I have to admit that while our Disneyland vacation was being planned, there was a voice in the back of my head, like an excited 8 year old on Christmas morning, “The Bruery” “Yo, The Bruery is near Disneyland” “The BRUERY, dude, the BRUERY.”
If I said that a visit to the Bruery was not on my mind at every stage of the Disney trip planning process, then I would be a filthy liar.
Sunday afternoon, after the second batch of NFL games, we hit the road. All of my fantasy football teams were looking good so far, and we were able to listen to updates on the evening game on satellite radio.
The drive north was quick and relatively painless, aside from my finger tips being raw from trying to claw my way out of the car during a high speed chase on the highway. My wife had taken offense to the driving antics of a middle aged Armenian gentleman, so she chased him down at 90 mph in order to express her disapproval through a series of high speed hand gestures.
Once we arrived at the hotel to check-in and return my heart rate to a healthy level, it dawned on me that I was about to drink beers at the Bruery. After freaking-out briefly, I made sure that my cell phone was charged sufficiently for the UNTAPPD check-ins that were about to ensue. (If you don’t have UNTAPPD, I suggest you get it immediately)
The Bruery, located at 717 Dunn Way in Placentia, is roughly a 10 minute drive from Disney. My wife got there in 6.
Like many Breweries, The Bruery is located in somewhat of an industrial eye-sore complex. It is actually pretty quaint as you pull up, but that did not take away (in ANY way) from my excitement.
A size-able group was already assembled, seating was limited. One guy had a suit on, another was in sweat pants and a viking helmet. I was not concerned with seating, however, and stood like a thirsty dwarf below the massive chalk board beer menu. The selections were vast and somewhat intimidating. I estimate that there were between 25 and 30 of the BRUERY’s beers on tap for consumption.
The Bruery has sheets of paper for beer flight selection. For anyone that doesn’t know, a “flight” is a collection of beer tasters. Some places have predetermined beers selected for their flights, and others let you choose your own. The good people at The Bruery give their customers both options.
My hands shook with excitement as I filled out the paper with my first 5 beer selections. They were as follows: Werewolf Saison, Bourbon Barrel Aged Autumn Maple, Windowsill, Ebony and Oak, and Mischief Gone Wild.
Each sip was more fascinating and empowering than the last. The Bruery beers are complicated and intense, also they have high alcohol content. Despite taking my team with each beer and trying my best to document the unique flavors.
As I walked up to get my second flight, a local beer drinker noticed the wide-eyed manner in which I was gazing I at the menu. He struck up a conversation. When he realized that this was my first visit to The Bruery, he offered to get me something off of the “reserved menu”. I learned that the reserve menu is a paid privilege for those that frequent the tasting room. I thankfully took him up on his offer. The reserve beer I chose was called “Grey Monday” which boasts an 18.6 alcohol content. The beer, a double imperial stout is quite syrupy. I could tell that the alcohol content was high, but not the point where it made the beer less enjoyable. Oh, and I had double vision for the rest of the evening.
As I went up to get my 3rd Flight (yes I drank 3) another local chatted me up. He also offered to get me something off of the reserve menu. I chose Melange #3. He explained to me that The Bruery likes to have mixing parties. At these mixing parties, people mix Bruery beers together and then every tastes them and picks winners. The winners end up being put on tap and sometimes bottled for sale. I could imagine this being a great honor. The idea reminded me of how many wines are made in a blending process. Melange #3 was one of these mixing party concoctions, and after tasting it, I can see why it was a winner.
The biggest impact that the Bruery had on me that day was probably the addition to my knowledge and appreciation for Sour beers. The way that the Bruery mixed Sours, Stouts and Porters opened up new doors of understanding for me.
I went on to drink three flights that night that I can recall. Many of the Bruery beers will need to be tried a few times before I have a sufficient feel and understanding of them. I can say with absolute certainty that my much anticipated visit to The Bruery lived up to my expectations and I cannot wait to return. My wife and I plan to visit Disneyland at least once a year, and we will also be visiting The Bruery once a year also, at a minimum.
I, without a second though, put The Bruery tasting room in my top 5 beer-related visits to ANYWHERE I have EVER been. Go here, and do it soon.
A random thought. I saw a bottle of BOIS at my local Sprouts. It was a 22 oz. bottle for $31.89. Peek at the picture if you don’t fucking believe me.
While I found BOIS to be epic and exceptional, it would take me three weeks to finish an entire bottle of that thick, syrupy madness. It is the beer equivalent of snorting a gallon of pudding rather than using a spoon. Maybe if me and 4 friends split it up or something. You would almost have to for the price.
– Tom Murray