Thorn Brewing Adds New Members to Brew Team

SAN DIEGO— Thorn Brewing Co. is excited to announce that Shawn Steele has taken the position as Director of Brewing Operations at the Barrio Logan production facility.

Shawn joins the Thorn team with extensive experience within the industry, brewing for 22 years at Atwater Block Brewing, Karl Strauss Brewing Co., Coronado Brewing as well as consulting at Rincon. During his time at Karl Strauss as their Quality Control Manager and Barrel Master, he was responsible for creating Queen of Tarts which won a gold medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.

“With my background of QC and barrel beers, I hope to share my experiences with a company I have long admired,” Shawn explained. “I am honored and enthusiastic to be joining a great company and can’t wait to help keep Thorn at the forefront of the San Diego beer industry.”

With Shawn handling the managing and logistics of the day-to-day operations, it frees up Co-Founder Eric O’Connor to lean into his experience as the manager of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core Facility at UCSD to develop Thorn’s QC/QA program out of their newly built-out laboratory. In addition to Directing QC/QA, Eric’s new role will also include leading Thorn’s newly imagined Research and Development program where he will spearhead new recipe development, plant, and process efficiency improvements, and work to push the overall quality and consistency of Thorn’s lineup to even higher standards.

Along with the addition of Shawn to the brew team, Thorn welcomes Josh Coombs a nine-year veteran at Green Flash Brewing.

“Shawn’s only been here a couple of months and he’s already contributed a lot of positive and creative energy to the team,” Thorn’s General Manager, Tom Kiely, explained. “He’s been able to take on lots of responsibility quickly, so much so that Eric has already been freed up to create five new beers. By mid-June, we will have released the first beer in our Shades of Haze Series, Scarlet, Low Hanging Sour: Cherry, Black Paw Hard Seltzer, Thorn Michelada, and Pink Passion Fruited Hazy IPA. Additionally, we’re joined by our new brewer, Josh Coombs, from Green Flash. It’s all translating into a lot of excitement in the team right now.”

About Thorn Brewing Co. 

Thorn Brewing Co. started out in 2012 in North Park as Thorn Street Brewery where they became known as San Diego’s ultimate neighborhood brewery. Their Barrio Logan location opened in 2017 and produces their beer on a 30-barrel system, houses their canning line as well as a tasting room and events space. Thorn Mission Hills just opened up this past summer and is already becoming a local hangout featuring 12 rotating taps, beer-to-go, and skeeball. For more information about Thorn Brewing visit 

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