Bearded Tang Brewing Team (l-r): Brandon Smith,  Jen Sullivan, Jon Chiusano, and Jerrod Larsen. Photo Credit: Coastal Bear Creative (@coastalbearcreative)

Despite the increased restrictions imposed by California’s State, County and Municipal leaders during this pandemic, new Southern California breweries have been opening. 

Relative to the recently revamped State of California imposed Blueprint for a Safer Economy, at writing time San Diego County had been in Tier 2 for about two weeks. Tier 2 allows breweries to open for onsite service outdoors, and indoors at 25% of normal capacity, with distancing requirements and food purchase required. Orange County had just entered Tier 2. While Los Angeles County remained in Tier 1, its COVID-related numbers were continuing an improving trend. On the State level, breweries in Tier 1 are allowed to open for onsite consumption outdoors, as long as the meal requirement is met, either via an onsite restaurant or 3rd-party provider. Unfortunately for L.A. County, its Board of Supervisors hasn’t, to-date, allowed breweries without in-house restaurants to open. All L.A. County stand-alone breweries remain open only for to-go purchases.   

This month, our focus will be on the new five new brewery openings in Orange County. Next month’s edition will cover Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. 

Orange County

Bearded Tang

Soon to also be open for onsite consumption, Stanton’s Bearded Tang Brewing began its introduction to the brew-thirsty community via a couple of weekends of drive through sales, beginning on September 3. Enthusiasts came out in record numbers to get a taste of Bearded Tang’s first brews. They included (Cali)bration, a crisp and refreshingly hopped blonde (the first beer brewed on the new system); Tank’d West Coast IPA, a hazy IPA; and Peach Blvd fruited wheat. Saddletail, a hoppy red ale, was added for week two. The Bearded Tang team includes co-founder Brandon Smith, Director of Brewing Operations Jonathan Chiusano and Head Brewer Jerrod Larsen. OC beer fans likely know Jon and his award-winning beer from his years as an integral part of the TAPS brewing team. Larsen comes to Bearded Tang from his tenured post at Tustin Brewing Co. With 24 taps to fill, this winning team plans to provide a wide assortment of quality lagers and ales.  

Bearded Tang is located in the Rodeo 39 Public Market, on Beach Blvd., just north of the 22 Freeway. Once open onsite, Bearded Tang brews will be able to be enjoyed alongside an assortment of artisanal food vendors that also occupy the market.

12885 Beach Blvd #23, Stanton.

The Dog Pawrk

San Juan Capistrano’s man’s best friend-themed The Dog Pawrk Brewing Co opened its new tasting room’s outside patio for onsite consumption on July 3. The Dog Pawrk is teaming with an assortment of food trucks to meet its meal-component requirements.  Initial plans, which were postponed, called for opening the main tasting room in September. For now, enjoy Dog Pawrk beer on the temporary patio or in cans and crowlers to go.

27122 Paseo Espada #904, San Juan Capistrano. 

Broken Timbers 

Within the space formerly occupied by Hoparazzi Brewing, Broken Timbers Brewing Company opened in early May. It is located within the same complex as Asylum Brewing and in close proximity to Bottle Logic. Be sure to check the brewery’s website or social media for current limited hours (Thur through Sun at press time). 

2910 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim.

Flashpoint

Pat & Christy Anderson began brewing in early June and opened their Flashpoint Brewing Company on July 27. It is located in Huntington Beach, just around the corner from Four Sons Brewing. Flashpoint’s current tap list shows a variety of ales, lagers, IPAs and seltzers, with 20 taps to eventually fill.  

7302 Autopark Drive, Huntington Beach 

Modern Times Anaheim

After four years and numerous delays, Modern Times Leisuretown, in Anaheim, finally opened in late July. Billed as Modern Times Brewery, Restaurant and Aquatic Party Palace, the sizable (33,000 square foot) compound includes full-scale production brewery, onsite restaurant (with plant-based cuisine) and even a mini-mart for items to-go. Outside spaces include poolside bar (and yes, a pool), beer garden and elevated lounge areas. An additional focal point is the renovated Craftsman home. 

549 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim

Part of WestBrew's new tasting room. Photo Credit: WestBrew

San Diego County

WestBrew

Vista is home to the new WestBrew. WestBrew’s soft opening was scheduled for late September, so its new tasting room should be open by the time you are reading this. WestBrew is the brainchild of Joshua Schreer, an avid homebrewer for many years with familial brewing roots. Schreer’s Carlsbad-based EvergreenCali construction company is very active on the commercial front in San Diego County.

Head Brewer duties are in the capable hands of Cody Gagnon. Gagnon is a graduate of UC San Diego’s Master Brewer program. His previous professional brewing stints include Pizza Port, Mother Earth, Black Market and Karl Strauss. 

Look for new beers to begin occupying the tasting room’s 28 taps. They will include pilsners, lagers and ales (blonde, pale, IPA, etc.), as well as hard seltzers.

1061 La Mirada Court in Vista.

Craft Coast

Craft Coast Beer and Tacos in Oceanside has also recently opened. This new brewery and taco stand’s main focus is on serving up the best in beer and hand-made tacos. Utilizing fresh and from-scratch ingredients on both fronts, the buzz of positive feedback continues to build. At press time Craft Coast had three house-made beers available: T.H.B. (Tasty Honey Blonde), Pierside Pale and Galactic Dolphin, a hazy double dry-hopped IPA.

275 Mission Ave, Oceanside. 

L.A. County

Despite L.A. County’s added restrictions, at least two new breweries are making a “to-go” of it during the pandemic. We are hopeful that L.A. County numbers continue to improve so that taprooms can soon be opened.

Paperback 

Housed in a restored Quonset hut in Glendale (on Magnolia, just south of San Fernando Road), Paperback Brewing Company opened for online orders on July 3rd. Brewery stats: 6,000 sq. ft. brewery space includes sizeable taproom, 15-barrel Premier Stainless brewhouse, six 30 and two 60-barrel fermenters. This reporter looks forward to meeting founders Chris Sesnek and Brandon Monroe, and tasting through their catalogue of brews. The beers have fun names and colorful vintage paperback-inspired labels, such as Fancy Pants (German-style kolsch), Hollywood Hellcats (West Coast IPA), Bunny with a Chainsaw (double hazy IPA) and One Night with Nora (blonde ale).

Heading up their team as head brewer is the well-seasoned David “Zambo” Zamborski. Zambo began his professional brewing career with BJ’s before seasoning his craft at 21st Amendment, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and Santa Barbara Brewing.

422 Magnolia Ave, 91204, Glendale, CA, US

Cervecería Del Pueblo

Cervecería Del Pueblo, a South American-inspired brewery, situated not far from Old Town Pasadena, began beer sales for offsite consumption at the end of March. Three years in the making, founder Martin Quinones looks forward to the day when his brewery and taproom can open on-premises. 16-ounce cans available to go include: Gaviota, a coffee blonde ale conditioned on Jones Coffee Roasters coffee; Ámbar, an amber ale; Curuba, a South American-style fruited tart beer; and Colonia, a Kölsch-style ale. 

141 W Bellevue Dr #100, Pasadena.