The Bruery. It’s the reason I was persuaded to come to California – literally; because when I looked at Disney I saw they were a mere ten minutes drive away. The Bruery are both prolific and excellent, and those two things don’t always go together. They are also really inventive and I always look forward to their beers being in the Beer Gonzo monthly share. So this is a longer post than usual.

They are sited on an industrial estate, as are many of the breweries we visited, but their premises are large. (Annoyingly their place backed on to our hotel but the industrial estate was surrounded by a huge Trump-like wall and so we ended up in a taxi to get there and back!)

I can’t tell you how excited I was to actually get there – and I was pretty overwhelmed at the massive amount of their beers they have available on tap at any one time, quite apart from all the bottled stuff. But my excitement was weirdly tinged with disappointment as I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to get through everything I wanted to try as we only had two hours having arrived late. Still, chin up and all that!

Their tap list runs to five sides of longer-than-A4, albeit with helpful descriptions, but even when condensed into a flight ordering sheet it runs for two sides – so choosing is a real dilemma. It says a lot that I didn’t pick their White Chocolate wheat wine, which I’d loved at a Share and is £30+ a bottle if you can find it in the UK, or their Or Xata ditto. There was just so much choice… AND, when ordering my flight the bartender wanted my opinion on their Traditional Brown Ale on nitro so gave me a sample. A lovely, creamy, beautiful looking beer, thank you.

Flight 1

  • Contains Legumes on nitro: session ale with peanut flour and salt
  • Out of the Lunchbox: strong ale with lactose, peanut flour, salt, and boysensberries
  • The Order: Belgian abbey style with dates and spices
  • Zesty Mounds: BBA strong ale blend with vanilla, cacao, coconut, and orange zest
  • So Happens It’s Tuesday: BBA imperial stout

This was a great selection of super-tasty interesting beers. The peanut flour gave a savoury salty flavour and creamyness, with the fruit (a raspberry / blackberry cross) adding sweetness to the second stronger beer. The Belgian-style was sticky and rich, and Zesty Mounds more bitter and sophisticated than mere chocolate orange. And the stout was superb.

So then my drinking partner arrived, and was despatched to order a second flight which he peppered with some of the hoppy specialities brewed by their Offshoot Beer Co.

Flight 2

  • !Guava Libre: imperial cream ale with lactose, vanilla, and guava
  • Welcome to the Hazy Daze: dank juicy IPA with Nelson, Amarillo, and Citra hops
  • Mysteries of the Brueniverse: DIPA with Enigma and Galaxy hops
  • Charlie: Hazy DIPA with African Queen and Southern Passion Hops
  • One Way or Another (Bruery Terreaux and Cascade collab): oak aged sour triple with Oregon Marionberries and Meyer lemon zest

We were particularly interested in their Guava beer as we’d brewed with some recently and while it tasted great it was rather explosive when bottled. Theirs was creamy and much better behaved than ours. And a beer that combined The Bruery with Cascade was always going to make my list and didn’t disappoint (Marionberries are a commercial brand of blackberries). Obviously I didn’t drink the IPAs…

While the second flight was being ordered we enquired about the yeast used in something, being total beer nerds, and the most magical thing happened – the bartender called someone over to talk to us who only happened to be their Innovation Manager, Andrew Bell #swoon.

Andrew, despite being on his way home at 9pm, stayed and chatted very kindly with us, as we drooled over his innovation kit through the window, and he offered us a try of his latest limited availability creation, then, on hearing I was an imperial stout lover, he also gave me a serving of another beer from their Society Exclusives range only available to subscribers. We couldn’t have been more honoured, not only by the comps but by his generosity with his time. Cheers.

  • American Anthem: BBA peach cobbler inspired imperial brown ale with peach, apricot, cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Bakery: Coconut Macaroon: partial BBA imperial stout with coconut and vanilla.

These were Willy Wonka beers – if Roald Dahl was writing now about the three-course dinner chewing gum, he would have considered American Anthem for the pudding. It was fabulous; pie-like without that overpowering its essential beeriness. Amazing. And the stout was dessert-like without being cloying, a very clever beer.

I reckon you could spend three or four evenings in a row at The Bruery and not get through everything. If I lived near enough I would be a top-level subscriber because The Bruery are the Cartier of the beer world, experts in making truly beautiful things. I was very sad not to be able to return for a second night, but should my kids ever try to persuade me to take them to Disney in the US again their secret weapon would be mentioning The Bruery. Just don’t tell them that!

PS: Have just realized that Bruery Terreux have their own tasting rooms and so I now HAVE to return!