Taco Tuesday will never be the same now that Asylum Brewing in #AleAHeim is offering on Tuedsay’s a slice of pizza with purchase of a pint or three tasters. From 6 pm until they run out enjoy a slice of Out of the Park pizza with your tasty suds, pizza and beer are a more dynamic duo than Batman and Robin and almost as spirited as owner Tommy Sebestyen and Head Brewer Chris Brown, the Lennon and McCartney of Orange County brewers.
Since they opened I have always found a beer that stood out amongst the rest, with so many breweries sometimes it’s the same old same old but not at Asylum. In June of 2017 I was writing for the OC Weekly, I was their beer critic and occasional pot guinea pig, I name the Rorschach Brown Ale with Coffee the Beer of the Week. I can still vividly remember how I could smell the aroma of coffee as the bartender served me my pint. The coffee at that time was from a local roaster in Fullerton, Bangarang, a rich, mild roast that kept all it’s tasting notes and complimented the roastiness of the Brown ale. Later that year I was at Asylum and ordered their Frankenstein Casanova, an Imperial Stout, the bartender infused it with coffee they had on nitro at the time. WHOA! That became the Beer of the Year for 2017, on off the menu craft beer, something you don’t find too often these days. Then earlier this year, in April, I was at Mission Bar in Santa Ana and had Asylum’s Shotgun Golf, it was on the menu as a Hazy Pale Ale which I had never heard of so I called and talked to Chris Brown and he told me it was actually a Kellerbier or Zwickelbier, an age old German style lager that was conditioned in caves, Kellerbier translates to cellar beer and since customers aren’t familiar with the Kellerbier style it was renamed for marketing purposes. Anywho, it was another Beer of the Week, from the style to the name it was all so fascinating and when they re-release it I’ll tell you why 😉
Currently on tap the boys have a another German style Lager, Achtung 5.4%(ABV) it’s crisp, refreshing. something you can wash down a pizza slice with! Elephant Riders is an outstanding Hazy IPA 7.3%(ABV) using South African Southern Passion hops, pith helmet not included. How the West Was Won is a straight up West Coast IPA 6.6%(ABV) hop forward but with a nice malt presence.
I know, Orange County is absolutely blessed with so many craft beer options but cancel your tacos and make a beer line for Asylum Brewing! Cheers! BobbyKnowsBeer!
SoCal Cerveceros follow up to their highly successful Coldchela 2018 was held on October 21, 2018 at the Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Park. Coldchela 2018 put the Latino Homebrew club on the map with recent articles in the Los Angeles Times, BeerPaperLA, L.A. Taco, a mention in TIME magazine’s Beer issue and I’ve been covering them since June 2016 as the former beer critic of that infernal rag, the OC Weekly. The Cerveceros have grown in leaps and bounds and now boast over 80 members throughout Southern California, they are the largest Latino Homebrew club in the United States and at this rate should be the largest in the World. Dia de los Cerveceros y Cocineros was a benefit event with all proceeds going to the Vision, Mission and Service program at El Centro de Ayuda and Plaza de la Raza, featuring craft beer, food, live music and vendors, this review will be primarily on the beer, I was so impressed with the quality of the beer I didn’t get a chance to sample any food. Fijate!
I was fortunate to have been a judge at Coldchela 2018 so I am very familiar with the groups in Socal Cerveceros and their suds. It’s been great seeing the group grow and now Brewjeria Beer Company is slated to open their own brewery sometime next year in Pico Rivera. The weather was perfect for a craft beer festival, sunny with a light breeze, the event started at 1 p.m. and we arrived shortly after, right away I saw the folks from Maltitude Brewing Company, Phil Limon and Sandra Toledo, they brew out of Long Beach, I went for their Mexican Chocolate Stout, yummy! it was rich, smooth, not too sweet, looking forward to the batch they have aging with Madagascar Vanilla and Bourbon Tincture! Julianna had their Spicy Tamarindo Saison, Deeeelicious! So good and it didn’t last long. I then saw the Brewjeria boys and made a beer line to their booth. We talked a bit about their new brewery and let’s just hope they can get it open without too many setbacks, the city sounds like they will expedite things but you never know. Hop on the 110 West Coast IPA with Amarillo, Cascade and Columbus hops sounded good and it was very refreshing, hop forward but not crazy bitter, Julianna prefers the lighter brews and A Blonde Moment was perfect, light but full bodied, crisp and fresh this also went quick. I spotted my homies Cerveceria Ortiz across the way, Alex and Desiree Ortiz from Silverado Canyon in Orange County, their Oktoberfest was calling my name, I love the maltier beers, the Oktoberfest was spot on! Rich with malts it went down smooth with tons of flavor, I offered Julianna a taste and she liked it! I’ll convert her yet!
