10 Great Breweries In Orange County

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San Diego? Oh, please. La naranja is where it's at these days for beer. We've got the space, we've got quasi-libertarian city governments who would love nothing more than to bring in business, and we've got 3 million thirsty people and easy access to Los Angeles. Here are 10 of the best.

10. Bayhawk Ales

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Christopher Victorio / OC Weekly
The longest continuously running brewery in Orange County isn't anyplace interesting--adjacent to McCormick and Schmick's in Irvine--and it doesn't have a tasting room per se (the Pilsner Room at M&S does not count as a tasting room), but you've definitely had Bayhawk beer before. It supplies the house beer at M&S, Oggi's and Lucille's, including an amber ale that's better, a little hoppier, a little more interesting than Newcastle.

2000 Main St., Irvine, (949) 442-7565; bayhawkales.com.

9. Old Orange Brewing

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It was only a matter of time before Olde Towne Orange turned into a beer-lover's paradise. First, there was Haven with its well-curated beer list; then the Bruery Provisions opened as a bottle- and flight-shop north of the circle. Technically, Old Orange Brewing isn't in Old Orange, located as it is in the industrial reaches of Batavia between Taft and Katella, but . . . well . . . close enough.

1444 N. Batavia St., Orange, (714) 744-8410; oldorangebrewing.com.

8. TAPS Fish House and Brewery

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Anne Marie Panoringan
It'd be easy to write off TAPS as just some soulless King's Fish House knockoff located in Brea (motto: "Beige Is Best"), except it's good. Damn good. The food's good, and the beer is first-rate. It's the little brewery that could--it alone brought home a gold and two silvers from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, not to mention Brewer of the Year for braumeister Victor Novak. Worth the slog up the 57? Oh, yes.

101 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, (714) 257-0101; also at 2745 Lakeshore Dr., Corona, (951) 277-5800; tapsfishhouse.com.


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