Locally based Karl Strauss Brewing Co. recently opened its seventh brewery restaurant in the 4S Ranch community near Rancho Bernardo.

The new 8,243-square-foot location is at 10448 Reserve Drive and employs 100, according to a company statement. The location houses a 253-seat restaurant and bar, along with a seven-barrel brew house, and represents an investment by the company of approximately $1.5 million.

This is the company’s first new brewery restaurant to open in more than 10 years. The company said it has expanded its beer distribution beyond San Diego in the past decade, going from 20,000 barrels in 2002 to 50,000 barrels projected for 2012.

“Now that we’ve increased our capacity and set the foundation for growth, it’s the right time to open another brewery restaurant,” said Matt Rattner, the company’s president and co-founder.

Karl Strauss was founded in 1989 and has its headquarters and main brewery in Pacific Beach.