They say you should never go grocery shopping while hungry. Now you won’t have to go sober, either. Whole Foods has been adding tap handles to O.C. stores for a while, and another crop will pop up at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Brea.
The NOOC, Whole Foods Brea’s new storefront bar, proudly displays the number of local beers offered like the days since the last worksite accident (seven). On grand opening, only one handle will pour beer made in Orange County, but I hope that selection will grow considering NOrth OC—get it now?—is home to many award-winning breweries, some of them just miles from the store.
What I Like You can nibble anything you buy in the store in the NOOC, even bottled beer and wine, which means it’s theoretically possible to buy a bomber of beer for on-site consumption for less than the draft price. That means you can buy all of the grab-n-go food—poké, ramen (a Brea exclusive), sushi, pizza, cheese, charcuterie, and even porchetta sandwiches—and bring it into the bar. Whole Foods for me is suddenly more like a beer bar with the world’s most epic menu. They even have an all O.C. beer cooler, which I’m pretty sure is a first.
Unique Factor Whole Foods Brea is the only one with an upper deck that overlooks the store, which is ripe for tap take overs, beer dinners and other tasting events.
Nowhere Near Brea? Check out other local Whole Foods tap opportunities: Back Bay Tavern in the Fashion Island store, as well as similar gastropubs in the Tustin and Laguna Niguel stores.
Whole Foods Brea is at Village at La Floresta, 3301 Imperial Highway at Valencia Ave., wholefoods.com. Happy hour is from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.