Sitting in traffic, I texted my wife, “headed to Barley Forge in Costa Mesa.” What she got: “headed to bar orgy in Costa Mesa.” She immediately called to see if they needed an extra. Awkward! Sitting just south of South Coast Plaza, Barley Forge has been fabricating great beers from day one—Nov. 15. Seconds later, One Louder Double IPA went on my bar orgy playlist. Opening day double IPAs shouldn’t be this good. I asked co-owner and president Nylen …
What was your past life before beer?
Twenty-four years as a practicing lawyer. I’m especially excited about running this business with my wife, Mary Ann Frericks, who designed our fantastic tasting room with me. She’s the perfect partner and has supported me all the way. Not many people would encourage their spouse to leave an extremely lucrative, stable career for something like this.
Tell us about your food program.
We carefully select from local purveyors, such as Da-Le Ranch, a sustainable producer of all sorts of meat in the Inland Empire. They pick up our spent grains to feed some of their animals, then provide us with meat from some of those same animals, which we serve. The circle of life. How cool is that?
Costa Mesa is ramen ground zero. What’s your go-to?
Ramen Zetton down the street from the brewery. End of debate.
What inspired your loteria-like beer labels?
We think of them as more like playing cards for life, steeped in a surreal and funky aesthetic based on our many adventures.
2957 Randolph Ave., Costa Mesa