A Look Inside TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room|Brewer Interview with Kyle Manns 

Since day one, TAPS has made hospitality a number priority – and TAPS’s new Brewery and Barrel Room doesn’t fall short. The trifecta of hospitality, quality, and community has held consistantly over two decades has led to TAPS Fish House & Brewery (in Corona, Brea, and Irvine), The Catch in Anaheim, and now TAPS Brewery and Barrel Room (Tustin), further strenghening their brand. Anticipating and following through on customers needs is why TAPS has been sucessful over the years – and their newest venture continues that proud tradition. The spacious tasting toom offers something different than the other locations: a dedicated food truck with (eclectic dishes with nods to modern Asian & Mexican flair), a pinball machine, arcade games, outdoor core hole yard, beautiful patio with a firepit, and much more! This stunning19,000 sq foot facility is truly an impressive location.

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The taplist of beers offers a wide range of world class styles that everyone can enjoy – everything from a Keller Pils to a Barrel Aged Boppledock. As a recipient of over 100 medals for brewing exceptional beers, @tapsbeers lives up to credo, “World Class in Every Glass.” Hops and barley are curated in order to emulate the fine beers and brewing regions of the world. TAPS utilizes proprietary strains of yeast, reverse osmosis filtration, and tailors their water chemistry and processes for the specific beer being made. This passion for perfection has been recognized on the regional, state, national and international levels.  TAPS barrel-aged beers have also garnered national and international acclaim, and are sought out by collectors worldwide. My favorite beer is Silent Warrior, a barrel aged Strong American Ale. Woodsy. Deep. Flavorful

Maybe you’re looking for something beyond a beer – in that case, they’ve got options for you. Their other-than-lager-or-ale menu hosts a variety of beautiful Soju Cocktails. Looking for something a little more brunch-themed? Try the Michelada – it’s a nice blend that compliments a sunny day. Need a little eye-opener? Cold Brew Coffee is also available for the caffiene fiend.


Motto Expanded

This is an idea that comes to life when you’re there. – and it’s proudly featured in larger-than-life lettering on their cold box, visible through windows in the tasting area: “With a nod to the past and an eye on the future, we bravely brew an electric array of award-winning ales and lagers.  By expanding our boundaries and recognizing our strengths, we passionately strive to push the limits, pave the way of independent craft beer, and education our greatest asset: You.”

A Look Inside TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room |  Brewer Interview with Kyle Manns 



AM: What specialty brews does the TAPS brewing team have planned?

KM: With the Tustin Brewery not up & running yet, we haven’t been able to fully transition each location into it’s long term state of operation. Everything about TAPS’s beer program will change over the course of the next few months, and we have some pretty exciting things planned.

TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room will focus on the distribution, barrel aging, & special bottle release beer production, while Corona & Brea essentially become R & D breweries that we get to experiment with. We plan on being able to brew just about anything and everything, and we will.

We love lagers, so expect to see a lot of different ones coming up, namely Pilsners.

We are very excited to make a Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen on our brewhouse, and our setup will allow us to do an authentic German-Style Krystallweizen, so that is in the first round of beers.

We plan on weekly specialty releases, so keep an eye out.

AM: Explain the core values of TAPS Brewing & Barrel Room? (TAPS Brewery)

KM: Opening TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room has allowed for the opportunity to update our mission statement, and revisit our core values. We cannot operate without a great staff, and it is our duty to provide them the tools and resources to be as successful as possible in their positions. We believe in every single team member, and personal reinvestment is key.


Here is our new mission statement:

Our Mission

With a nod to the past and an eye on the future, we bravely brew an eclectic array of award-winning ales and lagers. By expanding our boundaries and recognizing our strengths, we passionately strive to push the limits, pave the way of independent craft beer, and educate our greatest asset: you.

-Your Brewers,
TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room

The number one core value and focus within the tasting room is hospitality. It’s rare to see that as a focus in a brewery setting, and frankly, we do it really well. Every aspect of the tasting room was designed with hospitality and efficiency in mind. We all have gone out and spent money food or drinks. Poor service or a bad experience is the quickest way to ruin someone’s day, and we do everything we can to ensure each guest is having the best experience possible.
AM: What inspired the conception of TAPS Brewing & Barrel Room?

