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OC - Fresh Beer

janeyoc Jan 25, 2011 02:48 PM

Our family just back from a great vacation in SD. We brought back growlers of beer from Stone and Ballast Pt. Nothing beats the taste of fresh good beer.

Can anyone recommend where I can get some good fresh beer in OC?

I live in Tustin next to BJs and Tustin Brewery which the beer is ok. Pizza Port is way too far south. Any other recs that I don't know about?

Pizza Port
301 N El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672

  1. Searching4Dunny Jan 25, 2011 02:55 PM

    Karl Strauss brewery across the street from South Coast Plaza isn't bad. There is also Steelhead Brewery in the UCI center.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Searching4Dunny
      reality check Jan 25, 2011 03:11 PM

      The beer at Steelhead is terrible.

      There is a beer company, that sells a great root beer, I believe in HB or Newport Beach but I forget their name.

      1. re: reality check
        Das Ubergeek Jan 25, 2011 03:17 PM

        That's Brewbakers on Heil—make your own pretzels, brew your own beer.

        7242 Heil Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          reality check Jan 25, 2011 04:48 PM

          You know you're about the root beer being made at Brewbakers. I had the root beer at the HB Beer Company.

          But, I didn't think much of the beer at HB Beer Company

          7242 Heil Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

    2. Das Ubergeek Jan 25, 2011 03:16 PM

      The Bruery has a tasting room in Placentia, right off the 57, and a shop in Orange just north of the circle (no growlers from Orange, though, they're not licensed like that—just bottles).

      Bootlegger's Brewery is in Fullerton near the train station.

      Cismontane is off the 241 in Rancho Santa Margarita.

      Noble Ale Works is in an industrial park off the 57 in Anaheim near Angel Stadium and the Pond.

      TAPS is in downtown Brea.

      Check the hours, because not every place is open every day; many of the tasting rooms are "extended weekend" (Th-Su) only.

      EDIT: Adding addresses, because the Chow Places feature is wrong.

      Bruery: 715 Dunn Way, Placentia
      Bruery Provisions: 143 N. Glassell, Orange
      Bootlegger's: 401 S. Richman, Fullerton
      Cismontane: 29851 Aventura, RSM
      Noble Ale Works: 1621 S. Sinclair, Anaheim
      TAPS: 101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea

      The Bruery
      715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

      8 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        janeyoc Jan 25, 2011 03:55 PM

        I have had the Saison from the Bruery but didn't know it was local. How great. Does the Bruery sell growlers? Also which location Placentia or Orange.

        Never heard of Cismontane or Noble. Do they have growler to take home?


        The Bruery
        715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

        1. re: janeyoc
          Das Ubergeek Jan 25, 2011 04:08 PM

          You're in for a treat, then. OC is ramping up fast as a beer destination. Obviously we're not going to catch up to SD anytime soon, but that doesn't mean we don't have beer to call our own, and it tends to be cheap, cheerful and pretty darn good.

          Every craft brewer in OC sells growlers to take home. You have to buy the growler glass from each place (stupid meddling government!) but yes, you can get growlers. The Bruery fills growlers on weekends at Placentia. There is no growler fill available in Orange because of the licensing of the Provisions (it's tasting flights and a bottle shop only).

          Expect to pay $5-$12 for the glass (reusable, of course) and then $10-$15 for the fill.

          Also, all of them do tasting flights, which range in price from $4 to $8 for four or five 2-oz. tastes (and they're pretty generous on what 2 oz. looks like).

          If you want draught beer (pints, not growlers), there are plenty of places to get your beer on, including Hollingshead's Delicatessen and Haven Gastropub in Orange and Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach.

          Beachwood BBQ
          131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

          Hollingshead's Delicatessen
          368 S Main St, Orange, CA 92868

          Haven Gastropub
          190 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            janeyoc Jan 25, 2011 04:30 PM

            Great to know and I will try out Bruery this weekend before the big game.

            I have not been a big fan of any of the bigger beer places that have been around a long time in OC (BJs, Tustin Brewery & Steelhead). We have been in heaven having Haven so close by.

