The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in barrel aged and experimental ales, many of them clocking in at 10% + ABV. Founded as a small, friend & family run business in 2008, The Bruery takes it’s unique moniker from founder Patrick Rue’s family surname. The Bruery tasting room is nestled in a small commercial strip located in Placentia just off the 57 Freeway. But don’t let the rather bland looking surroundings fool you. When it comes to beers, there is no end to the variety offered. They routinely serve 30 or more beers in their tasting room, ranging in price from $1 – $3.50 per sample. For being tucked away in a quiet business park, this place was hopping on a Saturday afternoon. For those of you who enjoy that wine tasting experience, this is clearly the beer equivalent.

My host was the the perfect “tolerant” server to my usual goofy self. He provided an absolutely fantastic experience, with top notch service and helpful information. I also took the tour, a great way to learn the basics (and maybe a bit beyond) of beer making and even certain processes unique to the Bruery. It may be more than the average beer drinker may want, but knowledge is power, plus the tour and the tastings are free. I also love the fact that our tour guide served the ladies first….complete class from this brewery from start to finish. Special props to barkeep Chris, who put up with my shit with a sense of humor while continuing to share his knowledge throughout my time in his care. An absolutely amazing day spent with great people and unique delicious beers.

In following the trail of the beers sampled below, pay close attention to the number of samples and more importantly, the alcohol content of each. It is there where you will see why this became the lost weekend….

Humiliated Rye – A hoppy German rye lager. Strong grapefruit nose, possesses a hoppy bite that seems to dull down fairly quickly. Seems to almost have a tanic quality. 6.4% ABV

Tart of Darkness – Oak aged sour stout with cherries and vanilla beans. Nose is stronger on the vanilla bean side but upon taste, the sour cherry takes control with striking contrast. Very refreshing (in an odd sort of way) for a stout and a bit easier on the drink-ability side for non sour fans. 7.4% ABV

White Oak – BBA wheat wine Belgian golden ale blend. Extremely grainy with a yeasty nose (like cereal). A very layered beer that changes throughout the sip. It even ends with an effervescent pop. 12.5% ABV

Wee Heavy Coconuts – barrel aged wee heavy with coconut and spices. Nose has the essence of coconuts but not like suntan lotion, more natural. The spices seem to mellow the overall feel. The coconut element expands and becomes creamier on the pallet. An interesting and recommended selection if you like coconut. 13.5% ABV

Chocolate Rain – BBA imperial stout with cacao nibs and vanilla beans. Aroma is like a bar of dark chocolate. Smooth chocolate and even a hint of coffee on the pallet. 19.7% ABV….holy crap!!

Jardinier – Belgian style pale ale. This beer is one of the easiest to find in stores. Nose is light, with a semi- hoppy aroma and taste. At 4.9% ABV it’s one of the Bruery’s most popular beers.

Loakal Red – Hoppy American red ale aged with oak. Another easy to find brew (try Trader Joes). Aroma has an herbal feel. 6.9% ABV

Mischief – Hoppy Belgian golden strong with a slight floral tone on the aroma. Though the alcohol is tipping the scale a bit, it’s still a very approachable beer for the less adventurous. 8.5% ABV

Abbey Nocturne – Belgian style amber strong ale with coriander. Love the forward coriander notes, but it was hard to classify after the “sniff”. Not sure if it’s high on my list. 11.3% ABV

Colonel Kernel – BBA barleywine with Corn. After having set for awhile this almost has a raisin quality. Not quite the bourbon feel I was expecting, but a great taste. 14.8% ABV

Floyd D’rue – Rum barrel aged spiced imperial porter. A delicious aroma reminiscent of root beer. Not light or heavy, kind of the the mama bear of porters. 14.7% ABV

Humulus Lager – Reminds me of running through the brush as a kid in California. Nice sharp IPL, very unique lager with an IPA feel. 6.4% ABV

Marzipan Black Tuesday – BBA imperial stout with almonds. A great mix that reminds me of a Sticky Monkey type imperial from Firestone. 19.81% ABV OMG!!!

Terreux –

Located approximately 4 miles from the more well known Bruery location in Placentia, this one creates a bit more of a challenge to locate. Though just like the other location, well worth the trouble. Following my near comatose session on Saturday, I was thinking of slowing it down a bit on Sunday. Not the case….2 flights later and accented by some fiery habanero mac “n” cheese and jerk style wings, I was flying and happy once again. I must say that I have only 3 words for you about here and the Bruery….GO, GO, GO!!!

Smaak – Barrel fermented wit with spices and orange zest. Falling along the lines of almost refreshing, Smaak has a light nose with hints of citrus, almost a Chardonnay feel. 5.89% ABV

Rueuze – Gueze style ale. Extremely “woody” on the nose, almost like a freshly sawed pine plank. A nice sweet and sour blend on the pallet and unlike anything out there. Not an everyday brew but definitely work checking out. 6% ABV

Random Summer – Barrel fermented saison with spelt and brett (those aren’t German twins by the way). A very bright summer beer. Kept expecting the sour pop, but it was tempered by the competing style. Once I got over the apprehension, I found this to be quite enjoyable. 7.2% ABV

Quadruple Tonnellerie – Oak barrel fermented Belgian-style quad with blackberries. A big jump back into the style the Bruery is known for. The blackberries are present only lightly on the nose but come through in what feels like a roasted form upon tasting. 10.2% ABV

Fuzzy BBLS – BBA stout blend with sour stout and peaches, apricots, vanilla & lactose. Something absolutely “delicious” about the aroma of this brew. It’s almost like the experience of walking into a candle shop and being hit with multiple aromas. I’m guessing the multitude of ingredients has something to do with that. Was hoping for a little more creaminess from the lactose but the sourness is the predominate feel. Still well worth the tasting but was looking for something a bit different. 11.3% ABV

Hottenroth – Berliner weisse. Much cleaner looking than your usual wheat beer. Aroma is very subdued. To be honest, this is an extremely light beer, boardering on an American light style with slightly more character. 3.1% ABV

Or Xata 2016 – Blonde Ale brewed with rice, cinnamon, vanilla beans and lactose. I must say I’m really growing to love these Frankenstein horchata beers. The sweetness of the rice is preeminent on the nose and in its taste, but the extra added creamy element is what makes these beers completely unique. 7.1% ABV

Gypsy Tart – Flanders style Sour Brown. Much tamer than your usual sour. Not sure if I’m totally sold on this one, feels like it’s not “fully committed” 8.4% ABV

Share This: Coffee – Imperial stout with coffee. An almost overpowering coffee aroma with a hint of anise (black licorice for the uninitiated) Taste is thick and almost syrupy and filled with layered coffee. May be somewhat over powering to the casual drinker. 11.9% ABV

Heaven Hill Black Tuesday – Black Tuesday aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. A bit of a “charred” aroma. No real identifiable aromas present. Strong bourbon-like flavor comes through without being thick. Another perfectly crafted Black Tuesday offering. Kicking my ass at 20% ABV

It must be stated that these were the beers available during my “lost” weekend, your’s may be somewhat different. But as evident by other tastings I’ve had previously, you will not be disappointed not matter what is being offered. Make some time to spend a weekend in the OC and try out these 2 amazing locations. Very nice and reasonable rooms are located within stumbling distance…errr….just down the street from the Bruery and can be booked here: