A Visit to The Bruery
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit The Bruery in Orange County, where I had a couple of flights of their peculiar, yet tasty brews. Prior to going, I had remembered that I had had a few of their beers before, it had been a while, but I did remember that they had some funky Belgian flavors going on. When I got there and saw the extensive list of 24 different types of beers of theirs (along with another 9 only available for Reserve Society members), I had two thoughts: 1) Wow! That’s a lot of options! 2) Where are the IPAs?
One can get various sizes in which to get their beers, they also offer flights of five beers, with 2oz in each. While one could create one’s own flight of five, they also offer three curated flights, “Bruery Classics”, “Sour Beauties”, “Big and Barrel-Aged”.
To get a basic sense of their beers, I started off with their “Bruery Classics”, a curated flight, which consists of Hottenroth, Mischief, Loakal Red, Saison Rue, and Autumn Maple, which were nice. Although I am not a fan of wheat ales, the Hottenroth was okay. The Mischief was certainly tasty, then again, I’m partial to everything about it – “hoppy, Belgian golden strong”. The Loakal Red was fine, sort of sessionable, and the Saison Rue 2014 was also good for a saison. The flight finished off with the Autumn Maple providing some flavors I have never had in a beer before, with yams and spices in it (and 10% ABV, too).
For my second flight, I wanted to try some of their bigger brews, so I opted for Double Dry-Hopped Loakal Red, Humulus Lager, White Oak, Bourbon Smoking Wood 2014, and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bois. The Loakal Red had a nice light, pleasant red-ness to it, while the double dry-hopping added some much-desired hops (I was missing my dear hops that evening, due to the lack of IPAs…) and the Humulus Lager was also solid (and a bit hoppy, too). The following three beers in the flight were interesting surprises: when I smelled them, they seemed slightly unpleasant to my palate. However, each of them was better than the next! The White Oak had a lovely taste and a gorgeous smoothness to it. The Bourbon Smoking Wood 2014 and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bois were incredible! While I can’t remember much to distinguish them, they were both some big beers (14% & 15% ABV, respectively) and they had were lusciously full-flavored – certainly my favorite beers of the evening!
Clearly, I became enamored with these lovely bourbon barrel-aged beers, which makes me want to enjoy them again. Unfortunately, they do not offer them for growler fills. I did bring my growler and got it filled it up with Double Dry-Hopped Loakal Red, which provides the consumer with some hops, yet is easily sessionable.
Visiting The Bruery has turned me on to some of their brews and, especially their bourbon barrel-aged beers, and it definitely expanded my beer-drinking experience 🙂