Last weekend, we spent some time in Orange County, hanging out at The Happiest Place On Earth with Chuck’s family. During my ritual pre-trip beer scouting, I noticed that The Bruery (whose beers we had sampled at the Stone Fest) was opening its tasting room that same weekend – what incredible luck!
So on Friday afternoon, we snuck away to the Bruery, only six miles away from our hotel (seriously, with such good beer SO close, how could you even think of going to Disneyland and not visiting the Bruery?):
I’d only learned about the Bruery at the Stone Anniversary festival, so I wasn’t sure what to expect at the opening of the tasting room – I was picturing an Alesmith-like, no frills tasting bar, crowded into a corner and surrounded by brewing equipment, with just a few people hangning around..the Bruery blew those expectations away! The place was hopping with people, and the tasting room was well appointed in a rustic elegance way, almost as if a wine bar had been dropped into the middle of a brewery. It was also quite well attended – if opening day was any indication, the Bruery is well on its way to craft beer success.
They had a full menu of beers available for tasting, as well as a cheese pairing, growler fills, and bottles to go. We didn’t have time for a full tasting flight, so Chuck got a glass of Humulus Bruin, and I got a glass of the Cask-Melange#1, plus we snagged some bottles of the Saison Rue and Tripel (but haven’t tried them yet!). The Cask Melange was brilliant! A combination of Russian Imperial Stout and a Flemish Red, it was sweet, sour, velvety, fruity, creamy, roasty, and soooooo good! Between the Melange #1 and my Hoppy Okapi adventure, I’m all about beer blends! Sometimes the sour Belgians (which are all the rage this year and last) are a little too sour for me, but combining the bright sour flavor with the smooth dark Imperial Stout, and it’s a perfect pairing – the best qualities of the sour still come through, and the stout takes the edge off and allows me to enjoy the flavors without grimacing with every sip!
I’ll be trying to visit the Bruery again when they release the “Autumn Maple” (made with yams!) later this month – it’s fast becoming one of my favorite breweries.
On our way back from Anaheim on Sunday, we also managed to visit Pizza Port San Clemente, our final leg of the Pizza Port trifecta! I had a Pier Rat Porter and a Double IPA (I think it was Dana Point Double? – I don’t remember the name quite so much as the uber-bitterness!), and Chuck had a Way Heavy Scottish Ale. The beers, and the delicious pepperoni and garlic pizza, were the perfect end to our weekend road trip.
As a bonus (or was it an ulterior motive all along???) I managed to make some progress on my 101Things list with both of these breweries – #65 (visit a brewery (Bruery!) I hadn’t been to before), and #62 (Pizza Port San Clemente) are now complete!