KM: We set out to build a new production facility back in early 2015, which had a totally different concept at that point. A year in, the project fell apart due to an unfortunate turn of events, and we were forced to find a new location. We would go on to see the next two locations fall through at the 11th hour, setting us back a year each time. With each new location, we have had to tweak our concept to fit the space and its capabilities. All of the prior locations were located in retail centers, and had a restaurant attached. After the 3rd location fell through, spirits were pretty low within the whole team and I knew that if I didn’t act immediately, we would lose everything we had worked so hard to achieve in the meantime. That next day I tossed aside all previous space requirements & set out on a personal mission to find a new location. Leaving the retail avenue behind, I started exploring our options on the industrial side. After countless locations, I stumbled across our current spot in Tustin, and it was love at first sight. We have an incredible team of individuals, and we were able to make it happen. It’s almost as if this was the location meant to be the whole time…

We do food very well, and this particular space only has room for a production facility and a tasting room. Not being able to put in a kitchen forced us to think outside the box, so we custom designed a food truck to be a kitchen first and have little to no interaction with the guests. If you want food, you have two options: kiosks for credit/debit & Beertender for cash. Grab your number, and we will run your food order out to you. Ordering food at a beer line tends to slow down the process, and a goal of ours is to reduce the time spent in lines. Everything from the Beertender’s point of view has been designed for speed and efficiency of service. This tasting room really allows us to focus on our guests’ experiences, and the multiple order points, separate crowler fill station, kiosk food ordering, and food running all play a part in ensuring that our guests can focus on one thing – having a great time.

All in all, this operation is a culmination of the trials and tribulations over the past few years, and evolution at work.

AM: Tell us more about what you have planned for TAPS Barrel Room. . . 

KM: We are excited to overhaul and rebuild our award-winning barrel program, with two separate areas: Our temperature controlled barrel room for beers such as Remy, Silent Warrior, Velvet Hog and endless others, and a massive cold room for our cold barrel aged program which includes our Baltic Stout, Boppeldock, and others.

We’ve had some great success with our barrel aging program over the years, and look forward to being able to offer barrel-aged bottles releases again in the near future. It’s a long story, but the return of Remy will happen in 2019. With that being said, 2019 is our 20th anniversary, and we’ve got some big things planned.

AM: Will the TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room Kitchen have suggested pairings menu?

KM: Yes, each food item on the menu has a suggested pairing. These will rotate with new beer and food additions, and are clearly displayed to the guests on all digital and printed menus. Back to the culture question, The TAPS culture is much more than a menu suggestion.  Every staff member goes through a pretty rigorous training, and is updated daily on both the food and beer, and their pairings. When a guest asks for suggestions, it is expected that we can walk them through any and all food and beer items and their best pairings, all while educating them along the way.
AM: What beers are you most excited about revealing to the public?

KM: We have some new barrel aged products that have been hibernating in Corona, that we debuted at TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room. These play an integral part of our barrel program, as they are the initial brews that we have scheduled to go into barrels.

We have an award winning Doppelbock that our QA/QC Manager – Max Jones – designed, brewed, and then laid to rest in some bourbon barrels for a bit. We are very excited with the way this experiment worked out, and look forward to brewing it on the large system.

Our Head Brewer in Corona, Erik Zwack, went loose on a hazy IPA, and the response to it in the tasting room has been incredible. This one will be back for sure.

The TBBR beer will start rolling out in August, and we are very excited to debut vast variety of lagers. We will be now be able to expand our award-winning lager program & explore the entire spectrum.  This facility is designed to produce lagers, and we will definitely utilize it to its fullest potential in that regard. More clean lager beer for everyone excites us. Opening with four different Pilsners was pretty fun, and we will be releasing three more over the coming weeks.

Most of all though, we are all super stoked on our hoppy beers, & can’t wait to get more of them out there!
AM: What’s the most undervalued brewing ingredients?

KM: Yeast. All we do is make sugar water (wort) – to feed the yeast. We are using all of the other ingredients to manipulate the yeast, in a sense playing God by selectively choosing the best to survive, and creating a specific environment for them to react to. Everything we do as a brewer revolves around yeast doing it’s job. They turn our water into wine (beer), and truly should be center stage of your beer production. Most of the off-flavors I encounter are yeast-related & easily avoidable, and sometimes over-thinking it is just as bad.


AM: Where do you draw your inspiration?