            We did love Ballast Point in Loma Linda. It really helped that we were the only ones at the store at the time. The tasting were $1 for 1 oz and they had about 12 different beers on tap. The Stone location was over the top. Very beautiful atmosphere. It wasn't too bad when first opened at 11:00 am but by noon it was too crowded crazy.

            Thanks again for all the info!

            The Bruery
            715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

            1. re: janeyoc
              groover808 Jan 25, 2011 07:03 PM

              Check the Twitter/Facebook pages for Bootlegger's and The Bruery, they'll usually have a food truck during their Friday and weekend tasting room hours. I really like The Bruery's Orchard White.

              The Bruery
              715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

              1. re: janeyoc
                Das Ubergeek Jan 25, 2011 07:36 PM

                I haven't had too much in the way of crowded-crazy but the breweries in OC are not in lovely settings like Stone. They tend to be warehouses, because warehouses are cheap for rent, easy for zoning and don't have residential neighbours pissing and moaning about liquor licenses.

                Let us know what you try and what you thought!

                1. re: janeyoc
                  JAB Jan 17, 2012 08:20 AM

                  Twice now, I've seen Pliny the Elder on Tustin Brewery's What's On Tap list on their website only to get there and find out that they don't have it. The first time, I stayed anyways but, the 2nd time I left and spent my hard earned $ elsewhere.

            2. re: Das Ubergeek
              JAB Jan 26, 2011 08:41 AM

              How is Cismontane?

              1. re: JAB
                Professor Salt Jan 26, 2011 09:13 AM

                It's not as stellar as say, The Bruery. Some of the beers are worthwhile, others seem on par for an experienced home brewer. I'm hoping they get on their feet and start producing some really delicious and unique beers, rather than caving in to what's popular or easy.

                The Bruery
                715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

            3. o
              OCSteve Jan 25, 2011 03:16 PM

              The Bruery in Placentia and The Bruery Provisions in Orange (just north of the traffic circle). The Placentia location is where the beer is brewed. There's a tasting room there that's open Friday through Sunday. They don't serve food, but there are often food trucks on site.

              The Bruery Provisions is a market with a tasting area that is open all week. In addition to beer and wine tastings (flights available), they also have a variety of cheese and charcuterie plates .

              They specialize in Belgian style beers, which are a favorite of mine.

              The Bruery
              715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

              The Bruery Provisions
              143 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

              9 Replies
              1. re: OCSteve
                Melanie Wong Jan 6, 2012 07:25 PM

                Last friday we closed out an epic chow day with a run to the OC to check out The Bruery. Garmin GPS and Google GPS both had trouble finding the place and gave odd ball directions hither and yon even when we were just a block away. So best to have a sense of where the place is, that is, in an industrial park. I'm not much of a beer drinker myself. But on this night, my friends in NorCal were envious of my opportunity to check it out and I nerded out, fb'ing some quick notes for each tasting match-up from the bar that I can share. Between the two of us, our tasting flight covered just about everything on the board. All are seasonal offerings.

                1) Between Burlygourd and Black Orchard, burly pumpkiness and chocolate gets the vote.

                2) Four Calling Birds vs. Smoking Wood. Love the bright balance and spice cake aromas of 4CB. Smoking Wood is too heavy and woody with splintery sharp edges at cold temperature.

                3) Hottenroth vs Birra Basta. Maybe the wrong season for Hottenroth, a tart Berliner weisse. Much more taken with BB, carmelly & buttery aromas, creamy bubbles, fruity pop, depth and fresh finish. Tonight we both vote for BB, a bier de garde.

                4) Gremlin vs Rub a Dub. Gremlin does NOT have the individual character of rest of flight, eh. Rub a Dub is a abbey style dubbel, dark and swarthy. I'm filling up and running out of words.

                5) The Carmens: cranberry vs raspberry. Amazingly different not just in flavor but also the structure and mouthfeel of the underlying dark sour beer. Cranberry is full of funk and volatility, all those faults that we'd spit out in a wine. But in this beer it beats the raspberry glass. Almost seems like green underripe raspberries. Balsamic vinegar of beers.

                6) Then we closed out with Saison Rue, farmhouse ale. Richer and more mouth filling than typical and weighing in at 8.5 ABV.

