As residents of Orange County, spending a day, relaxing at the beach is in our DNA, as is getting shit-faced. Keep that in mind when you enter Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar. Unlike many coastal cantinas in this part of town, the gastropub on 100 (duck fat-fried chicken!) features a rotating craft beer menu with no peer, and has quietly done so for years. Choices range from some of our local faves (Noble Ale Works or Bottle Logic) to some very tasty Russian River and Modern Times selections.
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With its 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA (9% ABV), Stone does it again—who else can combine hops, citrus, honey and avocado and make it taste so good? The brand's characteristically hoppy IPA is slightly mellowed with the addition of citrus and some avocado which comes at the end—the honey is at the front with the citrus but it's not sweet, it's COMPLEX! Speaking of complex, try Tusk & Grain's Barrel Aged Blend No. 1 Strong American Ale (12.5% ABV). Three beers—Imperial Porter, Imperial Stout and Barleywine—are aged in bourbon barrels, and the result is a rich Frankenbeer of chocolate and coffee and booze—BOOM.
But Black Butte XXIII's Imperial Porter (11.5% ABV) , brewed by Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, is the current killer. They bourbon barrel age this brew for 12 months and add orange peel, which gives it a clean finish. Chocolate and vanilla notes highlight this exceptional Imperial Porter.
Crow Bar offers a weekday Happy Hour from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. with drink specials and 50%-off appetizers.
With the holidays creeping up, do your shopping at Fascist Island or Roger's Garden, then treat yourself with the great grub and brews that will make you go ......Mmmmmmm...
Crow Bar and Kitchen. 2325 E Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 675-0070; www.thecrowbarcdm.com