KM: I try to draw inspiration from my surroundings. There is so much to be inspired by, and I try to look for the good in things to keep that inspiration fed. Family, friends, co-workers, industry peers, and Elon Musk play a big part…

AM: New favorite TAPS beer and food pairing?

KM: The Royal w/Cheese & Kellerpils is always a great pairing, but the Taco Swell Wrap happens to coincidentally resemble a guilty pleasure of mine, so I’m sure I’ll find myself enjoying those frequently.

AM: If you were omnipotent, what would you change (first) to improve our beer universe?

KM: To make everyone have the upmost care and desire to make the highest quality product possible, first and foremost, every time.



Sabroso Taco-over at Doheny State Beach!

Featured Festival | Photography & Story | Greg Aleshire 

Back for its second year at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco, and Music Festival was sold out again and packed with a great crowd out to enjoy the sun on the beach. And the Craft Beer! And the Tacos! And the live music!

We had perfect weather for the fest this year with cool overcast early and the sun breaking through for the afternoon it was another beautiful April day in Southern California. Although parking was a little difficult, Doheny is a much better location than out near Irvine Lake where cell reception and therefore GPS cut out before you find it.

I’m pretty sure there was something for everyone there. Luchadores (Lucha Libre wrestlers, think Nacho Libre) battling in the ring, a skeleton faced juggler on a unicycle, and lots of fun outfits from some of the attendees were alCool part of the fun…so cool!

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The Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge, taco eating contest, was definitely no place for rookies. Takeru Kobayashi from Nagano, Japan (the man holds eight Guinness Book world records in eating competitions!) won for the second year in a row by scarfing down 154 tacos in ten minutes. I don’t think I could have done it in ten hours.

There were some people who actually tasted the tacos though, and they were the panel of distinguished food judges rating the “Best of Show” from the taco vendors. First place went to Chisme Tortilleria and their Asada Chimichurri Taco. Fiesta Gourmet took second with their Fiesta Fish Taco, and third place went to Sausage King for their sausage INYO taco. There was so much good food there that we had to remember to save room for the beer. But then there’s always room for beer, right?


Oh, and the beer…yes, the beer! With about fifty-six breweries pouring 2-4 beers each, try as we did, we could not taste each of them, but trying was the fun part! Plenty of really good beers were there and among my favorites were these (in no particular order).

Craft Beer Highlights


“Frederick H” from Bruery Terreaux in Anaheim is a Berliner Weissbier 4.4%ABV fermented in Oak Foeders and is pleasantly tart and funky with Brettanomyces. “Citra Extra Pale” 7%ABV from Knee Deep in Auburn, CA is a single hop (Citra) West Coast style American Pale Ale (APA) that I really enjoy, bright and a bit citrusy and fairly dry.

“Mexican Chocolate Stout” 7%ABV (being Sabroso Taco Fest there were a lot of Mexican themed beers) from Belching Beaver in Vista, CA, was delicious. Formerly known as “Viva La Beaver”, this chocolate stout uses “Abuelita” Mexican chocolate for its unmistakable flavor of Mexican hot chocolate. If you’ve never had the hot chocolate try it, then you’ll know how tasty it is…

“Bruiser” Imperial Chocolate Stout from Docent in San Juan Capistrano is a BIG beer coming in at 11.3%ABV and is definitely a sipper in small quantities but thoroughly enjoyable.

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I also had a chance to sit down and talk to Dakota Gartner who is the lead singer of the opening band at Sabroso 2018, Naked Walrus. Along with lead guitarist Hayden and drummer Taylor, they have a straightforward rock sound that’s tight and clean. With influences such as Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, their sound gets the crowd rocking.

Although they’ve been accused of being too positive (being raised by hippies may have had something to do with that), they do have a good vibe happening that is appealing, and admittedly want “the love to radiate” when they are performing. They don’t want to write about negativity, even though “Acceptance” does have some dark(er) tones, as it is about substance abuse, something he sees a lot of when working events (he also happens to be the hospitality manager at Sabroso).

So the band’s name…Dakota and Hayden came up with Naked Walrus while in high school 7 years ago and despite friends telling them to change it, they didn’t, and it works! As part of their “anti-boy-band” themed marketing, “The Walrus” is the mask, and “Naked Walrus” is the band and is a part of the members’ aim for anonymity with masked photo shoots for promotion. I am glad to see they don’t perform in masks though.

