Where West Coast meets Emerald Isle


We have been experimenting with different beer styles at home and work, getting closer to an initial lineup of house beers for Half Door. Without a doubt the lineup will include IPAs, paying homage to what has made San Diego famous in the world of craft beer. And of course we’ll have some traditional Irish stouts and lagers, plus some session-able beers that will be a perfect pre-game refreshment before heading down the block to Petco Park to cheer on the Padres.

But we are approaching everything at Half Door with our Irish ancestry and brethren in mind – and that means we’ll have our own Old World twist on everything brewed or stewed at HDBC. From historical explorations of pre-Guinness brewing*, to modernized California-friendly adaptations of traditional Emerald Isle grub.

Check the blog often as we share some in-depth R&D as we develop the food & suds for Half Door!

* What came before Guinness?? Wasn’t the all to familiar stout something the Irish have brewed and drank since the dawn of fermented grain? Actually, no. Here’s the untold story.

The Untold Story of Irish Brewing


Ireland has a long tradition of small scale brewing – it’s a heritage we’re proud of and inspired by. We think about that tradition each day as we build Half Door Brewing Co here in San Diego, the adopted city of our family after moving from Ireland 20 years ago.

But this tradition had a hiccup during the past century – a pretty big one at that! A single brewery dominated the entire brewing industry in Ireland for much of the last half century. With incredible vigor and effectiveness, this early macro-brewery-which-will-remain-unnamed stamped out the competition, both big and small, creating a homogenous landscape of beer in Dublin and all across our homeland for far too long.*

Can you guess who we’re talking about?

While we love a pint of the black stuff from the macro-brewery-which-will-remain-unnamed just as much as anybody, we’re happy to say small-scale traditional Irish brewing is making a comeback. It’s slowly bubbling back up in Dublin and other corners of Ireland, and it’s coming to San Diego at Half Door Brewing Co! Even the New York Times got a taste.

Our vision for the experience at Half Door Brewing Company is directly influence by the kind of diverse and localized brewing that our Irish forefathers once practiced in small brewpubs in every town and village from Cork to Belfast. We are building HDBC as a beacon of traditional small batch brewing and the kind of warm & inviting Irish hospitality that permeates the land of our ancestry.

Make sure to check the blog in the coming months for build-out updates as we turn a charming early 1900s house in San Diego’s East Village into a pub and brewery!

* For more depth, check out Ronald Pattison’s exhaustive history of Irish Breweries

Before you brew…

Before you brew you need a system, maybe it’s a 5 gallon pot in your kitchen or a 4 vessel 120 bbl Rolec brewhouse. For us it has been a few keggles and a igloo.

Well the other day we went to Premier Stainless to enquirer about a 10bbl brew house. It was exciting to see where and how these beasts were made.  Mostly we talked about size, square footage and number of tanks.  To save space Alan recommended stacking the bright tanks, which not only saves space but will look bad ass.

All in all a great trip too bad on the way home we could not stop at White Labs, but luckily it will be there tomorrow.