Happy second anniversary, Asylum Brewing!
This small but growing brewery in Anaheim has just past its two-year anniversary, and it is only moving upward and onward from here.
Since opening in 2017 only a few steps down from one of Orange County’s most popular destination breweries, Asylum silently opened and treaded the waters of our river-rapids in the beer industry. Nestled on the western cluster of four breweries (five, if you include the soon-to-open Brewery X) of the “La Palma Beer Trail,” you’ll find its cozy and unassuming tasting room.
By the way, the “La Palma Beer Trail” is a name given to the collection of breweries off La Palma Avenue in Anaheim. There are eight breweries considered to be part of the trail. In order, from west to east, are: Phantom Ales, Hoparazzi, Asylum, Bottle Logic, Brewery X (opening soon!), Bruery Terreux, Stereo (technically in Placentia), and All-American Brew Works.
Tommy Sebestyen, founder of Asylum, has been pleased with the growth the company has experienced over the past two years. “Our goal one year ago was more capacity and more distribution. We achieved that,” Sebestyen said. In the past couple of months, Asylum has added a multiple fermentation vessels, restructured its tasting room to accommodate them, and is about to embark on a distribution commitment. It appears it has achieved that. “Now, the goal is more exposure followed by more space,” he added.
There are beers you must try. Rorschach is a coffee beer that deserves more recognition. It is similar to Phantom’s Kona Coffee Lager but with more body and more nutty character from the brown ale used as a base. Scurveza, a Mexican lager brewed with lime is my go-to and is rapidly becoming its best-seller and rightfully so. It is a refreshing beer with hints of lime zest and is perfect for warm weather.
Chris Brown, director of brewing operations at Asylum and former head brewer at San Diego County’s Burning Beard, takes pride in his creations. “Being so close to such a popular and amazing brewery one can walk to, I’m not here to compete,” Brown said, talking about the anniversary bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, Ozymandias. “I approach my beers to be a mix of San Diego County, Orange County, and what Asylum wants to be,” he added, referring to his roots based out of our beer-loving county to the south.
Its anniversary beer, sold in convenient eight-ounce cans, should still be available to take home or on draft to enjoy at the brewery.
Asylum Brewing Company
2970 E. La Palma Ave.,
Editor’s note: Charlie Perez is an Advanced Cicerone® who covers the Orange County beer scene for the Booze Blog.