Although they did a Kickstarter campaign for their second album they don’t want to do it again because it felt too disingenuous. So they spend a lot of time touring which they enjoy, doing 75 shows last year. I’m looking forward to hearing more of their music, including “Soul” which is written from the Devil’s perspective of taking over one’s soul.

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As the beer tasting came near an end, the crowd was noticeably“happier” than when we started and we had a great time as usual. When the clock strikes 4:00 and the beer tasting ends, it can be disheartening to be third in line and waiting in anticipation for that taster of double IPA that never gets poured, but you’ve probably had enough anyway, right? It’ll just have to wait for next year, or the next beer festival, or jeez, just go to the brewery’s tasting room and buy some!! Cheers! Greg Aleshire

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San Clemente Beer Releases To Kick Off Your Summer

Now that summer is upon us, the heat is starting to rise – and the best thing to do is have a beer in hand. Whether you’re poolside or with friends at a barbecue, summer brings a plethora of local beers to please. Here’s a dual can release that will help you beat the heat.

Artfiex Brewing Company

Sober In The Morning DIPA | ABV 8%

Once again Artifex brews up a release with finesse and creativity. This next release is brewed in homage to Winston Churchill, and ceraintly does him justice by definatly packing a monumental hop bomb. This West Coast DIPA is brewed with a handsome amount of Simcoe, Galaxy & Citra. Even with a monumental amount of hops, the California Ale yest lends smooth mouthfeel with tropical notes and a clean finish.


The 411

Artifex Brewing Company
919 Calle Amanecer
San Clemente, CA 92673

When: 12:00 pm

Cans: No limit | 4 packs | Price TBA

Pizza Port X Pure Project | Nami IPA | ABV 6.8%


Nami India Pale Ale is the next in Pizza Port Beer – Buddies Project, brewed in collaboration with Pure Project as part of their own dual can release. This lighter West Coast style IPA was brewed with flaked rice to provide a light flavor and color, and keeps it simple with a two-hop profile of Citra and Mosaic.

Hop heads can also get their hands on a pack of Pure Project’s recently released Sakura IPA, which is Nami’s counterpart (take a look at Instagram @PizzaPortBrewingCo for a sweet picture of how the cans stack together!) Both beers were brewed from the same recipe, but using different hops, allowing for a unique tasting experience.



Donas in Downey Serves Up Donuts with Latinx Flair

From the founders of the always-satisfying beverage spot, Horchateria, comes a one-of-a-kind donut shop that speaks to my inner 90’s kid. Walking into Donas transported me a more simple time – a time when endlessly listening to Spice Girls while indulging on a whole box of Fruity Pebbles was the norm. A time, long missed, when instead of endlessly looking down at your cell phone, your time would be spent playing with your Tamagotchi.

Independently owned and operated with Mexican roots, Donas caters to those who love Mexican inspired sweets and Raza culture. Each of these delectable donuts bring creativity and a unique sensibility to the table – all in service of their local Downey community.

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La Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (Selena)

This donut, garnished with lavender glaze and edible glitter, embodies one of the last Selena performances from 23 years ago. While Selena Quintanilla flawlessly wore a glittery purple while performing on stage at the Huston Astrodome in Texas, this gorgeous donut wears a shimmering purple glaze in tribute to that iconic dress. This donut is perfect for the Latinx out there who love lavender!


Abuelita Chocolate Donut

Todos of those colorful Abuletias would be immensely proud of this donut. A moist donut serves as the perfect base for rich chocolatey perfection. Make sure to pair this rich nostalgic treat with a hot cup of Ibbara Mexican Chocolate.



Chicharron Donut

Move over maple bacon donuts there’s a new savory sweet donuts in town! Believe it or not, Donus is serving a Chiccaron donut – the base of the donuts is perfectly moist with crispy, salty and fatty chicarron crumbles. Of the trifecta of donuts from this tasting, I can say this one is my favorite. For all of you who love salty tasty pig parts – this donut was made for you.

