San Diego craft beer enthusiasts, this is worth a toast: a local independent brewery is expanding this week, opening its third tasting room, this time in Mission Hills.
Thorn Brewing Co. will open a new location this Friday at 4026 Hawk St., just a skip away from Fort Stockton Drive and the neighborhood’s buzzy Fort Oak restaurant.
On tap at the Mission Hills tasting room is Thorn’s full lineup of craft beers, from IPAs and lagers, to stouts and more.
For co-founders Dennis O’Connor and Eric O’Connor (no relation), the brewery’s expansion into Mission Hills feels like a real homecoming.
"We have always felt connected to Mission Hills because all three Thorn founders have roots in the neighborhood," said Dennis O’Connor.
"It feels great to be opening a tasting room in my old neighborhood," said Eric O’Connor. "Having grown up in Mission Hills, I will always feel like it’s a part of me."
Eric O’Connor, who is also Thorn’s brew master, said his parents still live on Fort Stockton Drive, in the very house he grew up in.
"Thinking of them, and all their friends being able to walk to a neighborhood pub where our beers will be served fresh, just feels right," he added.
Dennis O’Connor said he’s looking forward to watching Thorn sprout in Mission Hills, as the uptown area is home to lots of restaurants and nightlife. The vision is for the tasting room to be a place to kick back and relax with friends.
While this tasting room doesn’t feature a kitchen or offer food, the brewery plans to partner with Fort Oak to create an exclusive menu for Thorn patrons to enjoy in the tasting room. More details on that are forthcoming. Patrons are also allowed to bring in food of their own to enjoy at the brewery.
Thorn’s grand opening party goes down this Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. After that, the Mission Hills location will be open daily from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. The craft brewery’s other two locations are in North Park – Thorn Street Brewing at 3176 Thorn St. – and Barrio Logan, Thorn Brewing Co. at 1745 National Ave
Thorn Brewing Co. began in 2012 as Thorn Street Brewery. The brewery’s expansion into Barrio Logan included beer production on a 30-barrel system; that tasting room boasts 16 rotating taps and many beer-centric events.
This past April, Thorn won five medals for its craft brews at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition, including silver medals for both its Golden Hills Pils (pilsner) and Fornication (Belgian-style strong specialty ale) and bronze honors for its Barrio Lager (American-style lager or malt lager), Relay IPA (American-style strong pale ale), and Marty Zen Marzen (German-style maerzen).
Thorn is part of the nearly 130 craft breweries that currently proudly make up The San Diego Brewers Guild. We’ll cheers to that.