Big news for craft beer in downtown SanTana the past few weeks: Native Son Alehouse has finally opened its doors for crowds and craft beer lovers alike. Currently serving beer from various Orange County breweries, the joint also aims to incorporate beer, wine and mead from around the world into its tap list.
Thus far, the space (which is located on the second floor of the building that houses the Frida Theater) is a little Spartan. The interior is dotted with some low tables, a barrel, and a bar. The patio is nice and airy, with some more rustic seating. You still get bar access on the patio, as one of the walls of the room rolls up like a garage door. Eventually, they also plan to put out some lawn games.
Food-wise, Native Son currently refrains from offering its customers too many choices. It's their spicy fried chicken sandwich, brussels sprout chips or bust. Eventually, they plan to have themed food and beer nights.
The star of the bar is the beer. Beers from local breweries such as Bottle Logic Brewing, Noble Ale Works, Smog City Brewing, Monkish Brewing, The Bruery and more are on tap. Locality aside, the draft list will also always leave room for international brews from countries like Germany, Belgium, Canada, Japan, and England in Native Son's attempt to stretch the OC beer palate worldwide.
Although the word "alehouse" is in their name, Native Son will also reserve taps for cider, root beer and mead (it's fermented honey, and it's pretty good).
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Native Son isn't the only craft beer bar news coming out of DTSA. The Copper Door, DTSA's first craft beer bar, opened its kitchen last week. Currently, the menu is standard American bar food -- burgers, flatbreads, sandwiches -- but with the addition of some more exotic meats (alligator and boar are on the menu).
Between Native Son, The Copper Door, the bottles at C4 Deli, and the tap lists everywhere else, it's a good time for craft beer in Santa Ana.