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Meet Donna Callahan of Mission Brewery in East Village, Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donna Callahan.

Donna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been in the San Diego food and beverage industry for over 20 years. I had my first job involving beer at the original Yard House in the Gaslamp. I was there for 7 years and moved on to work private events at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island. I have always worked at least 2 jobs so while I was at Bali Hai, I also opened Stone Brewing in Liberty Station as well as worked at the Neighborhood in East Village. Needless to say, I enjoy working in places with great beer! My husband has worked at Mission Brewery for over 5 years. Two years ago they acquired the space adjacent to the Tasting Room and they reached out to him to see if I was available to run their events program. I saw the space and immediately fell in love with it. There are beautiful exposed brick walls, a giant reclaimed wood wall, and some historic features reminding us that the building used to be the Wonder Bread Factory. I accepted their job offer and have been working with them ever since. For the first time in my life, I have been working only one job. As the Event Manager, I am very involved in all things events and I truly love it!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Essentially creating an events program from the ground up has presented us with some struggles and there is definitely a learning curve. We have met some amazing vendors (caterers, DJs, photographers, florists) and some that are not so amazing. We quickly learned that glitter and confetti are not easy to clean up and are therefore no longer permitted. I believe we have a pretty solid understanding of what we want Mission Brewery events to look like at this point but are always open to and humbled by learning opportunities.

Please tell us about Mission Brewery.
Mission Brewery has been brewing beer in San Diego for over 10 years. We have a solid group of core beers that are familiar to many as well as a 5,000 square foot Tasting Room with a beautiful list of seasonal or experimental beers that are only available on site. Mission Brewery is located in the heart of East Village and is just east of Petco Park. We are kid and dog friendly and are a perfect place to bring the family before a baseball game.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I was five years old, my dad started remodeling our house. He wanted to expand our dining room and that required knocking down a wall. Before my dad started the demolition, he let me get my crayons and color all over the wall. He then let me help him tear down the wall. It was such a special moment!

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Dan Weiss

    August 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Donna is such a great person and Mission Brewery is our favorite location to bring music to. The historic space coupled with modern amenities is unique and such a treat to have in Downtown SD!

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