5 Great Beers for an OC Winter, 2015 Edition

Categories: Hops to It!

Photo by gosheshe
Pictured: Not California

With the exception of the few rainstorms a few months ago, Southern California's winter this year has been very... warm. It's doesn't even qualify with sweater weather, what with the temperature hitting the 80s this weekend. That doesn't mean there's no reason to change up your drinking habits though. OC's breweries have the perfect beers for our not-so-frightful winter nights.

More »

Coming Soon to Long Beach: Beachwood Blendery

Categories: Hops to It!

Photo by Brian Erzen
Beer heaven

Drumroll please. The award-winning Beachwood BBQ and Brewing recently announced they will be opening up a souring program, Beachwood Blendery.

Situated next to their downtown Long Beach location (sorry, Seal Beach), the facility will also house a tasting room so you can get your sour on straight from the teat. The acidic adventure will aim to brew and blend authentic Belgian-style spontaneously fermented beers.

More »

Portola Coffee And Friends Tap Takeover This Tuesday!

Categories: Hops to It!

Because coffee and beer

Do you like coffee? Do you love beer? If you can say yes to either question, you're in for a treat next week. The ever-popular folks at Portola are throwing a unique brew party with their neighbors at The Iron Press next Tuesday. And we're not just talking one or the other. It's the best of both worlds, over and over again.

Whether you should be chugging on beer infused with caffeine after 5 p.m. is a personal call, but some say Tuesdays are the most productive day of the week. We say go for it! If you're wondering who's on tap, that's easy.

More »

Should You Buy a Sonic Foamer for Your Beer-Loving Pals this Christmas?

Photo by Das Ubergeek
This is the type of foam you want...

I live in a thousand-square-foot box. There is no room for anything in this house that does not serve at least useful purpose. I don't have room for twenty specialized cleaners, so I clean everything with ammonia, vinegar, lemon and borax, like those annoying women on that British house-cleaning reality show. I don't have room for cocktail glasses, so everything gets served in tumblers.

When I got a pitch for a sonic beer foamer, though, I was intrigued. Given the dozens hundreds oh crap, call the Betty Ford Clinic thousands of bottles of beer I put away, have I been missing the opportunity to re-live that first aromatic, aerosolized whiff of a beer's head with each sip?

More »

Understanding Beer: 5 Ways to Make Sure You're Actually Cellaring Beer

Categories: Hops to It!

Photo by Cleo Tobbi
Into the dark with you!

Let's face it, as much as craft beer fanatics enjoy drinking their booze, their passion to collect, store and chronicle every beer they can be even stronger. Words like "limited edition" and "rare" are part of everyday vocabulary for any respectable beer geek and just like any other diehard col-lector, beer enthusiasts like to keep their rare beer--like The Bruery's Black Tuesday--for just the right moment.

However, unlike action figures or trading cards, how and where a beer is stored for that special occasion actually matters [Note: Charles totally has a meticulously double-sleeved Magic: The Gathering deck]. Beer is a living entity, inside a bottle or otherwise, and constantly trans-forms up until the last sip. Because of that, aging and storage conditions play a large role in alter-ing the beverage. Here are five tips to make sure you keep that rare barrel-aged-something-or-other you got for the holidays properly stored for future consumption.

More »

This Black Friday, Orange County Is Goose Island's Bourbon County (Brand Stout)

Categories: Hops to It!

FRIDAY!! Bourbon County Tap Takeover 2014 BCB: Stout Coffee Stout Vanilla Stout Barleywine

A photo posted by Native Son Alehouse (@nativesonale) on

Black Friday is upon us and for craft beer lovers, that means the year-long wait for Goose Island Beer Co.'s Bourbon County Brand Stout is finally over. An unhealthy amount of stores will be doing early morning sales, but you can avoid them all (and the horrible, horrible crowds) by visiting a few Orange County bars and liquor stores that are selling this year's round of the illusive BCBS and its sexy variants.

This year, BCBS comes in regular, as well as coffee, Proprietor's (rye whiskey and coconut), barleywine, and vanilla--a variant they haven't released in four years.

More »

Cismontane Brewing Tasting Room Now Open In Santa Ana

Dave Lieberman
One less toll to pay

In June, Cleo gave details on Cismontane's future tap room. Over the weekend, the Rancho Santa Margarita-based brewery opened its doors with specials on tap and food trucks to fill your belly.

Found off the 55 and Warner Avenue (cross street Grand), their hours during the week are weekdays from 3 - 9 p.m. Saturdays are from noon to 9 p.m., and Sundays go from noon to 5 p.m. Three cheers to a more easily accessible location!

More »

Good Beer Company Opens in Downtown Santa Ana

Categories: Hops to It!

Downtown Santa Ana has had a few craft beer developments lately, and here comes another one: Good Beer Company, DTSA's own craft beer brewery, is now open.

Or well -- they opened doors over the weekend. After my shift at the OC Weekly's Noches De Altares booth, I wandered over, ordered a half pint and then promptly poured half of it on my pants (hey guys! I was sober, I swear), but I'll tell you this: The half I did drink tasted pretty damn good.

More »

5 Great Orange County Beers for an OC Autumn

Photo by There's more to fall beer!

It may not feel like Summer Solstice has actually passed in Southern California, but we still reap the benefits of tasty beer made for cool air and fuzzy boots. We might not be seeing too many scarves or coats, but Orange County brewers are so good that they don't need the weather to change to make you enjoy fall beer. Here is a lineup of some excellent beers that are perfect for autumn, and while the list is numbered, they're all top picks.

More »


Categories: Hops to It!

Photo by Kevin Lara/OC Weekly
Chef Manny is ready for autumn

When our 2014 Best Seafood Restaurant schedules their Fall Beer Dinner, it's the best of both worlds. Five seasonal courses by Manny Gonzalez paired with unique tastes by their brewmaster. It's worth fighting the afternoon commute for.

For $60 (before tax and gratuity) and one 6:30 reservation, we've got your TAPS menu. First course: Corn and Spanish ham fritters accompanied by their Pumpkin Ale. So delicious, we wrote it up as a Drink of the Week a while back. To view the rest of your dinner service, keep reading.

More »