After having a nice trip to catch some baseball and beers out in Arizona, it was time to move further west to California. My parents took the kids and caught a flight home to Denver, while my wife and I hit the first flight out to Ontario. No, not Canada eh. There’s another Ontario, which is east of Los Angeles, CA and only about 30 minutes from The Bruery in Orange, CA.
I was pretty happy with my $9 / day rental car through Enterprise, until I noticed that gas prices are pushing up to nearly $5 / gallon out there. That’s crazy talk. Luckily we didn’t have too far to go. There was a steady, cold rain coming down as we started our journey south from the airport.
Our first stop was at In-N-Out for some early lunch. We rolled in just as they were opening their doors at 10:30AM. If you’re coming from an area without In-N-Out, into an area with In-N-Out, you must stop there first for a bite to eat. I don’t want excuses people, just make it happen. It’s inexpensive, delicious and send me one while you’re at it. E-mail me and I’ll get you shipping information. Thanks and well done.
Now with that out of the way, we could begin some southern California beer-trippin’. Our first stop was at The Bruery Provisions. Back in 2010, The Bruery Provisions opened as a specialty market filled with some of the finest beer, wine, cheese and other grocery items around. They have several coolers filled with some very nice Belgians and a wide variety of American microbrews. They’ve also got a huge selection of Bruery beers, including a line of beers that is made exclusively for the store. The cheese section was pretty impressive with dozens of different types available for purchase. The Provisions is also the pick up point for members of The Bruery Reserve Society, which we’ll talk about later.
In the back of The Provisions is a tasting area with an extensive beer menu, as well as meat and cheese plates. Patti picked up three different wedges of cheese and I ordered a flight of beers for us to try.
From left to right: Filmishmish (oak aged sour apricot), Humulus Lager (hoppy imperial pilsner), Sour in the Rye (oak aged sour ale), White Oak (bourbon barrel aged wheatwine) and Chocosaurus Rye (collaboration with Bootlegger’s; lager brewed with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans). The cheeses were brie, cambozola and goat. It was quite the start to our day.
The Provisions also offers free wifi, so we got our laptop and tuned in to American Craft Beer Radio to hear Gary V’s broadcast and catch up on what was happening back home in Colorado. The staff was busy filling orders for Reserve Society members picking up their orders. I’m a member of the club, but because I had a large order, I’ve got a friend who’s going to pick it up and ship it out to me. It’s easier than trying to fumble with it at the airport or trying to pack it up for FedEx. We had limited time and my hookup said he’d take care of it for me.
There were quite a few guest tap offerings to go along with the extensive list of Bruery beers. They had Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, Allagash’s Odyssey, Ballast Point’s Sea Monster Imperial Stout and Great Divide’s Espresso Yeti to name a few. There wasn’t a bad beer on the menu and the staff seemed knowledgable and able to help with pairings and suggestions.
They periodically host tastings and offer classes where they pair up flights of beer and cheese or wine and cheese. Tune into their facebook page to keep up with the tap list and new beers arriving in the store. They are also working on getting approval for their patio. Once that happens, you’ll be able to enjoy a beer outside!
We could have easily spent an afternoon in this place. Friendly staff, great beers and cheese. Orange is a nice little town with antique stores and family restaurants. We’ll be back for sure and this is a must-stop if you’re ever out that way. Not to mention, Reserve Society members get 15% off purchases. We need a place like this in Colorado! Their address is: 143 N. Glassell Ave, Orange, CA 92866.
We had such a beer filled trip to California, that I’m going to split this into three parts. Check back soon and we’ll take you inside The Bruery’s Reserve Society Initiation party and then finish up with a stop at The Bruery’s prodcution facility and tasting room. Until then, Cheers!