8Bit Brewing Company Combines Beer with Nostalgia
When Chris Keyson, Co-Owner of the new 8Bit Brewing Company, was choosing the perfect name for his business, he and his partners looked no further than a favorite childhood hobby the eighties generation all shared.
“We thought about what we all had in common, outside of the passion for great beer, and video games of the 8Bit era, like Frogger and Joust, rose to the top,” Keyson said. “The late eighties and early nineties were the time when the internet came into existence and the world changed. Pixelated art reached iconic status. We knew we could have a lot of fun with it and we believe our customers can relate.”
With a beer mug logo bearing a striking resemblance to the antagonist of a popular eighties dot-eating yellow guy, 8 Bit Brewing Company weaves the pixelated motif of such an iconic generation into the representation of their products; with each beer being assigned its own googly-eyed icon.
“The beauty behind pixelated artwork is simplicity and our beer mug is no different,” Keyson said. “Our main mug is our logo, but each beer has its own story and mug to go along with it. Our mug isn’t a ghost from Pacman, but instead our characters can be whomever we need them to be, heroes and villains alike.”
Though the Temecula Valley is peppered with excellent microbrews, 8Bit Brewing Company sets itself apart from the crowd by offering a stellar and diverse full menu of specialty appetizers like tater tot poutine and bratwurst corndogs, as well as salads and entrees like sausage and peppers, their “brewstro” burger and gourmet grilled cheese.
“Our chef, Jonathan Perez, is fine dining trained with years of experience in the gastropub industry,” Keyson said. “Jonathan controls the menu and gives his team a lot of freedom and flexibility to experiment and make changes. We call our kitchen ‘the Brewstro,’ and they take it seriously.”
Recently opening their doors in Murrieta, the owners of 8Bit knew they were establishing their business in a community full of young families and chose to offer a children’s menu as a way to happily welcomes patrons with kids.
Though they do offer a stellar food menu, 8Bit Brewing Company’s signature product is, of course, the beer and their current libation lineup includes several diverse IPA’s, a chocolate lager, an American stout and several others; assuring something for everyone of age.
“We recognize that not everyone is a hop head and we have less hoppy beers for those who don’t care for the ‘punch you in the face’ bitter experience,” Keyson said. “The beauty behind the food and beverage industry is realizing that everything is not for everyone and the challenge is to make at least one thing that every customer will like.”
Having only been open for 12 weeks, 8Bit Brewing Company is just getting their relationship with the community started but, as members of the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, they are jumping in with both feet by helping sponsor upcoming charity golf tournaments and future fun runs. In keeping with theme, 8Bit hopes to soon start hosting fundraising video game tournaments at the brewery to give back to the community they call home.
Currently adding a patio with outdoor seating, fire pits, televisions and a (fitting) arcade, as well as an event space that holds up to 150 guests, 8Bit Brewing Company intends to keep growing right alongside the ever-expanding City of Murrieta; giving their neighbors a place to hang out, have some great food and drinks, and just enjoy themselves.
“Be part of your where you live,” Keyson said. “That’s what makes a city a community.”
ADDRESS: 26755 Jefferson Avenue, Suite F, Murrieta
Sunday: 11 am – 8pm
Monday: 11 am – 8pm
Tuesday: 11 am – 8pm
Wednesday: 11 am – 8pm
Thursday: 11 am – 9pm
Friday: 11 am – 9pm
Saturday: 11 am – 9pm
OWNER: Chris Keyson and Susan Arnold
WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Original microbrews including “Fandom of the Hopera” Imperial IPA and “True Brewmance” Mosaic IPA as well as selections from other breweries such as Ballast Point and Saint Archer. Appetizers including ratatouille lettuce wraps, bacon jalapeno popper dip, mushroom mac and cheese; entrees including an Asian BBQ pulled pork sandwich, chicken caprese panini and a shrimp po boy; mini corn dogs or mac and cheese for the kids.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “We built the business from a customer’s perspective,” Keyson said. “Every business needs to make money to survive, but that survival is predicated on customers choosing to come in, and then choosing to come back. We are not perfect and don’t pretend to be, but we do the best we can and strive for perfection. We knew we had to create great beer but we also wanted to create a wonderful experience.”
(A version of this story was first published in the San Diego Union Tribune)