At this point we sat down to enjoy our beers and listen to the DJ, the strolling Mariachi came by the stage and played a few songs to kick off the live music. I was thinking out loud and told Julianna that I could tell that the quality of the beer was better than Coldchela, the first five or six beers were all very good, not just good but very good like this isn’t home brew good this is brewery good. From judging the beers at Coldchela I knew there might be some so so beers, it happens, but so far the brews were all 👍, it was still early in the day could this trend continue? Hmmmm…
Stopped by Norwalk Brewhouse to see what Ray had brewing, his Bidi Bidi Blonde Blonde was another hit with Julianna, I had the Hef with Pomegranate which I really liked and I’m not a fan of hefs. Next up was the food vendors, this is when we decided to keep drinking! Yeah! We walked in to the vendor hall to say hi to Alfonso Zuniga Jr. from Flight Tours, he will set up a custom craft beer tour for you and your friends, hit him up! Micho and Mary Premium Michelada Mix was another vendor you might want to look up, their michelada mix was 🔥🔥🔥🔥. Ha!
A new face in the group was Rueben from Rue’s Brews, he’s been brewing for about 4 years and this was his first event with Socal Cerveceros, I tried his Mango IPA and BOOM so good! I hope to see/drink more of his brews soon! Another new brewer I met was Sarah Flora, Flora Brewing, she brought a couple of tasty brews, follow her on Instagram @flora_brewing. South Central Brewing Company and Hub City Brewers were sharing a booth, South Central had You Down w/IPP an India Pale Pilsner! What the who? A hoppy pilsner sounded good to me and Ding! Ding! Ding! it was my favorite beer of the day. Today would have been a tough day to judge all these crushable brews, they were all so consistent, just all solid across the board but You Down w/IPP just separated itself from the crowd, it was different in a good way, clean, crisp, hoppy, Wow, this brew didn’t last long either. One more brewery and I was done, Big Boys Brewing out of Downey, David Garcia and his crew brought 4 beers and I had to try them all. Black Ring Coffee Stout, super rich, very delicious, hints of chocolate and coffee, YUM. Fiesta Saison w/ Jalapeno, WOW, nicely balanced Saison and you get the spice on the back end, it doesn’t hit you right away, wait for it, BOOM. ESBorracho, a style you don’t see often enough, ESB, excellent! El Pelirojo IPA, an IPA with malt, right up my alley, hop forward with a malty backbone. Another good showing by Big Boys Brewing, 4 different styles, all very consistent.
Dia de los Cerveceros y Cocineros was another success, SoCal Cerveceros know how to throw a party! The event was well organized, location was perfect, plenty of room to roam around and in addition to everything else Plaza de la Raza was hosting the art exhibit El Velorio presented by Antonio Pelayo. In it’s ninth year of production this was a great addition to the festival. If you missed out don’t worry Coldechela 2019 is coming up next year! Cheers! BobbyKnowsBeer!
Homage Brewing is a welcome addition to the growing downtown Pomona scene, amongst the bars and restaurants Homage is brewing and fermenting some of the best suds in Southern California, they were recently mentioned in The Full Pint as one of the Best Sour Ale Makers of California. Not too shabby for a brewery that just celebrated two years in May. Homage Brewing is owned and operated by husband and wife, Matthew and Lauren Garcia along with Jeremiah Bignell, they are brewing up a storm in Pomona, collaborating with Cellador Ales from North Park and the Blendery from Long Beach. I had been wanting to pay a visit for quite some time and this past Sunday I was lucky to be joined by my partner in crime, Julianna Castillo, her palate leans towards the finer wines and brews so I value her insight and opinion.
