Cistmontane Brewery's SanTana Tasting Room remains the most unappreciated secret in OC beerdom: a gorgeous, spartan warehouse near the Delhi barrio that's still devoid of hipsters, that still mostly attracts homeboys and bona-fide working-class gabachos. It's planning to have on-site brewing and a distillery soon; in the meanwhile, indulge in Cismontane's galaxy of suds with a Sampler. And unlike other local samplers, customers can choose from any of the beers listed for the day.
From left to right: The Citizen, a steam beer—but since Anchor Steam brewery has the rights to the name "steam beer," everyone else has to call it a California Common. It's easy to drink: crisp, no aftertaste, flavorful. Following was the Dead Santa, Mexican Milk Chocolate Stout with a hint of chile de árbol that becomes more prominent with each sip but never gets too spicy. Next is the Cali IPA. Yeah, IPAs as overplayed as Amy Schumer right now, but this one gets it right: Hoppy but not bitter, one you can drink all day and not feel like you drank IPA's all day. Feel me?
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Fourth up is 5th Anniversary 5 Grain Saison—best I've ever had in my admittedly saison-light life. But this is when I realized how serious Cismontane is at its brewing. Finally, the Old Fashion, an Imperial wit aged in bourbon barrels for 327 days. Bourbon and beer, you never tasted better together.
Samples are priced between $2 and $4 depending on the ABV. They also do a cask beer every other Tuesday—oh damn, here come the hipsters...
Cismontane SanTana Tasting Room, 1409 Warner Ave., Ste. C, Santa Ana, (949) 888-2739. Instagram: @cisbrewco