February 2019 will officially go down as FeBREWary, as Santa Ana and Long Beach have seen new breweries open, with more coming soon to Costa Mesa.
Santa Ana River Brewing
OC history buffs might know the Santa Ana River is what helped the local agriculture thrive throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. Nowadays, the river has at least 10 breweries within a mile of it. The latest comes from Geoff Brand and Mike Miller, who aim to put as many pounds of hops through their brewhouse as it will physically hold. 3840 W. Warner Ave., Ste. B, Santa Ana; santaanariverbrewing.com. Opened Feb. 16.
I first tried Ambitious Ales at Santa Ana’s Brew at the Zoo event a few years ago, and someone noted one of the five owners, Garrett Carroll, was my doppelganger, which I thought was a high compliment. The gang of five friends are set to open a spot in a historic camera-repair-shop building in Bixby Knolls. 4019 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach; ambitiousales.com. Opened Feb. 16.
Brewing Reserve of California
Husband and wife Steve and Teryle Aguilar built a cozy cave of beer just down the street from a Lamborghini dealership and IKEA. Their goal is to cultivate a strong neighborhood pub with approachable beers and even a flight of lemonades from different fruit varietals. 2930 College Ave., Costa Mesa; brcbeer.com. Opening delayed; check the Instagram (@brcbeer) for updates!
Salty Bear Brewing Co.
Keep looking for radar blips, as this spot on the Costa Mesa Beer Trail is set to open “soon.” 2948 Randolph Ave., Ste. C, Costa Mesa; saltybearbrewing.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 this June!