Downtown Pomona was very quiet that Sunday so Homage Brewing was easy to find, it was around 3 p.m. and it looked closed but we walked in and we were greeted by 2 very friendly bartenders. We had our choice of seats but decided to sit at the bar, it seems like as soon as we ordered the place started to fill up, the Tasting Room is very comfortable, wide open, you can see all the equipment that they brew with. The décor was easy on the eyes, bright, clean, no TV’s, just you, your beer and your thoughts. Ha! Julianna ordered the Whitest Bier Alive 4.5%(ABV) a crisp and refreshing wit bier, something you would pair with a plate of meats and cheeses. I went ahead and ordered the Petit Masumoto 6% (ABV) Barrel Aged Saison w/Masumoto peaches and nectarines. Tart, refreshing, slightly sweet from the stone fruit, almost champagne-E. I then switched over to Milk Lizard 7%(ABV) Coffee Milk Stout on Nitro. Rich with notes of chocolate, toffee and wee hints of coffee. Very smooth and enjoyable, finished clean with no aftertaste.
So many interesting choices on the beer menu but I have always like Pale Ales and so I thought I would go with LUNA 6.3% Belgian Style Pale Ale Dry Hopped with Galaxy and Citra hops. YUMMMMEEEE! I’ve become a fan of Galaxy hops, Amarillo hops are my numero uno but I hardly see them anymore, LUNA is hop forward with a nice tropical fruit backbone. FULL bodied, super enjoyable, finishes clean as a whistle. I’m thinking a tall stein of LUNA and a ribeye steak, medium rare.
Homage Brewing allows you to bring in your own grub or you can get your drink on and then cruise over to Dia de Los Puercos which just opened on 2nd and Garey. BOOM #Bobbyknowsbeer!
From creating T-shirts for chefs to a food truck to a brick and mortor in West Covina and just recently opening new digs in Pomona and at the Riverside Food Lab, Rick “El Chefe” Garcia is channeling both his inner Homie and his Grandma “B” Beatrice. “El Chefe” has built his menu around his Grandma “B”‘s recipes, home cooking with a Chicano twist, a visit to Dia de Los Puercos is like visiting your Primo’s pad in East Los, complete with lowriders parked out front to a pair of Cortez hanging inside. The Pomona location is bigger than the West Covina site, the first room you enter is a bar area, you then walk into the main dining room which is like a big hall, tons of room and seating. I was actually in Pomona to visit Homage Brewing and was told that Dia de Los Puercos was nearby, ORALE! I have been hearing nothing but good things about DDLP so I grabbed my hyna and hustled on over to get our feast on.
The menu at Dia de Los Puercos is so inviting, so very familiar. We right away gravitated towards the appetizers, we ordered the Mexicorn-corn off the cob, mayo, cotija cheese, lime, powdered chili , topped with bacon bits. Taquitos de Weenie- 4 taquitos with beef weenie, ketchup, may, mustard, onions and cotija cheese, Chicha and Chile-huge plate of chicharrones with salsa roja, lime, and chili salt, El Tri- 3 tacos with your choice of meat, so we picked uno de lengua and dos de mochomos(crispy pieces of pork). This was plenty for 2 of us but doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the complete menu that is full of your favorites, tortas, burritos, sopes, more tacos, quesadillas, there’s also dessert and plenty of drinks. And don’t you worry Mr. and Mrs. Vegan there are options!!
Put Pomona on your list of places to visit. Besides Homage Brewing there’s also Sanctum Brewing nearby, both are excellent breweries and with Dia de Los Puercos it’s GANGSTA AF! C/S BobbyKnowsTacos BobbyKnowsBeer
El Molino de Oro recently opened their third restaurant in Orange County, in the city of Orange, and it’s a combination of panaderia, tortilleria and restaurant, so it took a few visits to determine. Yay or Nay. Well it is a definite Yay! First of all the pastries, breads and tortillas are super fresh and they are good, second everything is very affordable, and everything has been very tasty.
I first tried a torta de asada a few weeks ago for lunch, pretty good, like I said the roll was super soft and fresh, meat was tender and flavorful. Then I came by for some tacos. I ordered 2 carnitas and 1 al pastor. Tortillas were also super fresh and very flavorful, you could taste the corn, the al pastor was also tasty, a little fatty but it tasted fine, the carnitas though, plenty of meat, my tacos were full, no fat just meat, I was stuffed and very happy.