                Favorite overall was Birra Basta. But by the time we were done and decided to buy a growler, the keg was dry. No more this year.

                We liked the place and the beers a lot. I'll note that the beers are all served at the same temperature, whereas I would have liked the stouts not so cold.

                The Bruery
                715 Dunn Way, Placentia, CA 92870

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  OCSteve Jan 12, 2012 10:28 AM

                  Wow! Thanks for sharing your tasting notes, Melanie! I'm glad you enjoyed your tasting. I have actually spent more time at The Bruery Provisions than the tasting room. The tasting room can be tough to find the first time out, and I live in Placentia.

                  I agree on the Birra Basta. Bier de garde is one of my favorite styles, and The Bruery does a great job with it.

                  1. re: OCSteve
                    Melanie Wong Jan 12, 2012 06:55 PM

                    You're welcome, the TNs are as is (the way I typed them on my phone). Thought it was better to post about seasonal offerings right away instead of cleaning 'em up.

                    I'll mention that GPS had the right location on the map but was directing us on a very circular route on the freeway to get there. When we pulled up to the industrial park, we figured that we were in the right place. Why else would there be so many cars in a warehouse area on a friday night? :)

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      JAB Jan 12, 2012 09:32 PM

                      Did you check out Mas Islamic right down the road from The Bruery?

                      1. re: JAB
                        Melanie Wong Jan 12, 2012 09:54 PM

                        No, we were full to the bursting point from our earlier chowing that day. The beer carbonation was welcome refreshment and even tasting through higher abv brews, I didn't feel buzzed in the slightest.

                        The idea of halal Chinese after beers sounds appealing for another visit. :)

                        Ma's Islamic
                        601 E Orangethorpe Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          JAB Jan 13, 2012 07:04 AM

                          I have done that 2fer previously and it worked quite well.

                          1. re: JAB
                            Melanie Wong Jan 16, 2012 02:56 PM

                            I must confess that in three trips to the southland, I've managed to miss eating any Chinese food. Not sure how that happened.

                            BTW, The Bruery won a Good Food Award this weekend for Oude Tart.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              revets2 Jan 16, 2012 04:57 PM

                              FWIW, some Whole Foods who sell a goodly inventory of Bruery Beers as well as some other great brewers are having a 20% beer sale ONE DAY ONLY on JANUARY 20th. Call your WF to see if they are holding that promotion.

                              The pricing is much better than even buying directly from the Bruery. My store had Mischief, Saison Rue, and 4 Calling Birds as well as Allagash Curieux, North Coast Gold, a host of Stone Brewery beers plus some other beauties.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                JAB Jan 17, 2012 07:49 AM

                                Thanks for the link. I just had Lagunitas Brewing Company , a lil’ Sumpin’ Sumpin’, California from the list on Friday and it was very very good.

                2. t
                  tastycakes Jan 25, 2011 03:17 PM

                  the bruery in placentia makes some excellent beers, as does lost abbey in san marcos.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tastycakes
                    Das Ubergeek Jan 25, 2011 03:26 PM

                    Just a note that San Marcos is deep into SD. Not that it isn't worth the drive—I love their beer—but it's not OC.

                  2. m
                    mikester Jan 12, 2012 09:32 AM

                    Anaheim Brewing is another arrival in the OC Beer scene, having opened sometime around the middle of 2011 IIRC.


                    I stopped in here a few months back and really enjoyed everything they had, especially their flagship beer the 1888, which is made along the lines of Anchor's "steam beer". It's very good, IMO.

                    The two owner/brewers were there and were helping pour the beers, so I was able to chat with them - very nice folks and very informative and fun to be speaking with the folks that make the stuff you're drinking !

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mikester
                      Das Ubergeek Jan 12, 2012 09:51 AM

                      I like their 1888 a lot; I get growler fills of it often (I live walking distance). Their other year-round beers range from pretty good (red) to won't-buy (Hefe).

                      Staying just in north OC, there's also Old Orange Brewing, which was a real surprise. It's on Batavia between Katella and Taft. In South OC there's Left Coast in San Clemente and of course the Pizza Port.

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