The Orange County Beer Trail

A map to all of our fine craft breweries, liquor stores and pubs pouring the good stuff!

The Orange County Beer Trail

Ever heard the joke about how drinking Coors Light is like having sex in a canoe? Because both are fucking close to water? It's an old, tired joke, sure, but back when Santa Ana's Mayor-for-Life Miguel Pulido was a wide-eyed innocent, 3.2 percent beer was all that was available in OC. Those days are happily going the way of the Great Park boondoggle. The craft-beer revolution, which reached a fever pitch in San Diego a decade ago, has claimed our infernal county as its latest territory, with breweries, craft-beer bars and liquor stores specializing in bottles and kegs of luscious elixir popping up as though mushrooms after a rainstorm. These days, craft beer isn't just for plaid-clad, bearded hipsters and people who compulsively check into bars on Untappd; you'll find it in airports and dive bars, in the hands of people ranging from the gnarliest 8 a.m. drunk to the snobbiest foodie this side of a DSLR lens.

So behold our guide to all things cerveza in Orange County, along with a handy-dandy map for pinning on your cubicle. Read all the blurbs we have on the county's breweries, finer liquor stores and pubs, with a special shout-out to our country cousins in Long Beach. And, finally, come to the latest OC Weekly/KCRW Good Food Happy Hour on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the king of OC's New Beer Revolution: The Bruery at 715 Dunn Way, Placentia, (714) 996-6258. Meet Evan Kleiman of KCRW's Good Food and your favorite Weekly food writers, and enjoy beers released exclusively for our event—see you there! And remember Mark Twain's advice: Write drunk and edit sober!

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Curtis Taylor
Laila Derakhshanian

Location Info

Map

Amazing Grapes Wine Store

29911 Aventura
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Category: Retail

Region: Rancho Santa Margarita

BRADLEY'S FINE WINES & SPIRITS

12932 Newport Ave., Ste. 1
Tustin, CA 92780

Category: Retail

Region: Tustin

DIMENSION LIQUOR

20761 Lake Forest Drive, Ste. J
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Category: Retail

Region: Lake Forest

G&D LIQUOR

338 N. Euclid St.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Retail

Region: Fullerton

HACIENDA BEVERAGE

670 S. Brea Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Retail

Region: Brea

Hi-Time Wine Cellars

250 Ogle St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Wine Bar

Region: Costa Mesa

Hollingshead's Delicatessen

368 S. Main St.
Orange, CA 92868

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

ICON BEVERAGES & CIGARS

5721 Lincoln Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630

Category: Retail

Region: Cypress

K&S FOOD STORE

2626 N. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706

Category: Retail

Region: Santa Ana

MR. KEGS

5914 Warner Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Category: Retail

Region: Huntington Beach

O'Shea Brewing Company

28142 Camino Capistrano
Laguna Beach, CA 92677

Category: Retail

Region: Laguna Niguel

PACIFIC PARK MARKET

27792 Aliso Creek Road, Ste. B100
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Category: Retail

Region: Aliso Viejo

SWEET'S LIQUOR

15553 Beach Blvd.
Westminster, CA 92683

Category: Retail

Region: Westminster

Vendome Wine & Spirits

3115 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831

Category: Retail

Region: Fullerton

Anthill Pub

4200 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Irvine

Brix Wine Bar

16635 Pacific Coast Highway
Sunset Beach, CA 90742

Category: Retail

Region: Sunset Beach

Bru Grill & Market

23730 El Toro Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Lake Forest

The Globe Belgian GastroPub

12926 Main St.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Category: Restaurant > Bar Food

Region: Garden Grove

Haven Gastropub

190 S. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

HopScotch

136 E. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Fullerton

Out of the Park Pizza

5638 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807

Category: Restaurant > Bar Food

Region: Anaheim

The Playground

220 E. 4th St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Santa Ana

The Riders Club Cafe

1701 N. El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: San Clemente

Selma's Chicago Pizzeria

30461 Avenida De Las Flores
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Category: Restaurant > Pizza

Region: Rancho Santa Margarita

Selma's Chicago Pizzeria

27702 Crown Valley Parkway
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

Category: Restaurant > Pizza

Region: Ladera Ranch

Selma's Chicago Pizzeria

218 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, CA 92672

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: San Clemente

SideDoor

3801 E. Coast Highway
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

Category: Restaurant > Comfort Foods

Region: Corona Del Mar

Slater's 50/50

8082 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Huntington Beach

Slater's 50/50 Burger By Design

6362 E. Santa Ana Canyon Rd.
Anaheim, CA 92807

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Anaheim

SLATER'S 50/50

24356 Swartz Drive
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Lake Forest

St. Roy Chef's Pub

211 N. El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: San Clemente

Tap Shack

1617 Westcliff Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Newport Beach

Anaheim Brewery

336 S. Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Bayhawk Ales

2000 Main St.
Irvine, CA 92614

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Irvine

Beachwood BBQ

131 Main St.
Seal Beach, CA 90740

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Seal Beach

Bootlegger's Brewery

130 S. Highland Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Fullerton

Brewbakers

7242 Heil Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Huntington Beach

The Bruery

715 Dunn Way
Placentia, CA 92870

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Placentia

Cismontane Brewing Company

29851 Aventura
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Rancho Santa Margarita

Huntington Beach Beer Company

201 Main St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Huntington Beach

Left Coast Brewery

1245 Puerta Del Sol
San Clemente, CA 92673

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: San Clemente

Newport Beach Brewing Co.

