Rating: Home Run!
Brew Basics: A well known Bruery, that’s well worth the trip.
Located in the unfortunately named Placentia, CA The Bruery is our Bonus for the Anaheim Angels. Day of, we were excited to be visiting a popular (at least in our minds) spot that we weren’t sure we would ever get a chance to set foot in, we were even happier to be among the first crush of visitors to the Bruery’s new taproom just two weeks after its July 4 opening.
Situated at the end of an office park, the new digs don’t have a kitchen – but the Bruery does have a rotating food truck schedule, one of which was parked out front cooking up some good smelling sausages as we arrived. Head inside to find an open concept tasting room with a lot of metal and light wood. Centered on the shiny stone floor are a smattering of chairs and tables made out of barrels. To your right a ledge lines the wall, with stools for sidling up. Follow the ledge around and it U turns into the bar on the left side. The walls are adorned with chalkboards and pictures of various Bruery labels with creative names and equally creative recipes for which they have earned lots of medals. Finally, a popular merchandise section can be found in the back, along with wine bottle sized versions of some of their beers for sale in a cooler.
Being from the east coast, we are used to being treated to pumpkin spices and harvest beers in the fall, Christmas beers for Christmas time, winter warmers in well…the winter etc. etc. In California there really aren’t any seasons, and therefore the only thing that tells you you shouldn’t be drinking a stout in the summer is that the calendar says “July” not “December” and those easy going Californians believe that what you drink should be based on what you are in the mood for, not what date the calendar reads, so things have a tendency to be available regardless of what the calendar traditionally mandates.
While there is something to be said for looking forward to changing your beers with your seasons, we had limited time in California, and couldn’t wait for fall and winter to roll around. Happily, The Bruery has taken this mentality to heart, and had a wide variety of styles available for purchase. Another plus? Their flights are just as easygoing.
- Write the names of the beers you want on a sheet of paper
- Take up to bar
- Get beers
They even give you the ordering paper back so you can remember what you have chosen to imbibe. This is helpful by the time you get to sheet 2.
Here’s what we chose:
Saison de Lente ’10 (6.5 ABV)– a thick, cloudy beer the color of fermented peaches. A very fruity aroma that lent itself more to apricot and pear than more typical banana notes. This doesn’t really come through in the palate, which is slightly sweet and sour at the same time. This Saison had a blended bouquet that was consistent but not as sweet as the nose would indicate.
Brown Creeper (6.5 ABV) – A very dark beer that looks like a porter at first glance but is in the brown ale family. As true to brown ale form, it is a little bit of a thick beer, adn the smell is one of malts and nuts. The beer pours with a slight, tan top and is easy to drink, with a rich, smooth flavor that is almost creamy.
Otiose (8.2 ABV) –Listed as a dark sour with guava, this one was an interesting beer that would not normally be in our wheelhouse; but for the sake of journalistic integrity (and to make it a bit more interesting for you dear Reader) we went for it. Otiose pours the color of Cherry Coke ™ and smells just as advertised: sour with a hint of tropical fruit. The taste is a rush of very sour followed by the sweet guava, almost like Sour Patch Kid. On first sip, our inclination was not to like this one, but it grew on you quickly, although methinks it would still be hard to do more than a half pint at a time.
Burly Gourd (6.66 ABV) – Another dark beer a bit darker and less red than the Otiose and just a shade lighter than the Creeper; and this one also poured with a sandy head. The first thing of note with the Burly Gourd is that is doesn’t smell like a beer but actually brings to mind fresh baked pumpkin bread. (Sidenote: yum). The bouquet is made up of all the spices of baked goods in fall and the flavors blend on the palate; beginning with roasted malts, a kick of nut and fades finally to pumpkin spice. Jim thought the spice overwhelmed the beer, Gillian agreed that it was pronounced throughout, but it added instead of detracting – and given the name of this one, was exactly what you expected when ordering.
Loakal Red (6.9 ABV) – Cherry mahogany colored beer. The aroma was not as pronounced as the bouquets of other Bruery beers, but it was the first of the ones we tried here that had a hoppy nose. This is the closest thing they had to an IPA. Slightly sour (but nothing like the Otiose) and pretty carbonated. Upfront the flavor has just a hint of the a red beer taste, but has a tart finish that is similar to the bitter finish of some IPAs. The hops in this one are stronger than the aroma leads one to suspect initially.
715 Dunn Way
Placentia, CA 92870