When any business in Orange County turns 20, it’s something special. When that business is a neighborhood brewpub, hundreds of beer fans and SoCal’s greatest breweries came out to support their elder brethren. Although 90’s-style brewpubs have been on the decline in recent years, with a couple O.C. closures, Tustin has that perfect mix of great beer in a thirsty neighborhood.
Thier anniversary party, which usually happens the last Sunday of August, was notably bigger than years past. Inside, salty bar regulars lined the well-worn wooden bar, drinking four-ounce pours from festive commemorative pint glasses. Outside, the patio extended into a steamy tent that took up a large portion of the parking lot outside the castle-like brewery. Many a sweaty hug was had inside and out, par for any summertime beer event.
Brewer Jerrod Larsen was on hand with his telltale beard and big smile. “Did you try my ale?” he asks behind his black shades and ballcap, like he’s incognito. “Work where you must, but I eat and drink at Tustin Brewing Company,” I joke, poking fun at city’s motto. Tustin Brewing Company has managed to keep that neighborly vibe after all these years; everything from slightly bearish servers to a pub menu that feels like kid’s fare, Tustin has charm. It’s comforting and nostalgic sitting amidst the tanks and brick walls, sipping a Red Hill Red or a Lemon Heights Hefe, like I did as a local back when they opened. Did I say 20 years ago? I’m sure they’ll be around for another 20.
Don’t miss their 1st ever bottled beer release! 22-ounce bombers of the anniversary ale are still available at the brewery for a limited time for $9 a bottle.