The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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october 2009 / the tasting panel /  55 T hese days, next to the drizzly Pacific Northwest, Orange County actu- ally has one of the most happening craft beer scenes in the United States. The Bruery, which opened just last year in the semi-industrial wilds of Placentia, Califor- nia, is right on its cutting edge. "My wife told me I should get a hobby," says owner Patrick Rue, who was in law school at nearby Chapman University at the time. Home brewing quickly turned into a pro-am passion, with multiple trophies to prove it, and then into a profession, as Rue devoted him- self full-time to beer. The Bruery—the name is an amalgam of the word brewery and Patrick's last name—is situated in a small, non-descript business park, in a unit that looks more like a washing machine parts ware- house than a brewhouse. But what it lacks in atmosphere, it more than makes up for in enthusiasm. The place was abuzz with a youthful energy made edgier by the bass- biased metal soundtrack thumping over the loudspeaker system. A makeshift tasting room is set up in the hangar-like space. They actually receive visitors here on weekends—lots of them. (Since Dis- neyland is right down the road, the 'rents can drop the kids off with Goofy and head over to The Bruery for a quaff.) And then there are the beers, which are exceptionally adventuresome. The empha- sis here is on Belgian-style and other un- conventional brews, some of them aged in ex-bourbon or Paso Robles wine barrels. All of the bottled beers are re-fermented in their 750 ml. bottles. "We prefer doing Belgian-style beers," says Rue, "because it allows for more experimentation." The dusky fall seasonal, Autumn Maple, brewed with 17 pounds of yams per barrel as well as maple syrup and other spices, has just been released. Belgians aside, one of The Bruery's most interesting offerings is its Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, a slightly sour Berlin-style weissbier named for Rue's grandparents. Made with lactobacillus and brettanomy- ces, the beer is traditionally sweetened with raspberry or woodruff syrup, both of which are on-hand at The Bruery's tasting bar. For such a young operation, The Bru- ery has, amazingly, secured distribution in nearly a dozen states and counting—a testament to the quality of the product. The beers are distributed in California by Stone Brewing; for information on distribution in other areas, visit www. From Behind the Orange Curtain The Bruery makes a craft beer statement, Orange County–style The Pouring Ritual, Explained Anheuser-Busch, im- porter of Belgian beers Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden, offers a 51-page booklet, Sa- vouring Perfection, that introduces Belgian beer and explains the 9-step pouring ritual. The colorful booklet also offers matching recipes from Belgian cuisine experts. Retailers can obtain Savouring Perfec- tion from their A-B local market wholesalers and field support. story and photos by David Gadd Front row (left to right): The Brewery owner Patrick Rue, Director of Sales and Distribution Jonas Nemura, Rachel Rue and Barley the Labrador; back row: Travis Smith, Head Brewer Tyler King and Jay Goodwin. Beer

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