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Other Notable Donuts

The Jamaica

The Bionico




8636 Imperial Highway

Downey, CA 90242

United States

Brewer Interview: Bryan & Chintya Doty of Sour Cellars

Sour Cellars Interview Featured in Beer Zen Issue #20
In the current state of beer trends (i.e. hazy IPA’s reigning king), a few beloved beer styles are neglected – forgotten in the mist. Thankfully, some brewers choose to tread on their own path and reject the status quo of the fleeting cravings of the crowd. One such humble brewer – Bryan Doty – has thrown his full-throated support behind the art of the sour. Aging his sour beers in rustic oak casks for as long as they take to mature (12 months is not uncommon in the least), he sources local, eclectic ingredients (and makes his own natural yeast to boot!). Sour Cellars has become a focal point for sour beer lovers.
Explain the core values of Sour Cellars. . . 
BD: To explore different methods of making sour beer for the most flavorful outcome, whether it be from the process, yeast or ingredients.
Tell us more about your foraging adventures. . .
BD: Every area has a unique terrior based on microbes, plant species, and climate. I hope to make Sour Cellars a mix of our native California terroir with Belgium’s. I purposely use a mix of malts from SoCal and Belgium for this purpose. By bringing these malts in, I am also bringing in microbes from these regions. As far as foraging, I have been wandering around the mountains by our place looking for fruits and other edibles for our beer, So far though, most are still in the experimental stage. I am hoping to integrate these flavors into our beers in the future to create a SoCal terroir flavor into our beers. It is also possible that I will isolate yeast from these fruits for our summer beers. So far I have only used wild invasive blackberries for our beers. We have several wild nut, berry, and herbs available to choose from that I plan to experiment with.
What inspired the conception of Sour Cellars?
BD: The possibility of new flavors of beer from wild strains of yeast. At the time I started homebrewing, most brewers were only using the few Brettanomyces strains available from the yeast labs. Also, most if not all of their available Saccharomyces were harvested from European breweries that obtained their yeast around one hundred years ago. It seems like the search for new yeast had gone dormant. Three months from the start of home brewing I bought a microscope and started looking for new strains of wild yeast.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
BD: I really enjoy what the traditional Belgian lambic brewers do. I have yet to taste an American sour beer that tastes like a lambic. I don’t claim that mine does, but that is part of what drives me. I want to know what makes them different. That is why I have run analytics on their bottles, isolated and propagated the yeast from lambic and have traveled to Belgian to see their processes.
There are many breweries who don’t produce their own yeast; instead, they rely on sourcing it from outside of their brewery. Why do you feel this is vital to do and how long does this process take?
BD: It’s said that yeast makes a brewers make wort and yeast makes beer. With the growing number of breweries and competition, brewers need a way to stand out and innovate. Innovation comes from finding some new, not just adding adjuncts that you normally find in pastries and sweets. It takes a few months to know if a new yeast strain might be usable. Maybe a week to isolate. Maybe another 2 months at minimum to know if can ferment maltose and produces suitable flavors. It should be noted that I think the flavors in spontaneous fermentation are my primary focus and yeast isolates are my secondary.
Who are some of your greatest mentors in the industry?
BD: I love Cantillon for being the most accessible traditional Belgian brewer and blender. Chad Yakobson from Crooked Stave and his site brettanomycesproject.com. Sam from the Blackwell Brewery /Eureka Brewing (eurekabrewing.wordpress.com) blog out of Burgdorf, Switzerland deserves a huge shout out for doing awesome things.
What do you consider the most undervalued style of beer?
BD: Real lagers. Although they are the exact inverse of what I do, they are should be appreciated for the simplicity and technology that has put into this style. The yeast that makes them is an accidental natural hybrid, in which the parents were only recently discovered. When a 100% pilsner malt bill is mashed and lagered properly with an ample amount of hops, it makes a tremendously flavored sessionable beer. 
If you were omnipotent, what would you change (first) to improve our beer universe?
BD: To teach all the new American brewers that decoction mashes are superior to single infusion. The single infusion should be the last case scenario.
Favorite beer and food pairing?
CD: Toasted baguette with Boursin (garlic & herbs) and strawberry jam with Jammiest Bits of Jam
BD: Sourdough bread with Dupont Saison
If you had to pick a favorite beer from a brewery and offer it to a stranger, which one would it be and why?
BD: Dupont Saison. It’s a great example of yeast can do. It’s so different from what most people consider a normal beer to taste like. It is believed to be a mutated red wine strain that has adapted to making beer.

