Explore North Park

Craft Beer Block Brewery Spotlight: Thorn St. Brewery

As we count down to the SDCCU Festival of Arts Craft Beer Block on May 21, Explore North Park will be spotlighting the North Park breweries who are participating.


At Thorn St. Brewery, it’s not just about the beer. It’s about the community who bonds together through the beer.

Away from the craft beer mecca that is 30th Street, is the laid-back neighborhood brewery Thorn St. Brewery is nestled in a residential area for a cozy, rustic feel. Thorn makes your brewery experience as community-driven as possible with its beautiful, naturally lit kid-friendly and dog-friendly space.

“We’re one of the first, if not the first, neighborhood brewery,” said Dennis O’ Connor, one of the founders. “We’re not in the thick of things in North Park, but just wander off the beaten path a bit to wander into our neck of the woods.”

The spot has always had its roots in craft beer, though it hasn’t always been a brewery. It used to function as a home brewing supply store up until early 2012, when the owner had an epiphany he liked making beer more so than selling the supplies to do so. Thus, Dennis O’ Connor, Dan Carrico and Eric O’ Connor combined their home brewing knowledge and beer smarts to transform Home Brew and Garden into North Park’s beloved Thorn St. Brewery.

The brewery has a tremendous appreciation for the neighborhood it serves. Their website summarizes it accurately:

“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.”

Thorn St. Brewery is involved in the SDCCU Festival of Arts in more than just the Craft Beer Block. The brewery’s own beertender Rob Gallo is a member of Vokab Kompany, who will be headlining the main stage of the festival, on 30th & University. Gallo’s Vokab Kompany is an innovative genre-bender fusion of electronic and hip-hop influences, creating a sound and flavor entirely fresh and all their own. To commemorate one of their beertenders performing in the festival, Thorn St. Brewery is hosting a special SDCCU Festival of Arts pre-party on May 21 with drink specials where you can party with the crew from Vokab Company.

The SDCCU Festival of Arts pre-party is one of many of their fun events that dot their calendar. Some of these community get-togethers include Open Mic Nights, Trivia Nights, Taco Tuesdays (where kids eat free) and $3 pint nights. Some of San Diego’s favorite food trucks make stops at their beer bar to pair with your pint, such as Devilicious, Haad Sai Thai, Mastiff Sausage Company, Devilicious, Simply Fresh, Caliano and many more.

Thorn Street’s beer list has a tremendous range, truly something for everyone. They’ve nailed everyone’s favorite IPA, but also boast an impressive range of porters, belgians, ambers, reds and stouts. They subscribe to a philosophy of using the freshest, purest ingredients with no artificial additives.

Their beers:

  • Lpenglow, Imperial Red Ale

  • Hipster’s Wit, Belgian Style Witbier

  • Abbey Roof, Belgian Style Quad

  • Santos Coffee Stout, Stout

  • Saison Du Parque SUD/South Park Saison, Saison

  • Tropic Daze, IPA

  • Abbey Wall, Abbey Dubbel

  • Castaway Coconut Porter, Coconut Porter

  • Double Oh Seven, English Pale Ale


What will Thorn St. Brewery (and Vokab Kompany) have in store for the SDCCU Festival of Arts? Be there May 21 to discover for yourself.


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