Barley Forge in Costa Mesa will close its doors for good on Wednesday. The closure announcement came as a big surprise to most of us when we came across it on social media in September. It was not certain how long it would be able to stay open. Ultimately, the final days of operations have been announced with Barley Forge officially saying goodbye Wednesday.
Earlier this year, also in September, O.C. lost Hoparazzi in Anaheim, open since 2016. Due to various circumstances, Hoparazzi had its last day of operation at the end of September.
Barley Forge will leave behind the memories of The Patsy, its popular coconut stout. This beer was featured on my very first article here for Orange Coast. It’s was awarded multiple awards for that beer, including a silver medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup. Later that same year, Grandpa Tractor took home gold for Dortmunder-style lager at the Great American Beer Festival. This beer was my favorite.
Not all is bad news, however. Green Cheek Beer Co. has won the bid to take over and will officially transform the facility into its second location. This is the second time Green Cheek has taken over a brewery, with the first being Valiant, transforming it into its current flagship location in Orange. New trend for breweries looking to expand or start up? I sure hope not.
Full disclosure, I hate bringing news like this. I understand business is an unpredictable gamble, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. These are my friends and their livelihoods. It would be one thing to have them close shop after willfully selling or something similar. But alas, it is not the case.
Farewell, Barley Forge. Thanks for the beers.
Editor’s note: Charlie Perez is an Advanced Cicerone® who covers the Orange County beer scene for the Booze Blog.