You don’t have to go far to sample delicious craft beers, spirits, and cocktails. Orange County is home to some of the best taphouses in California.
Left Coast Brewing Co.
This brewery, headquartered in San Clemente, offers a local taproom right here in Irvine – a smokehouse and distillery. They offer incredible sandwiches and burgers, but their claim to fame is the wide selection of alcoholic beverages. Try one of their craft spirits, produced onsite: flavored rum, blanco agave, gin, vodka, and malt whisky. You can also sample these spirits in their hand-crafted cocktails, like the Paradise Shores, which features their vodka with coconut milk, lemon, and pineapple. They also offer an extensive selection of specialty beers from blonde ales to hefeweizens. (Don’t leave without trying the Orange County IPA, an India pale ale with oranges.)
Chapman Crafted Beer
Just a short jaunt to Old Towne Orange, and you’ll find yourself at this taproom, where they take the art of making beer very seriously. Chapman offers every kind of craft beer you could want: lagers, IPAs, brown ales, pale ales, pilsners… Plus a classic California style of Zodiac-themed beers to match the current sun cycle. And, of course, a low-calorie IPA option.
This brewery is strongly rooted in southern California culture. Their beers “strike a balance between the raw, wild spirit of farmhouse brewing, and the pioneering hop forward styles of California.” This independently owned and operated establishment with taprooms in nearby Costa Mesa and Orange perfectly embodies the west coast vibe both with their style, and their beer. Try Surfbird, their California golden ale with citrus and honey undertones, or the California Cobbler, a rye farmhouse ale flavored with peach, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Green Cheek Beer Co.
This chill little brewery, owned by two beer-loving friends, has two taprooms, one in nearby Costa Mesa. They are all about simple, good food and beer. Try Bier, their German-style lager, Boring, their classic California IPA, or Sinking Pints, an Irish-style dry stout.
If you want to expand your taste test beyond Orange County, check out the craft beer directory from Southwest Brewing News for southern California. Read up on our blog page for more local hotspots near Fusion!