I always love going to Network Brewery in SanTana. Its old tasting room was one of the smallest in Orange County yet brewed some of the most creative suds around. It just finished an expansion that removed the intimacy but now has 12 extra tap handles, big-screen TVs on either side, and an art exhibit with five artists that have used drink coasters as there canvass. So much room!
Like every other brewery in Orange County, owner Brian Anderson is offering some tantalizing lagers for next month’s Great American Beer Festival which is being held in Denver, Colorado on September 20-22. GABF is the largest craft beer festival in the United States, and will feature over 4,000 beers from 800 breweries.
When I last visited, Anderson had two of his three GABF beers ready: Unicorn Tipper (5.8% ABV), a Milk Stout and Protocol 76 (5.6% ABV), an Oktoberfest-style Marzen. If these are too malty for you, try the Kasual Friday (5.5% ABV), a crisp, refreshing Kolsch. With this hot weather, I can drink these all day.
Unicorn Tipper Milk Stout has a great chance to medal at GABF. Smooth, rich, a nice chocolate balance and not too sweet, it’s roasty with slight hints of vanilla and orange zest and finishes clean.
Meanwhile, Protocol 76 delivers maltiness with just a hint of spice. Take a break from the hop-driven brews and enjoy this copper-hued Marzen that pairs well with a nice Bratwurst! Zum Wohl! #BobbyKnowsBeer
Network Brewery, 1824 Carnegie Ave., Santa Ana, (657) 859-8004; www.NetworkBrewery.com
Last modified: September 5, 2018