El Chingón Mexican lager from Black Cock Brewing Co.EXPAND
El Chingón Mexican lager from Black Cock Brewing Co.
the Butcher

Black Cock Brewing Co. in Orange: What the Ale!

With the craft beer scene in Orange County growing in leaps and bounds it’s unfortunate when the inevitable happens and a brewery closes its doors. We saw that last year with Valiant Brewing of Orange shutting down, the spot reopening as Green Cheek Beer Co., with Evan Price brewing his magic. And now, just down Batavia, Old Orange Brewing has been replaced by Black Cock Brewing Co., run by friends Anthony Shannon, Mark Villa and Joe Hello.

It's only been a few months since it opened, changes are still forthcoming. On the weekends, the brewery plans to host a taquero serving up all your favorite taco meats; the brewery also welcomes outside food and has chips and snacks for sale.  

The brewery is dark, the only lighting coming from six lamps above the bar. It reminded me of Toronado in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco back in the '80s, before the hipsters took over. There aren't any TVs, so you're encouraged to chat with your fellow drinking buddies or challenge them to one of the many card and board games available.

Hello, Black Cock's brewer and head of operations, is more than happy to spark up a conversation on the variety of brews here. If you're interested about the brewing process or already a homebrewer, he'll share his experience and answer questions. When I casually mentioned I was thinking of getting into the homebrew scene, Hello kindly extended an invitation to join him on a brew day—and I just might take him up on it!

I've sampled just about every beer on the menu, all of which are good. But a few are exceptional, starting with the Naked Neck (7.6 percent ABV), a crisp IPA with delicious fruit characteristics and a hoppy finish. At 5 percent ABV, the Mexican Lucky is a light Mexican lager. Alone, it's refreshing with plenty of malty flavor, but Hello will add a chile-spiced rim and some Tajín for an extra zing with every sip.

Black Cock's flagship beer is the El Chingón (8.2 percent ABV), a Mexican lager that packs a punch and goes down smooth AF. It pours a deep, golden hue with complex notes of toasty Vienna malts on the nose. This well-balanced sipper is already being sold at retail markets throughout Orange County.

Looking to the future of cannabis, Black Cock Brewing also offers to infuse any beer on the menu with CBD (THC-free cannabis oil). Raise a pint and welcome Black Cock Brewing to the craft-beer scene!

Black Cock Brewing, 1444 N. Batavia St., Orange, (949) 491-3021.

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