2920 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Newport Beach

Noble Ale Works

1621 S. Sinclair St., B
Anaheim, CA 92806

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Anaheim

Old Orange Brewing

1444 N. Batavia St.
Orange, CA 92867

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

Pizza Port

301 N. El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: San Clemente

Taps Fish House & Brewery

101 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Brea

Tustin Brewing Company

13011 Newport Ave., Ste. 100
Tustin, CA 92780

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Tustin

VALIANT BREWING

2294 N. Batavia St., Ste. C
Orange, CA 92865

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

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BEER STORES

1. AMAZING GRAPES WINE STORE
Don't let the wine moniker fool you: When Cismontane Brewing is closed, it's not time to play in traffic, the only other thing to do in RSM. Just head to Amazing Grapes next door and pillage its huge, brightly lit coolers full of California craft beers. 29911 Aventura, stes. D, E and F, Rancho Santa Margarita, (888) 299-WINE; amazinggrapeswinestore.com.

2. BRADLEY'S FINE WINES & SPIRITS
Bradley's is where Tustinites go to buy good wine cheaply, and the good prices extend to beer. The selection can be daunting, though not as bad as the parking lot it shares with Trader Joe's; the staff is just as good at knowing beer as wine. 12932 Newport Ave., Ste. 1, Tustin, (714) 544-1444.

3. DIMENSION LIQUOR
Foothill Ranch may be a soulless place, where life is put on hold pending a review by the HOA's architecture board, but Dimension Liquor, just downhill from the 241 toll road, is an oasis of craft beer that will make the waiting for Godot much better. 20761 Lake Forest Dr., Ste. J, Lake Forest, (949) 380-8786.

4. G&D LIQUOR
We could write about the selection, but we'd rather write about the best deal in OC craft-beer retail right now: make your own six-pack for $9.99, with no more than three of any individual beer. At that rate, you'll make your way through the cooler in a few months or so of steady drinking. 338 N. Euclid St., Fullerton, (714) 525-0085.

5. HACIENDA BEVERAGE
A cluttered hodgepodge of liquor in no particular order (try to find a specific bottle of tequila!) stands between you and the huge back wall tiled with craft beer. Consider a pole vault because the selection includes Eagle Rock and other LA microbrews. 670 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 529-1593; haciendabeverage.com.

6. HI-TIME WINE CELLARS
As with everything else liquor, Hi-Time is a juggernaut, our Elysian Fields of booze, with an enormous walk-in beer cooler containing everything from ESB to English mild. Just remember to wear a sweater. 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; hitimewine.net.

7. HOLLINGSHEAD'S DELICATESSEN
If it's German beer you're after, you've got to wander the aisles at Hollingshead's, one of the OC pioneers of great beer. There are craft brews from the U.S. as well, but the vast majority of the hundreds of bottles are from places that sprechen Deutsch. Just don't wear a Vikings jersey or root for the University of Michigan—you've been warned. 368 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-9467; hollingsheadsdeli.com.

8. ICON BEVERAGES & CIGARS
Little ol' Cypress is blessed with a liquor store that can boast of the best U.S. craft-brew selection in the county by far, with 600 craft beers; a knowledgeable, friendly, staff; and an upcoming tasting "room" cordoned off by so-flimsy-it-can't-be-true 3-foot barriers. 5721 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, (714) 229-8904.

9. K&S FOOD STORE
K&S, just west of oh-so-fancy Floral Park, looks as though it ought to specialize in malt liquor, but wind your way through the labyrinth of boxes, and you'll find a surprisingly good selection of local brews. 2626 N. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 543-7190.

10. MR. KEGS
Where do you go when you're having a keg party and you're past the "bro" age at which Coors Light is okay? You go to Mr. Kegs and stock up on California craft beer in 5-gallon party balls. 5914 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 861-7270; mrkegs.com.

11. O'SHEA BREWING
This is a wonderland in South County: brewing supplies, cheesemaking supplies and craft-beer kegs. Also, you can get the house brew, made by Bayhawk to its recipe, for far less than other craft brews. 28142 Camino Capistrano, Ste. 107, Laguna Niguel, (949) 364-4440; osheabrewing.com.

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12 comments
Pelle Klein
Pelle Klein

Yeah Riley Kern nice work! Congrats on the OC Weekly cover!!

acutaboveentertainme
acutaboveentertainme

Interesting that there's no mention of Bootlegger's Brewery being the home of Beer Magazine's #2 Beer IN THE WORLD! No other American brew is even in the Top 10!

Also, I remember trying a local microbrew at a sport's bar in a Disneyland area hotel. It was a Raspberry Ale, I believe, and brewed out of Rancho Santa Margarita. I've never seen that beer since - even at that hotel bar! Any clues as to it's origin?


Blue.Osmium
Blue.Osmium

Any reason Steelhead isn't on the list? I know it's a mini-chain from Oregon, just curious.

Blue.Osmium
Blue.Osmium

Edited Feb 1, 2013? Ok, who gave Dave the keys to the time machine again?

Facebook Page
Facebook Page

Oh, mine will be smudged. Great job with the list!

BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

Hollingsheads, enough cannot be said of that place! Have a sandwich, a side of mushrooms and a Pliny the Elder (on tap!)

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

@acutaboveentertainme If it was a Raspberry Hefeweizen, it came from Stadium Brewing in Aliso Viejo—sadly inadvertently omitted.

I only had 25-40 words for each blurb, so long descriptions of awards will have to wait for longer profiles.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

@Blue.Osmium For the same reason BJ's and Oggi's aren't on the list. Steelhead brews its own; BJ's and Oggi's don't, but they're chains. I struggled with Selma's too, but they're an OC-only mini-chain.

It's possible that some were left off inadvertently, so please post any that you find!

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

@Blue.Osmium The deep, dark secret is that they actually outsource the writing of articles to India now, and it's Feb. 1 in Bengaluru!

 
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