Just in time for the weekend, Filling Stations is a weekly post that highlights one of Los Angeles’ destinations for craft beer, be it a bottle-shop with a great selection, a restaurant with great food to go with their beer list, or a bar serving excellent beers.
The Bruery Tasting Room
- Neighborhood: Orange County View Larger Map
- Type: Brewery Tap Room
- Yelp Page
- Selection: 5/5 Price: 4/5 Staff: 4/5
In this week’s Filling Stations we pass through the Orange Curtain and visit the new tasting room at one of OC’s most respected breweries: Patrick Rue’s The Bruery! Known for inventive, often sour, and sometimes bizarre beers, The Bruery is a Southern California original, and their new tasting room is a can’t-miss destination for beer fans in Orange County.
Orange County is home to several craft breweries, including Bootleggers, Cismontane, Nobel Ale Works, and Tustin Brew Co, but The Bruery is the most wildly recognized and unique, and their beers are known to be award-winning and highly sought-after concoctions. Located in an industrial park (of course) in the crook of the “Y” formed by the 57 and the 91 freeways in the Orange County city of Placentia, the 1000+ Square foot tasting room is the best place to try the brewery’s varied line-up of sours, wild ales, barrel-aged beers, and non-traditional takes on traditional Belgian Styles.
The tasting room also serves as the packing and pick-up location for The Bruery’s Reserve Society members who have the opportunity to purchase special release beers and allocations of The Bruery’s most sought-after releases or special members-only growler fills. Regular folks off the street can still get growlers filled of selected beers, have a glass or a taster flight from the many taps, or grab some bottles to go.
The tasting room features a long L-shaped bar along the perimeter with a slick wall of chrome tap-handles and inset glass-doored coolers filled with the bottles of the Bruery beers. A number of cafe tables in the room and a couple of flat screens provide some entertainment; the only other decor is a display of all the label art from the dozens of different Bruery releases through the years (and a display of their many beer festival medals.)
The Bruery’s beers are not known for being inexpensive, but their commitment to quality and excellent execution of some very difficult styles give few people a reason to complain about price-point. That said, the tasting room prices are shockingly reasonable. Pours are between 8oz for most sours to 14oz for most everything else, and they run between $4-$7 with growler fills in the $12 range.
Ordering the beers was a bit confusing as there was no cohesive “line” in the moderately crowded tasting room, and the “big board” only seemed to contain a partial list of available beers. We grabbed a more comprehensive paper-menu and sat at the bar for the best service possible. We soon had one of the coolest taster-flights we’ve seen in front of us with everything from a Berliner Wiesse to their infamous White Chocolate wheat wine. The tasters were all 2oz pours, and most beers were a buck, with a few being $1.50. Two ounces might not sound like enough beer to give a true impression, but don’t forget that these are often intensely flavored or extra-strong beers. We found the 2oz pours to be just the right amount.
As the tasting room filled up, and it got quite full in the time we were enjoying our tasters, the confusion about what and how to order seemed to be straightened out and a more cohesive line formed. All throughout the crew manning the bar was quick to help, though their ability to give close hands-on-service obviously suffered as the crowd swelled. We’d suggest a mid-week visit to get the best personalized service.
The Bruery is not only a must-visit destination for serious beer fans visiting Orange Country, you could make a case for it being reason enough for braving the 5 and crossing the Orange Curtain. Just be sure to grab a few bottles (and maybe a growler) for the road!