There are very few beers I’m willing to wait in line for. For every hypetrain in our local area, there are just as many hidden gems worth discovering. Whether you’re just beer curious, still falling into craft beer purgatory, or beer satan himself, there are several levels in Dante’s Inferno when it comes to buying bottles. Sure, you can waste your time thumbing the dust off of Totes Wine or BevNo! shelfies, but nothing beats hitting up a legit bottle shop where the owner curates a list full of rarities, gems, and beers that he/she feels need to be discovered.
Celebrating Windsor Homebrew Supply (and bottle shop’s) third year of being open, the Costa Mesa store is releasing a pod of white whales into the wild. Gueuze and Lambic from Belgium, award-winning bourbon barrel aged beers from Anaheim, funky beers from Norcal, and even tart treats from Los Angeles…a beer line worth waiting for.
Starting Friday the 29th at 9 am, expect to see a line in front of the store with beer geeks drinking Thunderking cold brew (on the house). Owner Scott Windsor mentions a few house rules: “We will let a few people in the store at a time and they will be able to pick 1-3 bottles out of the “limited list” depending on the turnout, one Cantillon bottle per person. All other bottles not on the list will be 10% off all day.”
If I had to pick one bottle from the list below, I’d go Cantillon Fou Foune, as there’s nothing quite like that fuzzy apricot mouthfeel balanced with French oak and funk from the wild yeast. If that was sold out, I’d open the cooler and buy whatever Heater Allen beers are available. Protip: bring a cooler in your car so your bottles will be nicely chilled after work!
Rose de Gambrinus
Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru
Cuvee Saint Gilloise
Windsor Homebrew Supply, 743 Baker St Suite D, Costa Mesa (Near the Huddle, Barley Forge, and Gunwhale Ales), (714) 668-9850; windsorhomebrewsupply.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, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest.