The Bruery recently opened up a tasting room in The Circle in Orange, which, coupled with The Haven, is very dangerous. Case in point, tonight. 7 different beers. Good thing they only serve them in 2 ounce portions.
The great thing about The Bruery Provisions is that not only do they serve their own beer but they bring in friends'(competitors) and they also stock bottles. Lots of bottles. From places and breweries I have only heard about.
The lineup from left to right minus the Ballast Point
1. The Bruery Seven Grain Saison
2. The Bruery Humulus Session
3. The Bruery Loakal Red
4. The Bruery Autumn Maple
5. The Bruery Three French Hens
6. Ballast Point 3 Sheets Barley Wine
7. Ballast Point Dorado DIPA
I started things off with the Saison which poured a very hazy light yellow. It looked thin but that didn't prove out in the taste.
Sniffing brought forth locker room, feet, armpit, pretty much dank, earthy stink.
On the palate was definite grain. I don't know if there was seven different kinds but it had a grittiness too it that wasn't very pleasant. I know and love most locker room type beers but for some reason I felt like I was drinking a sweaty gym sock. D loves her some Saison Dupont and I have been pushing her to branch out. Bad idea with this one, she was not a fan.
Next up was the Humulus Session which was a low alcohol beer designed for the after work man. This was a bit clearer and a bit darker in color than the saison and brought with it a completely different smell profile. Grapefruit through and through with a definite mixed citrus backing. Humulus was hoppy without being overly bitter. I enjoyed it until the back-end took over. There was a highly tannic, drying, grapefruit rind/pith taste that ruined the earlier part of the beer. What was refreshing became off-putting. I couldn't make this a session like its designed.
Stepping out of the lighter colored beers into the newly brewed Loakal Red I was excited because I was hoping to unseat my favorite red Lagunitas' The Kronik. It poured a nice deep red color and smelled of ripe red fruit, apples, and strawberries. There wasn't much bubble in this slightly hopped(for a red) brew. I was a bit disappointed after the nose belied a sweetness that didn't show up on my tongue. I thought it was a beautiful run of the mill red.
Ahhh, Autumn Maple. Now we're talking big aroma, big flavors, pure enjoyment. Wafting up from the taster was maple syrup, orange zest, clove, and spices to be named later. The glass was highly carbed and all of those wonderful aromas expressed themselves on the tongue. This was by far D's favorite as she ordered another one and wouldn't let me touch it.
Three French Hens, aged in French oak and a nice dark mahogany color. Very complex on the nose, dark red roasted fruit, cherries, fig, raisin. Not much of a head on it and first taste was woah bourbon. I'm not sure why because as far as I know it wasn't bourbon barrel aged. This is definitely a sipper at 10%. I liked it quite a bit as it was thick, caramely, figgy. This screamed Christmas beer to me. It was not Oktoberfest like most beers of the "fest" genre but rather stayed true to its name. This one went down slow but I enjoyed it a lot.
The Bruery beers definitely went Autumn Maple, Three French Hens 1,2 for me. The others save for Loakal Red were disappointing.
The Ballast beers were both heavy duty in their own way.
The Three Sheets Barley was deep, dark, and viscous. This was not a balanced hoppy, malty barley. This was a roasted coffee, dark chocolate, raisiny, pruney, soy sauce bomb of flavor. Dark and murky the only down side was it had a slight cocoa powdery taste to it. It wasn't as smooth as dark chocolate which took points off in my mind.
The Double IPA was a sleeper. Not much aroma but was it ever bitter. More grapefruit than pine but definitely a bitter nuclear waste site on my tongue. I'm glad I left this one for last because I don't think there was anything left to taste with after this one went down. This was a one and done.