Cinco De Mayo Is Over But Artifexican Lager Is Forever

At family fiestas I’m sure many of you’ve found yourself sipping on some Corona with lime (or maybe some Modelos). Perhaps being nostalgic got you in the mood for something crisp. clean, and sessionable. We can thank the hardworking Austrian and German immigrants who, in the 19th century, began brewing beer from their homeland in Mexico. In 1864, Austria’s Maximilian I declared himself emperor of Mexico – and, in doing so, brought the Vienna lager to the New World. This beer style proved to be more popular in Mexico than Maximilian – it became the dominant beer in Mexico entering the 20th century.


Brewing Brilliance

Today craft drinkers are lucky to have brewers who produce excellent, craveable Mexican lagers. Artifex brewers Johnny Johur and Bryan Rederer have accomplished just that with Artifexican Mexican Lager (which also dazzled the judges at GABF in 2017, where it snagged a bronze medal for its finesse).

As far as I’m concerned, as another sunny California summer approaches, other styles of beer can step aside (although I must admit, I still crave Artifexican plenty in the cooler months). This beer is timeless, constant and will never go out of style on your taste buds. Grab your best beer friends and trek down to Artifex to take a swing at this flavor-filled ale pinata.

Hazy with a Chance of METAL. . .


In the mood for something devilishly hazy!? Look no further than Artifex for your hazy fill this weekend. Saturday ‘Llama Goat’ NE hazy DIPA will be unleashed to haze crazed hop heads. This aggressively hopped DIPA brewed with Nelson, Amarillo & Citra hops results in bright tropical flavors with a demonically silky-smooth texture and a remarkably clean finish.

The Devil Is In The Details 

When: Saturday 5/12 at 12:00 pm

Where: 919 Calle Amanecer  San Clemente, CA 92673

The 411: $20.00 | 4 pack for Llama Goat

Artifexican Mexican Lager | $14.00



CBC World Beer Cup Competition: OC Beer Entries!

As our local beloved brewers make their way to Nashville for CBC World Beer Cup, this week stirs up a bit of excitement — and in that excitement: hope, stress and suspense – brewers waiting with bated breath for the judgment handed down. We live in a great country where beer is appreciated – and even though the market is becoming saturated, that’s not slowing anyone down.

World Beer Cup is a bit like the American version of Oktoberfest (and GABF) – while our compatriots in Germany celebrate their great tradition of – well – brewing the best damn lagers the world has ever seen, we take a swing at it with the World Beer Cup. This prestigious beer competition, like its trans-Atlantic counterpart, brings together those who enjoy beer, celebrate it, and, hell, just want to have a good time.
The devil (and Nashville honky tonk) is really in the details.

At World Beer Cup traditional beer styles are not only celebrated in their native terroir but are now celebrated worldwide. It’s about being excellent at tradition. And about being traditionally untraditional. It’s both an experimental space, where anything goes, and a tightly run ship, where nobody gets free passage.

There will be chatter, chamber whispers of who will be decorated – with medals (upon medals, upon medals…etc.), but, without doubt, all the hard work that brewers do across the country to provide us great American made craft beer cannot be sufficiently appreciated. May the beer gods be ever in your favor, Orange County entrants!

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Here’s a brief list of what some OC breweries have entered into GABF 2017!


Tustin Brewing Company


Portola Coffee Stout
Golden Spike Light Ale
Clutch’s American Wheat | 2 Time War Veteran

Unsung Brewing Company 


Propeller Head American Amber with coffee
MetaPlex IPA
Muncher Octoberfest
Brose Oatmeal Stout
Naturia DIPA
Tetra Imperial Red IPA

Artifex Brewing Company


Artifexican Mexican Lager
Artifexit English IPA
Bog Trotter Irish Red
HoliDAVE American Imperial Stout

Barley Forge Brewing Company 


Patsy Coconut Stout
Harry Tuttle
Grandpa Tractor Dortmunder Lager
Black Dahlia

OC Beer Week Top Picks!

As Tupac says, “Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice” – well not exactly but I’d like to imagine if Tupac were kicking back of a few of these decadent porters he would approve. Meet Jerrod’s Larsen’s latest porter brewed with 500 pounds of fresh blackberry puree. Larsen has been hard at work compiling beers to impress the judges at World Beer Cup.

The Blacker The Berry | 6.0% ABV

Sweet. Tart. Dry. This beer is comparable to a sour due to the copious amounts of blackberries added in the mash. Succulent blackberries lend a pleasant the tart and sweet character that come through dominantly just after your second sip. Subtle toasted malt flavors and sweetness show up once this beer lingers and drops in temperature.

