The location at 3176 Thorn Street was up until early 2012 a local outlet called Home Brews and Gardens. The shop was loved by local patrons but owner Dennis O’Connor realized that he liked making beer a lot more than he did selling supplies to do so. He teamed up with avid home brewers and fellow San Diego natives Dan Carrico and Eric O’Connor to start the project that would transform the former local home brew shop into Thorn Street Brewery. The renovated space has been transformed into a beautiful tasting room with a 7 barrel brew house in a large open naturally lit back room. Local designer Pat Wilkening (Red Craft Custom Design) has been instrumental in the creative development of the property and has created something truly unique in the neighborhood. It is our sincere hope that our hard work will result in a place that you can truly feel cozy and welcome in.
In days long past, each little village had its own brewer. The brewery was often just an extension of the brewers’ residence that often doubled as a tavern, somewhere folks would gather after a hard days work to discuss politics, philosophy, and the lack of rain. These brewery/taverns also served a vital community function, where families would gather for festivals and where quiet words of dissent could be spoken freely. Sadly, almost all of these types of breweries were wiped out by the depression, prohibition, and the second world war. Even in Europe to a large degree the smaller town breweries were replaced by large scale industrialized lager factories that through superior imagery and advertising offered promises of a better tomorrow. I think it’s clear that as Americans and especially San Diegans that we’ve spoken and we are clearly saying “we want a better beer!”
At Thorn Street Brewery, we are committed to bringing the neighborhood brewery back to reality and making you that better beer. We can think of no better neighborhood than North Park to begin this project. It’s a neighborhood where folks pride themselves on walking or riding their bike to get locally produced food, where people devote large parts of their property to growing their own edibles, where people love gardening, fishing, and of course brewing their own beers. No where that I have seen in a major city is there such a community where the residents seem so bound together by a common philosophy. Reduce your carbon footprint, eat local, buy local, produce something local, be self sufficient as much as you can, smile, and please try to leave the world a little better than you found it, because, after all, we are just renting it.
We want you, local residents to be able to walk or ride your bike down to a working brewery, to taste the daily offerings, talk to the brewers about the processes and ingredients that led to the glass, pick whatever brew suits your mood, and take some home with you. We will only use the freshest, purest ingredients and earnestly brew each batch as if it was only for ourselves. We will add no artificial additives to our beers. The reinheitsgebot, a Bavarian beer purity law passed in 1516 states that no brewer shall use anything other than water, barley, hops, and yeast to their beer. We do like using things like honey, vanilla, orange peel, coriander, coffee, chilis, and chocolate to our beers. We don’t like to limit ourselves or your beers obeying a 500 year old German law. We do however respect the spirit of the law, use only pure ingredients and make great beer, hide nothing from the people. It’s our new reinheitsgebot, and it is our pledge to you, North Park.