Gunwhale Ales Opens in Orange, What the Ale!

JT Wallace, Kevin Hammonds, Justin Miller and Bobby Fitzgerald of Gunwhale Ales. Photo by Greg Nagel

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the number of award-winning beers coming out of Costa Mesa’s Gunwhale Ales considering what the brewery has to go through to make that happen. 

Normally, breweries go from grain on one side of the building to the taps on the other side. But Gunwhale is more like grain to van to a rent-a-brewery in Anaheim to a large tank that’s in the back of the van, then back to Costa Mesa, where it’s piped into fermenters. It seems as if a million things could go wrong in that process! And if you didn’t know about it, you would probably never have guessed it.

A view into the brewhouse from the taproom. Photo by Greg Nagel

All of that’s about to change with its brand-new brewery in the city of Orange. Just down the road from Angel Stadium and across the street from a city sports park, Gunwhale’s new location will serve as the main hub for all beer making and tasting with 24 taps. There’s a huge, olive-tree-shaded patio, rustic California feels and plenty of parking. The Orange spot will also free up the existing Costa Mesa taproom to be used as a dedicated sour/funky beer-production facility, a method that’s popular with other such breweries so as to not inadvertently cross-sour the wrong beers.

Bang Straw, a table beer, as poured on opening. Photo by Greg Nagel.

The recently opened brewhouse features a rare-in-America mash-press filter system that has several advantages, most notably the ability to work with a variety of malts that would clog up a traditional American brewhouse.

Gunwhale Ales, 1501 Orangewood Ave., Orange; also at 2960 Randolph Ave., Costa Mesa; gunwhaleales.com.

Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!

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