would like to meet you and hear what you have to say. If you have not seen us in a while, we would like to serve you again. From our family to yours, we wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Mad Lab Craft Brewing, Daily Video


Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm; Sunday 11am-4pm; Closed Monday


6120 Business Center CT Suite F-700; San Diego, CA 92154  We are across the street from the DMV


2oz Taster Flight $2.75

8oz Taster $2.25

Pint Taster $4.00

22oz Bottle; You Call It! $5.25

32oz Growler Container $5.50

32oz Growler Fill: Prices Vary

Half Gallon Fill: Prices Vary

T-Shirts $16.50

Gift Certificates: Any Amount

Brewery Events:

Friday Pints: $3 Pints 6pm-7:30pm

Friday Raffle Madness: 6:30pm-7:30pm

Saturday Afternoon Suds: $3 Pints 4pm-6pm

Craft Beer Festivals


Bars on Tap

Bullpen Tavern: Imperial Beach, CA

K Pasta: Imperial Beach, CA

San Diego Brew Project: San Diego


MAD LAB PRESENTS, “Release the Madness Home Brew Contest”!

South Bay’s first local craft brewery, Mad Lab Craft Brewing, will never forget their brewing roots. The Mad Lab Team is excited to experience your carbonated creativity that encompasses aroma, mouth feel and unique style that personifies your personality.

Home Brew Contest #1 Guidelines

  • All Grain Brewing ONLY, no extract
  • Any Beer Style except IPA’s and Dark Beers
  • Name your beer (Nothing Vulgar or Offensive)
  • Force carbonation or natural carbonation
  • Deliver two 12oz bottles or one 22oz bottle to Mad Lab Craft Brewing Tasting Room August 6- August 11 during operating hours
  • Winner announced August 13th via Facebook Video
  • Winner will brew 10 gallons of their beer at Mad Lab Craft Brewing, and it will be put on tap.
  • Revenue earning from winning beer on tap will be donated to Wounded Warriors
  • $2 entry fee for each beer style entered into contest

 Judging Criteria

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Aroma
  4. Balance
  5. mouth feel and flavor
  6. Carbonation

 Home Brew Contest #2 Guidelines

  • All Grain Brewing ONLY, no extract
  • IPA’s ONLY
  • Name your beer (Nothing Vulgar or Offensive)
  • Force carbonation or natural carbonation
  • Deliver two 12oz bottles or one 22oz bottle to Mad Lab Craft Brewing Tasting Room September 3- September 8 during operating hours
  • Winner announced September 10th via Facebook Video
  • Winner will brew 10 gallons of their beer at Mad Lab Craft Brewing on September 14th, and it will be put on tap.
  • Revenue earning from winning beer on tap will be donated to Wounded Warriors
  • $2 entry fee for each beer style entered into contest

 Judging Criteria

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Aroma
  4. Balance
  5. mouth feel and flavor
  6. Carbonation

Home Brew Contest #3 Guidelines

  • All Grain Brewing ONLY, no extract
  • Dark Beer Styles ONLY
  • Name your beer (Nothing Vulgar or Offensive)
  • Force carbonation or natural carbonation
  • Deliver two 12oz bottles or one 22oz bottle to Mad Lab Craft Brewing Tasting Room October 1- October 6 during operating hours
  • Winner announced September 10th via Facebook Video
  • Winner will brew 10 gallons of their beer at Mad Lab Craft Brewing on October 8th, and it will be put on tap.
  • Revenue earning from winning beer on tap will be donated to Wounded Warriors
  • $2 entry fee for each beer style entered into contest

 Judging Criteria

  1. Color
  2. Clarity
  3. Aroma
  4. Balance
  5. mouth feel and flavor
  6. Carbonation

South Bay desperately needs a Homebrew Supply Store. Why? First, we do not have one. Second, have you seen the gas prices! Do we have to go broke getting to the Homebrew Store? Anyway, I know this is on everyone’s mind.

We will be selling hops, grains and yeast. It is not a huge inventory to choose from; however, we will build over time. With an economy that is in a nose dive, we will provide prices that can be digested, but we need everyone to have patience with our selections.

Honestly, the item that is holding us back from selling supplies today is hops. I have made a short list of hops to purchase, and we will make the order this month. We have to order hops soon because the brewery is running low on hops as well.

We will not sell equipment, instead, we will teach you how to make it with our DIY classes. If a DIY class is not scheduled, we welcome you to make a suggestion and we will schedule a class that fits the needs of the homebrew community.

We are not backed by an investor, therefore, we do not have deep pockets. If a particular malt, yeast or hops is not available, we apoligize for the inconvenience. We want to serve the community with quality products, but we are working on a budget as well.

I will post another blog that will show our current inventory plus prices, and you are welcome to come down and purchase what is on the list.