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.”
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).
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.
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.
…is what I hope doesn’t happen with the pear in this new beer from The Bruery.
Pear is such a delicate flavor which is probably why it is not used so much in beers. I think the flavor combo for this punch might overwhelm. I would have left out orange and found a barrel treatment a little less powerful. That said, if the blenders got this one right, it sounds great.
The Bruery is adding a Black Tuesday variant aged in, wait for it, my favorite spirit, Gin.
It will be interesting to see if the botanicals can power through the very strong base beer. Then diving deeper, I would like to see smaller bottles with different barrels. Gin, wine, cognac and othets.
Back to California as fast as we can because we have to catch up with The Bruery…
“Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with molasses, ginger, graham cracker, and spices
Run, run, run, as fast as you can… it’s gingerbread season, and we’re feeling festive! What better way to celebrate than with a delicious gingerbread-inspired imperial stout. We added a bit of molasses to the boil before aging in bourbon barrels. Then we added all the classic spices— cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg— along with graham cracker to capture the rich sweetness of a fresh gingerbread cookie.”
I do not think that American breweries will ever tire of making Elvis beers that harken back to his favorite food combo. But each time that I see one, I think to myself that a taster would be enough. But with Black Tuesday as the big, burly base, maybe The Bruery is on to something.
I have never heard of a cocktail called the Manky Panky but if you say gin barrel, I will come a running. Add Fernet barrels and now I am all in. I wonder how the three powerful fruits will combine with that barrel power that the Bruery is harnessing.