Within a six-mile span of La Palma Boulevard in Anaheim and Placentia, nine craft breweries now exist. By the numbers: three are within walking distance, one sells homebrew supplies and food, the oldest has been open since 2008, and three have opened thus far in 2017. At any given time, anywhere from 75-100 different beers can be sampled among this bikeable stretch, making this quick jaunt off the 91 an epicenter of deliciousness.
Start at the oldest, The Bruery: Although a bit off of La Palma, The Bruery is the first production brewery to put Orange County on the national beer map with its huge, full-flavored, barrel-aged beers, not to mention spawning two other breweries on this list. While in this tasting room, don’t miss number two, Offshoot Beer Company, The Bruery’s hoppy-hazy, IPA-ish third leg.
Just around the corner, Phantom Ales was once a winery, then rebranded into a brewery and cidery, complete with a satisfying pub-grub menu. Every time I go, the layout seems more spacious, and the beer program has also improved from the early days. The vibe may inspire you to make your own beer, as Phantom sells an abundance of homebrew equipment. Grab a 32-ounce crowler of beer to go!
Just around the corner, Hoparazzi Brewing opened January of 2016. The scrappy brewery still confuses me with its hoppy name and lack of hoppy beers. Instead, the main attraction seems to be on the tart side of things. Sample its fruited sours and dark porter with a cozy view of its awesome glassware collection.
In the same center just a short stroll away, Asylum Brewing just had its soft opening this past weekend with four beers, one of which blew me away. Fairweather Friend, a 4.7 percent pale ale, is loaded with citrus-piney hops, is aggressively bitter, and has a nice big mouthfeel for such a small package. If the beer is this good on the soft opening, I have high hopes of what is to come of this tiny spot.
Bottle Logic Brewing needs no introduction after its third anniversary, which seemingly had longer lines than Space Mountain. Now that things have calmed down, the beer is better than ever, which isn’t unnoticed in the beer-geek crowd.
Bruery Terreux’s tasting room, just a short drive down La Palma, and sort of feels like a hidden gem. I assume most Bruery fans still stop at the original location, but for my taste, Terreux has it all. Sour, funky, hoppy, and just a smidge of the big brown barrel-aged stuff. Due to its extensive wine barrel-aged beer program, the place smells fantastic, not to mention the cool ambient temp inside. The tap list is simply ridiculous and the patio is inviting.
Stereo Brewing can be the first or last on this beerscapade…your call. Owners Rick and Amanda Smets have crafted a lively tasting room with tasty beers and an ever-spinning turntable. Don’t miss their live music events, which are played in the brewhouse, and their always fun bar trivia.
Lastly, All American Ale Works seemingly popped up overnight and will celebrate their grand opening during OC Beer Week which happens May 19-28. I haven’t made it in yet, if you have, let us know what you think!