Pasadena Couple Will Let Fly With Their New Wild Parrot Brewery Friday

C0-located at 2302 E. Colorado Blvd with Rosebud Coffee, Wild Parrot co-owners Kirsten and John Jackson hope to create a “distinct local brand.”
Published on Sep 21, 2022

The Jackson family. [Courtesy photo]

Starting with home-brewed beers and good food at their local kid-friendly block parties, Pasadena-based beer-making couple Kirsten and John Jackson are stepping up as co-owners of Wild Parrot Brewery, set for a grand opening Friday, Sept. 23 starting at 3 p.m. 

“Block party vibes but at a brewery,” John Jackson said about their new brick-and-mortar place. 

On the menu are three lagers and three ales, to start. 

“We’re starting with initial six beers and we’ll expand from there,” John said. 

One of their uniquely named beers is the “Margadena” Lime Sour, a light kettle soured beer.

“I like it because it kind of tastes like a margarita, but that’s why I named it the ‘Margadena’ because it’s from Pasadena,” Kirsten Jackson said. 

All the brewing is done in-house with their own equipment, in full view from Colorado Blvd. 

“One of the big design concepts that we had was we wanted everything wide open so that people who were drinking the beer could see exactly where it was made,” John said. “In fact if you’re walking down or driving down Colorado Blvd., you’ll see me in there through the window shoveling grain or changing hoses. So the brewing all happens right there on Colorado Blvd. in our space.” 

Other beers include Doug Heavy, which is an American style lager; Snobby Town, a German-style pilsner; Porch Chill, a lager; Pandemonium, a West Coast IPA with citra and amarillo hops; and Suburban Weekend, coffee stout with beans from Lotus Coffee and Tea in Sierra Madre. 

The brewery will also be selling wine and cider that they don’t make themselves. For food, they’re starting with a small menu – with some nachos and pretzels – that they plan to expand in the future. 


John said he’s been brewing beer for a little over 11 years. 

“My wife would not allow me to homebrew when we lived in an apartment. So as soon as we bought our house here in Pasadena I took a course.” 

“It was just a Saturday afternoon class at a home brew shop over at Eagle Rock where they gave you a cake-mix version of beer brewing,” he said. “And then from there you just kind of expand, you get more complicated, you start using actual grains rather than extracts. And then later on I took a course in Colorado at a place called Colorado Boy with a man named Tom Hennessy.” 

In Colorado, John said he learned the ins and outs of starting his own brewery along with the process of brewing beers. 

“When we decided to open a brewery, we immediately thought, ‘oh my gosh, well, what is local to this area?’ Those huge pandemoniums of wild parrots just flying everywhere, reaching everywhere,” Kirsten said. “They’re pretty obnoxious, but when you think of Pasadena, you think of the wild parrots. And so what we did was we named it the Wild Parrot brewing company, and then we sort of started researching, well, how did the parrots come about?” 

Huge comic strip panels created by the Jackson’s neighbor and graphic designer Ben Balistreri inside their brewery tell the story of how parrots got to be feral in Pasadena. 

“It’s essentially like the parrots are bored. There’s no good drink choice,” Kirsten described the art on the panels, “then a fire breaks out, they escape, they’re flying around. They’re trying to figure out what to do. And one of them is like, ‘oh, you know what we’re going to do?’ And then the last panel is them sitting on some telephone wires where parrots love to go and they’re all drinking beers.” 

Kirsten said they learned the parrots in Pasadena were descendants of bird couples that escaped from a home and garden shop in the City during a fire sometime in the 1950s. 

“The story of the wild parrots is near and dear to our hearts. You can see that theme when you come visit and you see how we’ve decorated it,” Kirsten said. “Our logo is a wild parrot drinking a beer.”

Located at 2302 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Wild Parrot Brewing Co. will have ample parking in the rear lot accessed from Roosevelt Ave., plus plenty of street parking is available along Colorado Blvd. The place is about a 15-minute walk from the Metro Gold Line’s Allen Station.

On Friday for the grand opening, Wild Parrot Brewing Company opens at 3 p.m. up to 11 p.m. On Saturday, it opens from noon to 11:30 p.m. and on Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

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