In the dark shadows of the Brewers Mash beer festival, I noticed TAPS Brewery and Barrel House tucked away in the darkness with a couple new beers. One of them, a new Vienna/Mexican-style lager called Cheve, was drizzled out of their jockey box 2oz at a time, making way for some chatter amongst those in the know. Dressed in my Clark Kent/Superman costume, I took a sip, which instantly took me to my beer fortress of solitude. “I must get pints of this tomorrow,” I mentioned to my Wonderwoman friend, wishing I could fly around the earth a few times to speed up time.
Fast forward to the next day: “Sorry, we don’t have that on tap yet,” mentions the TAPS beertender, “I believe it’s on deck to be tapped soon though.” My heart sank, “Fine, I’ll have a Juice Banner Hazy IPA then,” sticking with my weekend warrior superhero theme.
Although I was craving something clear, bright, and sessionable, the huge Hulk-like hopload of Juice Banner calmed my nerves. Turns out, hops are a sedative according to actual science. The beer made me go from being all “Hulk Smash!” to being a venerable chill dude. Juicy IPA has a way of doing that.
When I drink a hazy, I usually tend to look for faults as quality is all over the place from not only brewery to brewery, but from batch to batch. Either they’re not hazy at all, a yeasty mess, or way too bitter to be classified in the style category. The brewers at TAPS are basically beer stylists, and nailed what a hazy is all about with this release. Although Juice Banner is probably almost tapped out, do your super-self a solid and grab a pint before its gone!
TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room is at 15501 Redhill Ave, Tustin
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest. When not writing about, photographing or filming beer, cocktails, and food, he can be found talking trash while playing Battlefield V under the name “OCBeer.”