While Irvine may not be a brewery hub like its sunny neighbor to the south (San Diego, we’re looking at you), this charming city is starting to develop a unique beer scene of its own. Whether you just bought an Irvine home for sale or have lived here all your life, the following four breweries are worth checking out sooner than later.
1. Backstreet Brewery
Originating in Irvine, Backstreet Brewery is one of the first craft breweries in Orange County. Backstreet’s microbrew became so favored they recently branched into craft beer bottling. While four of their favorite beers are now available bottled, Backstreet Brewery is best experienced in its original location inside of Lamppost Pizza. Laid-back and friendly with a pub style atmosphere, Backstreet Brewery is the place to linger with friends, enjoy a premium pizza, and savor the brews.
Must-try beer: Tomahawk Double IPA, brewed with almost three
pounds of hops per barrel.
2. TAPS Fish House & Brewery
Evocative beers with a nostalgic nod to old European brewing can be found at the exclusive TAPS Fish House & Brewery. A newcomer to the West Irvine neighborhood, the TAPS is an upscale restaurant featuring both a formal dining room and a casual lounge area. Like its sister restaurant in Brea, their acclaim is in the fresh fish and seafood, but don’t overlook their award-winning brews. TAPS is perfect for a special night out or a celebratory brunch with family and friends.
Must-try beer: Remy’s Pappy, a Russian stout that has been aged in
3. Cismontane Brewing Company
Cismontane is a hidden gem, tucked back behind an auto parts store. Its location gives off a cool industrial vibe, yet maintaining a cozy and inviting atmosphere inside. Reflecting the diversity of southern California, Cismontane has a diverse and eclectic offering of beers. There is a flavor for every palate. Bring your own snacks, play a game or two (Battleship anyone?), and sample the brews.
Must-try beer: Dos Cone ES American Rye Ale, aged on oak chips.
4. Bayhawk Ales/Evans Brewing Company
This list would be incomplete without including the oldest and largest brewery in Irvine, Bayhawk Ales. In the midst of a re-branding, Bayhawk is becoming Evans Brewing Company. However, Bayhawk/Evans isn’t your typical brewery. There is no tasting room, no restaurant, and they are not open to the public (yet). In a controversial move, Bayhawk sells their award-winning brews to local restaurants. Local restaurants then re-label the beer and sell it as their own. As Bayhawk boasts, it might just be the greatest beer you never knew you drank. Evans Brewing Company has plans to open a tasting room and public house in the near future.
Must-try beer: It’s a tie between the Chocolatte Chocolate Porter and
Oaklore Brown Ale. Look for the beers under the new Evans
Brewing Company label.
At Irvine Residential Living, we are all for a good time. But if you decide to spend a day or night brewery hopping, plan accordingly and never, ever drink and drive!