Saturday, May 24, 2008

There's A New Bruery In Town

Orange County is in for a major change. There's a great new brewery (Bruery) in town. Yeah there's TAPS Fish House up the road in Brea which makes some excellent beers, but they don't bottle anything. Here comes a start-up brewery just south of Fullerton called The Bruery that is making some amazing beers. Amazing and different. Today was their (secret) grand opening party. Here's what they were serving up:

  • Orchard White - A year round Witbier made with the traditional ingredients plus lavender.
  • Black Orchard - A black Witbier with Chamomile added.
  • Saison Rue - A farmhouse ale made with malted rye.
  • Trade Winds Tripel - A Belgian-style Tripel with Thai Basil added and beefed up with rice instead of Belgian candi sugar.
  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch No. 1 Levud's - A Belgian-style Golden Strong Ale (a version of their normal Batch No. 1 Levud's) that is aged in Bourbon barrels.
  • Humulus Bruin - A second runnings from their Imperial Stout, with a distinctive hoppiness to it.
When we arrived to the party we were given a beautiful tulip glass with "The Bruery" logo etched on and a list of what beers were on tap for the day with their descriptions. Having already had the Orchard White in a bottle last night we started off with the Saison Rue. From what I remember it had that farmhouse character to it and was a pleasure to drink. I have a bottle of it here at home so I can't wait to sit down with a larger glass.

The next beer we went to was the Trade Winds Tripel. This beer had some of the earthiness you get in the classic examples such as St. Bernardus or Westmalle Tripel, but it was really tilted more towards the fruit side. Light, fruity, and slightly earthy... and damn tasty. The tripel was my favorite beer of the day, and that is saying something amongst the quality beers there.

The next beer up was the Barrel Aged Batch No. 1 Levud's. The regular Batch No. 1 was not on tap, but it is a Belgian-style Golden Strong Ale, 11% ABV. This bourbon barrel aged version was 12% ABV. The aroma was undoubtedly oak and bourbon. I loved it. My friend not so much. However, we both agreed that the taste was very good. Lots of bourbon character in it, some heat, yet still had quite a fruity, sugary aspect to it. Another huge winner of the day. I was disappointed that the non-barrel aged version wasn't being poured today, but it was in stacks of bottles (a little over 2,000 total, each hand signed and numbered by the brewer) and was said to probably be ready in a month or so.

The next beer was the Humulus Bruin. Aside from the second part of that name which I don't like to say or write, this beer was very interesting. Humulus is a second runnings of an imperial stout. It has a bunch of hops added to it (Summit and Sterling) as well as dry hopped. The aroma was bigtime hops. It had a real dirty, musty, grassy, dry hopped sorta smell to it. The taste was really toasty, and had that hop spiciness to it.

After all the bigger beers I decided to go back and try the Black Orchard, even though I have a bottle of it here at home. Now that is a tasty (black) Witbier. I don't remember too well how the blackness of it played a factor in the taste but I do remember it being very light, juicy and refreshing. I didn't have Orchard White while I was there because I've had it before and wanted to allow myself more consumption of the other beers, but it is also a nice tasting wit.

I'm almost in awe that a place making this good of beer has started up so close to home. For a small secret grand opening party they really did a great job with all the food (the real pretzels, waffles, and cheese plates were amazing). The bar they constructed is made out of pieces of barrels and really unique/cool. They are definitely doing things the right way down there. I became an instant fan and believe there will be great things in the future for The Bruery.

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