Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Brewery Project: Thorn St.

On an unassuming street in the heart of San Diego sits an unassuming brewery.  Thorn St. Brewery, on Thorn St. oddly enough, presents itself as a quaint little tasting room.  As you walk in the front door a moderately sized bar immediately greets you.  A couple of bar-height tables are to the left, and a cozy nook to the right houses another small seating area.  I liked the look and feel of the place immediately.  A tasting flight of 8 beers was reasonably priced at $6, which made me even happier.  The beers were good, each sticking to their respective styles nicely.  I liked the Belgian Strong Ale a lot, but found the American Strong Ale unmemorable.  I really liked the IPA, which was very smooth.  Their Chili Pale Ale was very balanced, with no heat at all on the tongue, but a nice warm finish in the back of the throat.  Not a huge fan of Stouts, I liked their Stout better than their Coffee Stout.  Both were similar, but the addition of coffee to the latter made it a bit too bitter for my palate.  As I was enjoying my tasters, I kept seeing people come through the front door, but the room wasn't filling up.  Finally I noticed that a lot of people were going through an unmarked door next to the restrooms.  I started wondering if there was a patio or something that I wasn't privy to.  Chris, who accompanied me on this excursion, ventured through the mystery door to see where it led.  Assuring me it was something I needed to see for myself, I ventured forth.  Was I ever glad I did!  Through the door and up a small set of stairs opened up to a huge room which included a nice brewing area, an additional bar, plenty of table and seating areas, and even some toys and a play area for the little ones.  The place was abuzz with tasters being enjoyed, conversations being had, and kids scurrying about.  The vibe was comfortable and laid back.  Had I not been paying attention I could have missed the best part of this brewery, other than the beer, of course.  I will definitely be back here again, possibly with my family.  If they keep their beer consistent and the atmosphere friendly, this unassuming brewery will continue to call this unassuming street home for quite some time.


  1. A couple things I thought interesting at this tasting room.

    First, there are no "names" for the beers. Which is cool with me. I've never thought it was particularly important to come up with something clever to name your beer. I've only done it a few times, and I've kind of given up and just name it by the style as these guys have. I do however have an issue with the naming of the Cascadian IPA. This should be called either Cascadian Dark Ale, or Black/Dark IPA. By the name alone, I was expecting an IPA with nothing but Cascadian hops. But I was pleasantly surprised when he handed us the tasters. This was probably my favorite of the bunch along with the Am Strong Ale, which Dave couldn't remember.

    Second, is the fact that they only serve tasters and growler fills. I haven't been to as many tasting rooms as Dave has, but I hadn't seen this before. I wonder, can you order an 8 glass flight, but have all 8 the same beer? Or can you fill your growler, then sit down with a glass and re-fill yourself? Probably not the growler thing. Must be a zoning thing...

  2. They just posted the following on Facebook regarding the names, or lack thereof, of their beers.

    "One thing we would love your input on... are names!
    you've drank em, now name em'...
    If we use your name, we will give you a full growler of your namesake in thanks for your 2 cents....

    Some of our newborns that need your input..
    ~american pale ale
    ~belgian blonde
    ~chile pale

    oh, and we still owe someone for the chuk norris!... it took a while, but what else could you call your American Strong?!"

    1. Cool! I'll have to come up with something for that "Cascadian IPA"....