Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brews You Can Use

Bros at the Bruery

It may be hidden in the back corner of an Orange County industrial park, but the Bruery is at the forefront of a craft beer movement in Southern California. The 3-year-old family-run microbrewery specializes in Belgian-style beers, which I admit I know next to nothing about. I can say, however, that the tasting room at the Bruery is an excellent destination for a weekend afternoon or evening. A recent visit witnessed a couple dozen merry makers indulging in $5 glasses (12 oz.) or $18 flights of 5 samples of the establishment's foamy specialties, some aged in bourbon or wine barrels to impart a complex character. Word is that the company is expanding, with approved plans for a "craft brew cafe" in Old Town Placentia. I leave the brew review to Food Comma’s resident ale expert, NLS.

Growler of Humulus XPA

While this is billed as an “Xtra Pale Ale,” it doesn't have the extreme bitterness of other pale ales I've had. This is mellower and, as it turns out, has a much lower alcohol content. That said, when I say that the Humulus XPA is mellower, I certainly wouldn't say it's mellow. Anyone who loves pale ales is into a slightly extreme taste, but I really do think the bitterness can be pushed too far. This, however, is right at that sweet spot. Another special thing about it is that it encourages a bit of beer tourism. Yep, only at its birthplace, the Bruery in Placentia, California, can one taste this winner. For those who like souvenirs, you can spend $20 for a “growler” of the XPA that you can take home. Any of you unaware of what that is, like I was, just imagine a vessel like one a toothless hillbilly would drink moonshine out of and you're just about there. In addition, you can take your empty jug back and get it filled up for only $10. When you get it home and are ready to drink, you also might want a hand pouring the growler if you're not a body builder. By the way, the Bruery does have a handful of other brews—the proprietor of this blog and I tried one other, Orchard White, which had notes of uh . . . ground pork? Not such a good thing. Maybe we could have used a palate cleanser after the XPA, as the Orchard White seems to be a highly regarded beer. But we enjoyed the casual and friendly atmosphere. –NLS

99 barrels of beer on the wall...

The Bruery tasting room
715 Dunn Way
Placentia, CA 92870
Friday 4–10
Saturday 4–10
Sunday 12–6