Protector Brewery - SD West Coast Style IPA

Protector Brewery - SD West Coast Style IPA

Beer Club featured in Hop Heads Beer Club


West Coast-style IPA


United States

Bottle size:


Alcohol by Volume:


Protector Brewery - SD West Coast Style IPA

  • ABV:

  • Bottle Size:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-50º F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    IPA Glass or Pint Glass
  • Malts:

    Pilsen, Carapils (all organic)
  • Hops:

    Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe (all organic)

This west coast style IPA presents a bright golden color, as we expect for the style, with a slight haze and a cap of off-white foam that laces as it recedes. On the nose, look for a bit of a fruit cocktail impression as a complex amalgam of aromas issue forth, including citrus notes breaking toward candied orange and tangerine, tropical fruits offering mango and passion fruit, floral tones evoking rose petals and citrus blossoms, apricot-like stone fruit notes, hints of melon, and more. This hop party continues as we take a sip. Those tropical and citrus tones come through quite vividly, as some citrus zest melds with hints of pine resin and firm bitterness to provide plenty of quenching bite. The malts are super clean, as is standard for west coast IPAs, offering a sturdy and very dry stage for the fruity hop elements to shine. For pairing options, spicy dishes will match up well and not get overmatched by the bitter character in the beer. We’re thinking Pad Thai, a Bahn Mi with plenty of shredded radish and chili sauce, spicy biryani, or Thai pineapple fried rice. Cheers!

Many brewery backstories revolve around the founder picking up an appreciation for beer and brewing while in the military stationed oversees, usually in Germany. However, the story of Protector Brewery is the first we’ve encountered in which the founder’s journey down the brewing path began by brewing in an active war zone.

Sean Haggerty spent almost a decade as a Navy SEAL, and it was during his third deployment to Iraq in 2010 that the seed which would become Protector Brewery would be planted. Finding himself in a combat area where beer was, naturally, prohibited, yet nevertheless in need of a cold one, Sean resolved to make his own. After having ingredients shipped to him, he brewed his first batch with whatever equipment he could scrounge up, including a thermos.

Upon returning home, Sean began homebrewing in earnest, throwing himself into the science and artistry behind proper ingredient selection and the brewing process itself. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Sean – with the support of his girlfriend (now wife) Cory and longtime friend Mark Thorsen – founded Protector Brewery in 2017. Distribution throughout San Diego County began in 2019, and presently cans of their organic beers can be found in seven states.

The decision to go all-organic with an eye on sustainability and purity of ingredients was Cory’s idea, and it’s a bold move that relatively few brewers have committed to. All of Protector’s ingredients are USDA Certified Organic, vegan-friendly, and sourced in the USA. Their focus on sustainability doesn’t end there; all of Protector’s packaging is 100% recyclable. The brewery has also partnered with a number of philanthropic organizations including the Navy SEAL Foundation, The Honor Foundation, Team Rubicon, and the San Diego Green Building Council. For more info on their excellent organic beers and their Tasting Room just north of MCAS Miramar, which is located near several other brewery tasting rooms including AleSmith and Ballast Point, visit Protector’s website at

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