Cheese Pairing: Grand Margaux & Blacker The Berry Porter Jam 

This luxurious 70% butterfat brie compliments Larsen’s hybrid porter — sweet, tart flavors bite through the buttery cheese, producing a unique marriage of flavors. Cloud-like silken, unctuous character and faint earthy notes envelop the palate. To take this pairing a bit further, I made berry jam with Jerrod’s porter – collectively all stand out and shine together. The rich malty character porter is heightened by tart and creamy notes, ending in a dreamscape of berry chocolate bliss.


Noble Aleworks x Reuben’s Brews Collaboration | Rubenesquepades Hazy DIPA 

A topsy-turvy week calls for things to get weird. . .

Get entranced by a deep haze that Rubenesquepades has to offer your taste buds. Sink into this Hazy DIPA that takes you far beyond the depths of hazedom — that is riddled with Ekuanot, Galaxy and Grungiest hops. A trifecta of hops fit for your haze-worthy cravings. Don’t miss out on a chance to wrap your lips around some Rubenesquepades in Noble’s tasting room this week! Cans are still available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reubenesquepades-dipa-tickets-44816996844?aff=ebdssbdestsearch


Superheroes & Underdogs 

Infinity War may be all the hype this weekend, but Tustin Brewing & Unsung Brewing latest collaboration is sure to impress. Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo hops bring out a symphony of fruity hop explosion. Bitterness is balanced with clean, refreshing and crisp body, while hops triumph at sips ends. Before Thanos steals all the infinity stones, be sure to drop into Unsung Brewing this weekend for a legendary 4-pack!


Unsung Brewing Company

Orange County Brewers Guild Invitational 2018!

Make sure to check out Orange County Brewers Guild Festival this weekend! This unique and intimate event will feature unlimited tastings of many core and limited release beers from our award-winning OC Breweries and our closest brewery friends! With over 50 breweries gathered by the water to celebrate the end of OC BEER WEEK its sure to the beer fest of the year. The OC Brewers Guild Invitational will take place at the picturesque Newport Dunes on April 28th from 3 pm – 4 pm (VIP) 4pm-7pm (GA).

For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/orange-county-brewers-guild-invitational-2018-tickets-42888972070?aff=efbeventtix

Jump on The Burlington Bandwagon to Hazeville 

In a world full a hazy IPAs, there is one plain evident truth – not all hazy IPA’s are created equal. Often times you hear that one instance of this newly adopted style (no, seriously – the Brewers Association now officially recognizes it as a separate style) tastes the same as the next. There are only a handful of local breweries turning out examples of this category that set themselves apart from the masses. Enter Artifex – this San Clemente brewery continues to produce high-quality hazy beers that highlight hop profiles selected by head brewer Johnny Johur. For you naysayers of this style, pick up this ale to get a feel for the finer varietals of this style, because the haze is here to stay!


Burlington Bandwagon 

Hazy IPA | 8.0 % ABV 

Everyone’s drinking it! Jump on the Burlington Bandwagon and get trippin’ on pure unadulterated haze for days. Mosaic hops lend bright notes of earthy pine while Citra hops break through the clouds with citrus overtones. A backbone of flaked wheat, oats, and barley provide a surprising, luscious mouthfeel, providing some malt body to balance the hop haze. Add in some London 3 yeast and bam – you’ve got hazy IPA!


Trigger Finger

IPA – American | 7.3% ABV

While enjoying a hazy IPA is all well and good, sometimes you just want the classics. Long-time Hop heads will be sure to welcome the return of an Artifex fan-favorite, Trigger Finger. This ultra fresh IPA, brewed with a plethora of hops, releases a dank harmony of intense hop flavor on your palate. It’s pretty damn satisfying to drink some clear beer after being in a haze (as pleasant as that haze may be). This West Coast Style IPA is dry-hopped with Cascade, Mosaic and Chinook, and  pairs well with good friends, lazy Sundays, and sunsets. 



Can Release Details 

This duo can release with be available this Saturday, April 7th at noon.

  • Burlington Bandwagon | $20.00 | per 4-pack 
  • Trigger Finger | $16.00 | per 4-pack

Coming Soon 

Keep an eye out for the latest batch of GABF bronze medal winner Artifexican Mexican Lager!