Beer of the week: Never Seen the Light of Day from Half Door Brewing Co.


Beer Name: Never Seen the Light of Day
Brewery: Half Door Brewing Co.
Style: Black IPA
ABV: 7%

Just a stone’s throw from Petco Park, Half Door Brewing invites guests to step into the cozy and welcoming space of a countryside Irish pub. Complete with couches, armchairs, and plenty of books and knick-knacks to spark conversation, Half Door is an old-world microcosm within the hustle and bustle of downtown San Diego. PACIFIC recently spoke with co-owner Stacy Drayne about the brewery’s black IPA, a delicious, but now rarely made variation of the popular style.

PACIFIC: What’s the story behind the Half Door name?
STACY DRAYNE: After six months of not finding a suitable name, our family held a dinner that came with a few stipulations, Irish books, beer and a promise that no one was to leave until a name was chosen. Hours into the search, our mother Enda saw a photo of an old farmhouse and shouted the name “Half Door!” The rest is history.

What about Never Seen the Light of Day?
DRAYNE: My little sister, Clara, came up with this name. Our brother, Daniel, the Brewmaster, used to live in a dungeon — aka basement — back in college. We were paying homage to his humble abode during his time at Cal Poly.

What’s in it?
Pilsner and wheat malt, Citra and Mosaic hops, cold brewed Carafa Type 3 dark-roasted malt and fresh peels of grapefruit and oranges

What to expect:
DRAYNE: We say to everyone it’s like a chocolate-covered orange! I would say don’t judge a beer by its color. Although it appears like a stout it most certainly embodies an IPA. We added over 10 pounds of citrus during our fermentation process to heighten the citrus taste.

The perfect pairing?
DRAYNE: Our Bahn Mi sandwich is a great pairing as the citrus from the beer is a good balance with the spicy sandwich (Half Door makes its Bahn Mi with citrus-roasted pork belly, pickled carrots, daikon radishes, cilantro, sambal aioli and jalapeños). Also, my favorite at home is carrot cake; the sweetness from the malt married with the sweetness in the cake and the hoppiness is a nice contrast.

This beer gal’s take: Hallelujah, a delicious black IPA! After a run of some not-so-good versions around the county (and country), this style fell out of favor a few years back. I was pleased as punch to taste this spot-on version with a wonderful balance between the dark malt and the citrus and hop profiles. Pair with grilled foods, burgers, and roasted meats or vegetables. Seriously, this is your new must-try IPA.

Where to get it and for how long: Never Seen the Light of Day will be available for two to three months on tap and in growler fills only at the brewery.

Extra juicy tidbit: While relaxing at Half Door before a Padres game, after work or just on a beautifully lazy Saturday or Sunday, try the collaboration brew with Abnormal Brewing, Helles Yeah. A 5.4% ABV German Helles lager, it’s a light, crisp and clean beer perfect for hot summer days.

Half Door Brewing Co.: 903 Island Ave., East Village, 619.232.9845,