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Novo Brazil Expands Restaurant, Kombucha Businesses

FOOD/BEVERAGES: New Locations Planned for Mission Valley, San Antonio

Things are hopping at Novo Brazil Brewing Company.

The craft brewery that started in the Chula Vista suburb of Eastlake in 2015 has grown into a $15 million business for Brazil native and CEO Tiago Carneiro with its line of award-winning beer and kombucha sold in stores around San Diego County, and brick-and-mortar locations in the region.

In addition to the 20,000-square foot original Eastlake brewery, Novo Brazil Brewing has had a 12,000-square foot brewpub in Otay Ranch since 2019, and last November, Novo Brazil opened a 10,500-square foot brewpub in the Imperial Beach’s Bikeway Village.

There is also Nova’s, a 2,000-square foot “Nova Easy” kombucha taproom in Ocean Beach that opened at the end of 2020.

Sports-Forward Venues

A sports-forward venue at all locales, Novo Brazil also has a dedicated spot inside Snapdragon Stadium, home to San Diego State University’s football team, San Diego Wave FC, San Diego Legion (rugby) and the San Diego MLS coming in 2025.

“We love sports, we are big believers in San Diego, and especially being from Brazil, we love soccer; we have embraced soccer in San Diego,” Carneiro said. “Our goal has been to be the most well-known brewery in the South Bay. We decided it was time to move north and bring this experience all over San Diego.”

Earlier this year, under the High Flying Foods umbrella, Novo Brazil snagged a spot in the coming Terminal 1 expansion at San Diego International Airport. The 2,000-square foot location, which should open when the first phase of the new T1 is finished, will showcase Novo’s beers and kombucha.

More expansion is coming, just up the freeway. Carneiro will open a new brewpub/restaurant in Mission Valley in November. Novo Brazil will take over a 10,000-square foot spot that formerly housed Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, next to a vacant Macy’s. Both spots closed in 2017.

Carneiro said that he typically looks for areas that are empty, could use some TLC and are in need of activation.

“The mall in Mission Valley was not so activated,” he said. “We wanted to bring something new to the community. We want to be the place to go as a sports (themed) brewery. We’ll have four massive LED-screen TVs, 20 feet each. Plus, a 2,000-square foot patio.”

Mike Moser of Retail Insite helped him find the Mission Valley location. Moser said Carneiro’s success is no surprise, that Novo Brazil has “the perfect combination with the food and the beverage lines that are all his own product.”

Carneiro has also brought a little disruption to the sports bar scene, Moser said.

“Really a lot of the sports bars you see around are very old and dated, or they’re maybe tired concepts,” he said. “He’s a little unique also in that he’s putting in these massive TV screens, and the way he’s designed it and is setting it up. There aren’t a lot of people in this lane doing it the way he is.”

First Out-of-State Market

Carneiro said he is in the planning stages of Novo Brazil’s first site outside of California – in San Antonio, Texas in – 2024. Other future plans include a North County location.

“We had 10 employees when we first opened; now we have 100,” Carneiro said. “We’ve gone from (annual revenues of) $1 million by the end of 2018 to $15 million this year and we’re looking at $25 million in 2024.”

Carneiro said he doesn’t have investors. He said he landed in San Diego in 2014 with plans to use his knowledge of both the brewing business and restaurant business – both enterprises his family ran in Brazil.

“I moved here because I know this is the land of opportunity,” he said. “Even though there would be a lot of challenges, I knew that here in America if you are hard-working and believe in yourself, you can do it. I also came to the perfect place – San Diego, where things are booming everywhere.”

Novo Brazil Brewing Company

FOUNDED: 2015
FOUNDER: Tiago Carneiro
HEADQUARTERS: Eastlake, Chula Vista
BUSINESS: Food and Beverage
REVENUE: $15 million (2023 expected)
EMPLOYEES: 100
WEBSITE: novobrew.com and novakombucha.com
CONTACT: 619-869-4274 or contact@novobrew.com
NOTABLE: Supporters of local sports teams, including San Diego Wave, ALBION, Olympic Training Center athletes, and San Diego State athletics at Snapdragon Stadium.

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