Dennis O’Connor, co-founder of Thorn Street Brewery (TSB) opened his North Park neighborhood brewery a few years ago as part of living the American dream: create a popular and successful craft beer brewing operation.
Fast forward to what has evolved in 2016 as a classic case of being careful what you wish for. Now, O’Connor’s 32nd & Thorn site is too small to keep up with the big demand for its beer. Recent decisions to solve this hoppy dilemma have TSB expanding to a second location in Barrio Logan in 2016.
“If there is a local brewing company that embodies the neighborhood brewery model, it’s Thorn Street. Brewery,” said Brandon Hernandez, a contributing writer with West Coaster craft beer magazine. “Even before it opened, denizens of its namesake community were excited for its arrival. And since the doors swung ajar, North Parkers have frequented the cozy, split level spot, making it the social hub its owners had hoped for when putting together its business plan.”
The operative word “cozy” will soon give way to bigger space. Thorn Street has taken over a 10,500-square-foot warehouse space at 1741 National Avenue. Formerly the site of the former San Diego Public Market project, it will play home to a brewery and tasting room keeping its current name.
Once open, TSB’s brew crew will produce 5,000 barrels per year, but the space will allow for enough fermentation vessels to amount to 30,000 barrels annually. Plans are to have Thorn Street’s Barrio operation up and running sometime this year.
Up until now, O’Connor’s operation has had to contract brew outside its North Park digs to meet customer demand, so this next chapter should solve such problems in a more economical manner.
In coming to Barrio Logan, O’Connor adds his team hopes to replicate the effect Thorn Street had on its section of North Park by “cleaning and brightening up” a street that could use a bit of invigoration. They would see it as a positive if another business with additional block-building appeal took interest in the identical warehouse space next-door to Thorn Brewing as they would enjoy having a quality tenant to team with. There is also the possibility they may take possession of that space as well, with far-off plans to perhaps install a bottle shop, restaurant and/or retail components.
In the past two years, Barrio Logan has welcomed a pair of brewery tasting rooms for Border X Brewing Company and Iron Fist Brewing Company. Both fit into a budding artisanal community that would appear to be aiding significantly in the resurrection of a community that had fallen out of favor with San Diego’s general population, providing fun reasons to visit and rediscover the area.
Source: West Coaster is a media partner with Pillartopost.org daily online magazine. Originally posted by Brandon Hernandez, West Coaster contributing editor.