On both these visits I had my eye on the pan dulce and the breakfast bolillos, so I told my compadre if he wanted to meet up and try the breakfast menu and he agreed whole heartily. Breakfast bolillos, you don’t see those on too many menus so I was intrigued, they’re priced from $1.50 to $3.75 and there’s 15 different ones. I ordered the #10 chorizo, potato, egg , compadre ordered #12 egg, sausage, bacon, beans, cheese. Just so you know my compadre is very picky, finnicky, he’s kind of weird. Always complaining and he can sometimes be embarrassing, that’s why I invited him. He ate his bolillo and told me not to review this place, he liked it so much he wants it to be a secret, don’t tell anyone! they’re going to raise the prices! He loved his #12 breakfast bolillo which he washed down with coffee and a pan dulce-that he said-not everyone makes these! My #10 bolillo was also perfect, ask for the red hot sauce, it’s just right, bolillo was soft and fresh, I liked them because it was not huge, I enjoyed every bite, I didn’t feel too full, I had room for a pan dulce-I bought a beso- not everyone makes them!
Thank me later! BobbyKnowsBreakfastBolillos!
Every town has it’s local watering hole but not every town has a Kelly’s Korner Tavern which is located in the beautiful city of Placentia, y’all are lucky AF. Walking into Kelly’s is literally like walking into Cheer’s, they will remember your name. I’ve been there two handful of times and as soon as I walk in it’s, hi Bobby! They are so nice, from the owner, Jim Rafferty to the bartenders and servers, it’s always a good time at Kelly’s Korner Tavern.
Sit down and you are surrounded by Big Screen TV’s, there’s pool tables, a Lotto machine, dart boards, plenty of alcoholic beverages and some great grub. There’s daily lunch specials, Taco Tuesday specials, Happy Hour all day on Monday, Tues-Friday 3-6pm, Burger Wednesdays 20% off all burgers, Trivia Thursdays, Prime Rib Fridays $20 Prime Rib, baked potato, garlic bread and side salad, Steak dinner Saturdays(sometimes it’s Salmon Saturday) usually around $15.99. Everything is meticulously prepared by Chef Christian Virrueta and it shows, sandwiches are stacked sky high, Big salads, Huge nachos, you won’t be disappointed. You will be back!
Kelly’s has 37 taps of craft beer that they rotate on a daily basis, once the keg kicks they hook up another new beer. All styles are represented, Stouts, IPA’s, Lagers, Sours, One Offs, there’s also Bud Light, Modelo, Dos Equis on draft. I follow them on Instagram to find out the latest craft beer, this week they brought in from Alpine Brewing, Nelson IPA 7%(ABV) a limited release, using generous amounts of Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand while brewing and then it’s dry hopped with more Nelson Sauvin hops, European rye malt is added for balance. This is a whole lot of beer, tons of flavor, tons, the Nelson Sauvin hops are actually a subtle hop that will give off hints of grape, somewhat tart and sweet, but Alpine is on steroids, which is a good thing, West Coast is the best coast! Alpine is one of the best IPA’s ever brewed, if you like hops you will ❤this IPA. Por Vida. Get some while it lasts! I also drank a Modern Times Critical Band IPA 6.7%(ABV) using Simcoe, Centennial and Citra hops, Denali Oil, this is a juicy IPA, very juicy, with tropical fruit notes up front, hoppy, very enjoyable, Modern Times is really doing some great stuff right now, they’re pushing the craft beer envelope! Winner!
Kelly’s Korner Tavern is located in Placentia but I wish there was one in every city, especially mine! One can only hope. Cheers! Bobbyknowsbeer!
