Since it was founded in Del Mar in 1979, Board & Brew has kept things simple: hearty sandwiches and great craft beer. And the Southern California chain recenlty opened its seventh location at the Village at Tustin Legacy.
It has already won over patrons with its commitment to using the freshest ingredients possible, including the bread that's delivered daily. The straightforward menu features wraps, soups and salads, as well as a selection of local, hard-to-find microbrews from San Diego and Orange County.
The available brews are displayed on a digital board created by DigitalPour that lists the beer's name, style and ABV/IBU; what glassware is used; the price per glass; and a real-time reading of the keg level. There's even a countdown clock for happy hour!
Franchise owner Mike Williams keeps a great rotation of the beers on tap, and the knowledgeable Board & Brew crew are very helpful in deciding which craft beers to pair with your meal. I ordered a turkey deluxe sandwich; sunflower seeds add a nice crunch, and the sweet-and-sour secret sauce keeps you coming back for more.
To accompany the sandwich, I started with Goodland Orange, a 4.5 percent ABV pale ale from Telegraph Brewing in Santa Barbara. Whole puréed oranges from Goleta zest your palate on the front end, while cascade hops add a nice, light finish.
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Next up was the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale (5.5 percent ABV) from Aftershock Brewing in Temecula. I've had similar flavoring but in a stout, so I was curious how this would go down. The aroma of oatmeal, vanilla and cinnamon hits before you even take a sip; it's like drinking sweet brown sugar.
I finished with Echoes from Docent Brewing in San Juan Capistrano. This 7.2 percent ABV brew was a spot-on hoppy AF West Coast IPA with notes of tropical fruit. One of the newer breweries, Docent puts out quality craft beer using the best ingredients.
Cheers to Board & Brew for knowing how make a killer sandwich and how to curate a wonderful selection of brews!
Board & Brew, 15040 Kensington Park Dr., Ste. 200, Tustin, (714) 389-1422; www.boardandbrew.com.