For many people, children (and children-at-heart) in particular, Anaheim conjures images of Disneyland. For an alternative crowd – that is, for the beer drinking crowd, it solicits a similar reaction, for obvious reasons: Anaheim is full of beer winners. Even beyond Anaheim, Orange County as a whole has grown into a veritable beer powerhouse, and we have the bling to back it up.
At this years Great American Beer Festival (or ‘GABF’ for the familiar, click here for a complete list of the GABF winners ), the ever-experimental Bottle Logic claimed its (rightful) place as one of the most exciting breweries on the West Coast by taking home a gold medal for their exponentially inverted Lagerithm
lager. Anyone who’s spent more than a passing moment at the brewery itself will attest to the fact that all ales and/or lagers fashioned by the Bottle Logic staff (Brandon, Wes, Tina, Kyle, Steve, et. al.) will at the very least meet, or more often far exceed, all expectations. It beer brewed to specification to satisfy expectations.
Traveling southeast from Anaheim, the place-to-be is Tustin Brewing Company. A home to casual beer drinkers, expert cicerones, and Guitarists who play for Alice Cooper (FACT), this local destination has FINALLY been recognized for the dynamic flavors it generates. At the helm of this beloved homestead is brewmaster Jerrod Larsen, who has secured a bronze medal for his anniversary sour, Jon Flanders, a definitive example of a Flanders Red Ale. What is a Flanders Red Ale? If you have to ask, you need to go try Jon Flanders. One sip of this excellent elixir will answer every inquiry.
To see a video of GABF win for Tustin Brewing Company click here.
The county is far from done. Back up in Fullerton, Aaron Barkenhagen of Bootlegger’s Brewery has further solidified his position as a beer pioneer (beeroneer?) by taking double-bronze – one for their Galaxian Barleywine, and one for their Rocco Red. Like their peers in the county, their numerous offerings only raise one question – why haven’t they won more?
San Diego will always have its place as the southern California mothership of beer. And Portland will always be a classic beer-vana. But beer is only becoming more popular, and the sleeping giant which is Orange County is quickly developing into a destination for beer