Roll Out the Barrel! It’s Oktoberfest!!! My favorite time of year-I’m a malt fan-when breweries release their version of Oktoberfest style suds. Fresh off their win at Great American Beer Festival for Lumino, their Mexican Style Lager, Unsung Brewing took Bronze for this crisp and refreshing brew and now have released Marvel-Ous Marzen! Very exciting times at Unsung, their Tasting Room is located in Anaheim across the street from the Packing House. Congratulations to Mike Crea the Spider Man fan/Owner/BrewMaster and his crew for winning one of the twelve medals that Orange County breweries took home a few weeks ago at the 2018 GABF. Along with the 14 medals at this year’s World Beer Cup this makes Orange County the absolute Capitol of Quality Craft Beer when you consider that there’s only 37 breweries here compared to other counties. Yeah I did the math. BOOM
“We are dedicated to honoring these unsung heroes through philanthropy, and hope to inspire the hero in all of us”
Amen Mr. Crea. Inspiration hangs on every nook and cranny at the Unsung Tasting room that is decorated with murals of super heroes, collection of super hero dolls, posters and comic books. Plenty of room to stretch out with outdoor seating, yes, pets are welcome, there’s board games, various activities during the week including Yoga and Trivia. Food is right across the street or bring your own but my choice would be Jav’s BBQ which is in the same complex a few feet away. Smoked meats and side dishes are waiting for you but don’t wait too long because they do run out. Check out the menu at www.javsbbq.com.
On my recent visit they were out of the award winning Lumino but it’s almost ready, another batch is fermenting, so I chose the Tangerine Saison 6.9(ABV) another customer told me it tasted like a mimosa and sure enough it did! Very juicy, easy to drink, fresh and enjoyable the 6.9(ABV) is not noticeable until you get about half way through, that’s when I started to feel it, whoa, easy Tiger, it literally taste like tangerine juice with a tiny bit of booze. Friggin amazing!
Marvel-Ous Marzen 5.5%(ABV) MMMMmmmmalty! Always a nice change from the hoppy brews, gives the palate a chance to breathe, to stretch it’s legs a bit, give it some brown shugga, so to speak. Yes this marzen has a slight slight sweetness to it, full bodied, hints of spice and toastiness with a clean AF finish. Very noice! Perfect for the cooler evenings, bring out those Brats Jav! Bobbyknowsbeer!
I’ve been drinking coffee for a few years, I started after reading an article in the New Yorker on Aida Batlle, she owns a plantation in El Salvador and has won numerous awards for her coffee beans. I don’t mind paying $30 for a 12 oz bag of joy, it works out to about $1 a cup and beats any cup of Starbucks. At home I use a French Press or I will do a pour over, I also own a Keurig but rarely use it. I drink my coffee black with a piece of pan dulce or pastry, so yes I am a #coffeesnob.
Now that I’m retired I do drink coffee daily but when I was working I only drank it on my days off, I would never drink it at work, it gets me too amped and I usually will come down off the caffeine high and take a nap. It works out well. I discovered Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders thanks to a friend, Thien Le, he’s a home brewer who has roasted coffee beans with his friend who owns a roasting house in Arkansas. Bodhi Leaf has 5 locations in Orange County and was founded by Steve Sims in 2009, the location in Orange on Katella is their main warehouse where you can purchase bags of the raw or roasted beans along with a wide variety of coffee drinks: lattes, espresso, cappuccinos, iced drinks, smoothies, etc. I go for the straight pour, they offer 3 single origin beans that alternate weekly and your choice of full immersion, pour over V60 or French Press, the fresh drip is a house Colombian, I have tried them all and they are all so GOOD! Fresh pastries and empanadas are available with some vegan selections. The café in Orange is pretty large but it can get full during peak hours, they are constantly roasting beans and it can be loud if you’re looking for a quiet place to study.
I’ve been wanting to buy a bag of beans for home and they just came out with a light – medium roast from Colombia, Women of Pijao, Las Mujeres Association, a group of women farmers from the town of Pijao, Quindío. The notes are cherry, cocoa and vanilla, I grind just enough beans for my one cup and use a French Press, it smells so wonderfully delicious. Try it black so you can taste the richness, it’s soooooooo rich, it’s has deep chocolate notes with a dark cherry backbone, you get the vanilla on the back end. Since I purchased these beans I have not ventured out to my other coffee houses, the coffee is so enjoyable. I’m hooked!! A one pound bag of Women of Pijao coffee beans retails at $19.99 and is worth every penny. So which came first? the coffee or the donut? BobbyKnowsCoffee!
For all location go to www.bodhileafcoffee.com