On the Table

We do not have enough Belgian-style table beers in the world, so I am glad to see that The Bruery has canned up their La Petite Provision, an “easy-drinking and full of flavor thanks to additions of Thai basil and lemongrass to the brew. Herbal, floral, and slightly sweet…”

Barrels upon Barrels

The Bruery has a trifecta of bigggg beers coming out.  Let’s go low (but still high) to really high.

14.7% – Fireproof will be an imperial stout (Bayonet) aged in Port barrels that previously held Balcones Distilling Hechicheros single malt Whiskey barrels.

17.7% – Demon Water will be an imperial stout aged in Newport Craft Distilling Thomas Tew Rum barrels.

19.7% – The Malt Mill will be an imperial stout (Black Tuesday) aged in Westward Whiskey barrels.

Twice the Cacao

I am a sucker for a bourbon barrel-aged beer and I am also a sucker for a great beer name, so The Bruery’s Strange Case Of Dr. Elijah And Mr. Cacao is on point.  It is their Monster Stout base aged in 18-year Elijah Craig Bourbon barrels for 12-months with both powdered cacao and freeze-fried cacao.

Barley Smoked

The Bruery has a lot of very creative beers each year. I do scroll by many of them but each time I do see one or two that pique my interest. Such as….

…rye and barrel is just a great start and barleywine and smoked make things unique so I will look for it.


The Bruery is now at the 15 year mark and that means a special barrel-aged beer of course.

“Le quinzième anniversaire of The Bruery brings another celebratory ale true to tradition. We bring you Cristal: the 15th edition of our annual Anniversary ale, meaning it has 15 years of Bruery history blended right in— and you’ll want to savor every drop.”


Beer recipes evolve unlike people who seem to do the opposite so I was glad to see that The Bruery had re-visited Tradewinds their Belgian Tripel that was such a staple in the early days of the Orange County brewery.

Now it is a Gust of Wind described as taking “the base recipe for Trade Winds and deconstructed it to an even more classic version of an abbey tripel, allowing the fermentation characteristics from our house yeast to shine. Huge amounts of phenolic spice, just the right amount of fruity esters, crisp and dry, with enough alcohol to remind you it has backbone without being over the top. Perfect for our retro fans, drinkable enough for our new friends, and enough bite for all the big beer lovers out there.”

Putting on the Ritz (Carlton)

I got a taste of luxe life in San Juan Capistrano over Christmas at the Inn at the Mission and now not far away is another event that looks extravagant.  Below are the details.  I will pop back in with why the beer is special at the end…

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s first Culinary Cookout of 2023 is Brews & Bites – a beachside beer festival with an incredible and diverse lineup of brewers from across the nation and internationally on Sunday, February 19 from 1- 4 pm.

Set on the resort’s lush Dana Lawn that overlooks miles of the Pacific Ocean, attendees will enjoy an afternoon of unlimited beer tastings with a keepsake glass and access to global street food stations serving up wood fire Bavarian pretzels, Korean corn dogs, New Delhi fish and chips, and borracha tacos. Lawn games and entertainment complete the afternoon.”

Here is a link to buy tickets ($150 per person; kids under 9 are complimentary).

Brewery Headliners: 

This is not a hastily thrown together brewery list.  Bottle Logic and The Bruery may not have whales at their tables but even their most basic list of beers are great.  Many have not had a beer from Kimberly Rice and Sage and this is a great way to introduce yourself to their beers.  They do a lot of farm to table and grow hops via Sow A Heart Farms.  For me the headliner is Bow & Arrow from New Mexico.  Most of the press is about the owners, and rightfully so, but I have had a couple of their beers and they are great.  I say have the beers then read their story.

Bruery Supper Club

The Bruery is starting a supper club and they have chosen the highly regarded and much written about Oaxacan fare at Guelaguetza as the first restaurant in the series.

As you can see from the menu, this was a wide ranging set of foods and beer. I have to start by saying that the Moles were as advertised. Really flavorful and really a festival. It was great on the chips at the start of the night as well. The Chiles Rellenos were also quite good.

The beers, as expected, were well up to the high Bruery standards. Many were beers that I had not tasted in a long time and it was great to be reacquainted with them. Especially Or Xata and Mischief which seemed quite hopped up to me.

Strangely though, despite both sides being excellent, the pairings didn’t really fly. The Helles with the ceviche was the best of the bunch but even that was a bit dull. The tequila barrel-aged Siesta Saturday with the beautiful looking corn dessert, Nicuatole was a complete mismatch. The big burly beer ran over the delicate and subtle texture of the dessert. I would have paired the Helles here or the Gose.

Do not let that stop you from following along to see when and where The Bruery will supper with next. Food and beer pairings is an art and a science and sometimes it clicks and sometimes it just misses.