January 19, 2011

Tasting Room at The Bruery

I just got back from a work trip in Anaheim, but I won't bore you with that crap. The good part of the trip was Saturday night when Marc, Rhett, and I went to The Bruery. The tasting room is at the back of the brewery itself, separated from the main brewing equipment by a row of fermenters. There were stacks of oak casks lining the walls, a handful of tables scattered around, a small 6-seat bar, and behind it 14 tap handles. At our end of the bar there were glasses filled with barley, rye, whole leaf hops, and oak chips.

the hops

dark roasted barley on the left, rye on the right

Lucky for us, there were 3 seats open at the bar, so we sat down and went straight for the beer. Marc and Rhett started with flights while I kicked things off with a glass of 7 Grain Saison (brewed with barley, oats, rice, wheat, corn, rye, and spelt). Low on ABV, a little hoppy, refreshing, but no where near the caliber of Saison Rue or Saison de Lente, or any other saison I could think of for that matter.

7 Grain Saison

After getting their first few tastes, Marc and Rhett said the beer was awesome and that they were really glad they came. I would have gone by myself if it had come down to it, but I was really glad I had some company. Next, I started a flight of my own; Orchard White, Saison de Lente, 3 French Hens, and Old Richland. Orchard White was good, but not what I was in the mood for I guess, and I finished it fast so I could move on. Saison de Lente kills 7 Grain Saison, but I wouldn't compare it to Saison Rue. It's a much lighter, different beer. Saison de Lente smells good, tastes awesome, and is very refreshing. I'd had 3 French Hens before but what the hell, it's so damn good how could I resist another taste?

Finally, Old Richland. I believe you can only get this at The Bruery itself. Old Richland is an American Barleywine dry hopped with Sterling, Centennial, and Simcoe... twice! It smells like liquid hops in your face, and it tastes amazing. At 9% ABV, you will feel it, especially if it's not your first, as was the case with me.

my glass of Old Richland

When Rhett finished his flight, he decided to stop, and just take sips of anything he hadn't had that Marc and I got afterwards. I can't remember what Marc finished with, but I went with a glass of Mischief (still my absolute favorite brew of theirs). After closing our tab, we talked with the bartender while munching on sliced steak and garlic fries with chimichurri sauce and chipotle shrimp tacos from the roach coach parked conveniently outside. Just before the tasting room closed (10pm), the bartender gave us a taste of Oude Tart, a Flemish-style sour red ale. Rhett liked the aroma but wasn't sure he liked the taste or not. Marc took a couple sips, but I downed most of it. I've become a huge fan or funky, tart, or sour beers. Oude Tart rocks. I forgot that I've actually had this before, at Brewvival 2010. I hope they have it again this year.

Visiting The Bruery will definitely become a tradition when we're in Anaheim for the NAMM show. It's a bit further away, but maybe next year we'll have time to visit Stone too.

Marc (left), Rhett (center), me

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