A Spring Visit to Bootlegger’s Brewery
I’ve been to the tasting room at Bootlegger’s Brewery in Downtown Fullerton several times and have been surprised that I have not yet written about it. So, having visited recently, I realized it would be a good opportunity to finally do so.
At their tasting room, located in downtown Fullertown in Orange County, while there are only a couple of benches inside an actual building, there are many benches and tables available for seating in their outside patio. The patio has a convivial atmosphere with groups of people enjoying their beers, with a game of cornhole set-up, as well as a big Jenga game available for playing. There is also a pizza shop right nearby, from which many customers order (which seems to be a great symbiosis for these two businesses).
Bootlegger’s Brewery offers beer by the pint or half-pint for consumption there, as well as kegs, beer by the case or by the bottle. They also offer tasting flights with four beers of 4oz pours for $7, unless a beer is over 8% ABV, then it’s a 2oz pour. Of course, as someone who greatly enjoys trying different beers, I obviously went with a flight.
Having noticed that they had four special/limited release beers, my decision was easy: get them in a flight! I started off with the Amerige IPA (7% ABV) made with Columbus, Centennial, Sorachi, and Cascade hops. This beer was light in color with a great piney nose. I loved how the pineyness carried throughout nicely and I also greatly enjoyed that it had little body to it compared to the hops! It had a calm, slightly carbonated mouthfeel – great! The Sorachi hops were slightly noticeable as they seemed to have calmed the beer down just a little bit. Next up was the SoCo IPA (7% ABV), a west coast IPA made with Citra, Sorachi and Amarillo hops. I did not enjoy this beer nearly as much as I had the Amerige IPA. It was more bodied than the Amerige IPA and more bubbly of a mouthfeel than the Amerige IPA. The Sorachi hops are certainly noticeable. As someone who greatly enjoys Citra hops, I was kind of disappointed as the Sorachi hops were more prominent, which definitely makes it really calm.
Next up in the flight was the 7th Anniversary “Day” (6.6% ABV), a golden Stout with Chipotle Kean Coffee. It had a lovely, coffee nose, but the nose in no way prepares the drinker for what is to come on this surprising beverage. It starts off smooth, fruity and coffee-y. While it’s soft and sweet hitting the palate, the finish is unmistakeably spicy! Oh my! Wow! The spiciness of the chipotle peppers makes one’s palate feel like it’s having a party! Wow! To finish up the flight, I had their 7th Anniversary “Night” (8.2% ABV), a black double IPA. This is definitely a dark beer and a solid IPA. To be honest, it seemed good, but my tastebuds were still reeling from the spiciness from the previous beer, so I could not fully appreciate the beer on its own.
With one flight down, I decided to move on to another flight. There were two additional seasonal beers on the menu, so I opted for them along with two regular offerings. I started off with their Belgian Blonde (5.5% ABV), a seasonal offering, with a cloudy appearance and a very fruity nose (grapefruit, perhaps?). It is an enjoyable and pleasant beer, with a finish that simply drops off. The other seasonal blonde they offered was quite different: the Mountain Meadow Blonde (5.5% ABV), a seasonal beer was interesting. It was brewed with honey, sage, tarragon, and chamomile and had an herbal nose and a clear appearance (an appearance like apple juice). When tasting it, it was definitely herbal on the palate, which is peculiar – when it hits the palate, it’s refreshing and crisp, although it leaves such a funny herbal aftertaste. It seems like a beer one should drink while sick due to all the herbs’ medicinal feel.
Then I moved on to two regular beers they offer, beginning with the Black Phoenix (6.7% ABV), a stout with coffee and chipotle peppers. It smells like coffee, not dissimilar to the 7th Anniversary “Day” beer. I found this beer easy to drink and smooth and it tastes like coffee, with a chipotle pepper aftertaste similar to the 7th Anniversary “Day”, whereby the spicy pepperyness picks up on the palate and holds on strongly during the finish, staying with one for a while afterwards. This is certainly another interesting beer with both the chipotle peppers and coffee! I finished off with the Golden Chaos (8.5% ABV), their Belgian Golden ale. It has a gorgeous, sweet nose and is easy to drink with a lovely smoothness to it. Yes, this is their highest ABV beer, but it’s so delicious – it’s definitely a classic beer of theirs.
My only disappointment was that my favorite beer of the evening, the Amerige IPA, was not available for growler fills, which I would have loved to take home with me. Oh well, I took home a growler of their classic Golden Chaos. It was a nice visit and I look forward to returning!