Orange County is experiencing a virtual explosion in Craft Beer with breweries and brew pubs opening almost weekly. Whether you live in Ale-aheim, Suds Clemente or somewhere in between, you may have a favorite craft-beer spot, but in case you don’t, here are 10 great locations to check out. Cheers!
1. The Bruery
Patrick Rue turned a hobby into a nationally recognized brewery. Specializing in barrel-aged and experimental ales, the Bruery offers 40 beers on tap, all brewed on the premises. Grab a menu and try a few tasters. Joining the Society membership gives you the opportunity to be first in line for seasonal beers such as the legendary Black Tuesday imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels. 717 Dunn Way, Placentia, (714) 996-6258; www.thebruery.com.
2. Bottle Logic Brewing
Since 2014, Bottle Logic has been at the forefront of Ale-aheim’s craft-beer scene. Known for its experimental suds, Bottle Logic constantly introduces new beers in a wide variety of styles, including hazy and West Coast IPAs, stouts, porters, and the occasional mead. Try the Double Actuator, an imperial IPA, for a special treat! 1072 N. Armando St., Anaheim, (714) 660-2537; wwwbottlelogicbrewing.com.
3. Hoparazzi Brewing Co.
Hoparazzi is small in size but big in quality and variety. It brews a little bit of everything, but its signature La Tarte Cerise is a cherry-forward sour with just the right tartness and a clean finish. Ooh, la la! 2910 La Palma Ave., Ste. D, Anaheim, (714) 204-0655.
4. Left Coast Brewing Co.
San Clemente has long been known for its surfers and the nuclear chi-chis of the nearby San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), but with five breweries winning countless awards, its city sign should say, “Welcome to Suds Clemente!” Left Coast has become a big part of the brewing community since opening in 2004, collaborating with the other breweries in town. Stop in and try the session IPA named Nuclear Chi Chi’s in honor of SONGS. 1245 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente, (949) 276-2699; www.leftcoastbrewing.com.
5. Noble Ale Works
Two words: Naughty Sauce. Hands down, it’s one of the most underrated beers ever brewed. Another favorite is the double IPA Nobility, which is smooth AF! And once the expansion at Noble Ale Works is finished, we’ll have more room to enjoy all our favorites while watching the action from the nearby Honda Center. Go Ducks! 1621 S. Sinclair St., Ste. B, Anaheim, (714) 634-2739; www.noblealeworks.com.
6. Barley Forge Brewing
Costa Mesa’s first full-production brewery opened in 2014, and since then, Barley Forge has been THE spot to drink the freshest beer in town. Its signature beer is the Patsy, a coconut rye stout that tastes as if you’re drinking an Almond Joy candy bar. Delicious! In addition to award-winning brews, Barley Forge offers great grub that’s prepared in-house. 2957 Randolph Ave., Ste. B, Costa Mesa, (714) 641-2084; www.barleyforge.com.
7. Bootlegger’s Brewery
Founded in 2008, Bootlegger’s has grown to become one of the largest breweries in Orange County. Besides at its tasting room in downtown Fullerton, Bottlegger’s is available in grocery stores and brewpubs throughout Southern California. Plus, the Knuckle Sandwich imperial IPA scores a 99 on www.ratebeer.com. 130 S. Highland Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2337; www.bootleggersbrewery.com.
8. Network Brewery
Brewing some of the most innovative suds in town, Network is my go-to spot thanks to its Overbooked 411, a hibiscus wheat ale, and Santiago Creek, an American red ale with chai spice. Brilliant! 1824 Carnegie Ave., Santa Ana, (657) 859-8004; www.networkbrewery.com.
9. Karl Strauss Brewing Co.
The OG from San Diego, Karl Strauss started the craft-beer craze and it continues to brew amazing, award-winning beers. At its two locations in Orange County, you’ll find around 25 beers on tap, a handful of which are brewed on premises. Plus, the food is the bomb-dot-com, and the service is top-shelf! 2390 E. Orangewood Ave., Ste. 100, Anaheim, (714) 940-1772; also at 901 S. Coast Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 546-2739; www.karlstrauss.com.
10. All-American Ale Works
Making the jump from homebrewing to a full-scale brewery, the boys at All-American Ale Works hit a home run! The Patriot pale ale is hoppy, with notes of tropical fruit, and the Liberty or Death peanut butter porter will stick to the roof of your mouth! The owners are veterans and offer a discount to first responders and fellow vets! 5120 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, (657) 549-2140; http://all-americanaleworks.com.