Southern California is home to some of the best IPAs in the world. Everything from Sculpin by Ballast Point (which they’re now selling bottles of with added habanero peppers and soon releasing bottles of Grapefruit Sculpin) to the IPA centric Alpine and Societe, where you can’t go wrong with any of their IPAs, all top notch. Land of hops, for sure.
But as much as many people love their bitter beers, others gravitate towards other styles and types of beer. Trends leaning towards barreling the beers are expanding. Bourbon barrel stouts, fruity sours aged in wine barrels, along with too many experimentals to count. These have been done for a long time, but the increase in number of breweries means increase in barreling these complex and wonderful brews.
The Bruery opened in 2008 and has been producing impressive varieties and quantities of beer ever since…
The coveted Black Tuesday (bourbon barrel stout at an extreme 19% ABV released in limited quantities once a year) to the more affordable, easily attainable Hottenroth Berliner Weisse (light and refreshing 3% mildly sour). With an extensive tap list every day they’re open (check out that picture, so many to choose from!), there really are plenty of options.
Except for an IPA. They refuse to do an IPA. Hops are used for other beers they make, but they have stood strong on their decision to not create this popular style. They will, however, toss those hops into a lager; Humules Lager is often available at the taproom. You can taste the bitterness (IBU of 70, not too shabby), but it won’t be mistaken for an IPA. Various pales have been on tap at The Bruery, but still never an IPA.
The reason to visit this place is because it has a fantastic tap list of huge variety (that 3% one to the higher ones, they’ll always have something in the double digit ABV direction), mellow light tart beers to ones heavy and complex. Sweet or bitter, or mellow or heavy, they will make sure you’ll find something to enjoy if you’re a beer fan. The space is simple, clean, inviting.
As with many breweries these days, it is more family-friendly environment than straight up bar. Any time we have visited there have been kids playing iPads, using coloring books, or taking advantage of multiple board games and puzzles. Most recently we hauled 3 kids, 3 kindle fires (the budget friendly solution to having 4 kids and electronic device “needs”). They sat at a table and played nicely while we enjoyed multiple tasters for a bit.
The food truck was a no-show. Usually there is one there (and schedule available on website), and very nice when kids are around…our kids are mostly silent while eating, and food trucks are fun and novelty enough to keep them happy. We had pretzels (as with most breweries outside food is allowed), but those only keep interest for so long. So we went to a nearby deli, grabbed some sandwiches then stayed for a little while longer. Food buys time.
Actual beers tasted that day: my favorite was the Hottenroth. I was the driver, so 3% tasters were perfect, and they had multiple varieties as you can see on the menu. We also enjoyed some brews from the nearby Noble Ale Works (El Dorado Showers there…and yum!), though next time we will be checking out the fairly new Valiant Brewing Company. One of these visits north we also want to visit Taps Fish House & Brewery, in Brea which is about 5 miles (famous for their Remy beer).
Still waiting for the perfect brewery that has an enormous trampoline or playground with free babysitters on site. But this is pretty awesome as an option, affordable tasters of great beers in a kid-friendly environment.
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