Lost Winds Brewing Company focuses on Belgian style ales, but head brewer Brandon Winneker also makes IPA's, Amber Reds, Stouts and barrel-aged brews—something for every beer nerd. Located in a comfortable industrial complex, the tasting room is like a surfer's clubhouse, with plenty of room to chill, and an additional loft upstairs. The brewery is pet friendly and there's the occasional food truck but feel free to bring your own grub or enjoy the pretzels—they're FREE!!!
The brewery is named after Lost Winds Beach, and if you've never heard of it, that's because you ain't a local—its official name is Lasuens Beach, named after Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, but known to San Clementans as Lost Winds because #BorrachoProblems. Winneker named a cerveza for the Basque priest—Saint Lasuen Belgian Golden Strong (7.2% ABV), a well-rounded Belgian. Sweet and malty, it's a classic high quality Belgian that drinks smooth with an outstanding finish. Primo!
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TropiClemente IPA (6.7% ABV) is one of 6 IPAs on the menu. This one has plenty of mango and passion fruit up front, hops and malt on the back end. Delicious, and a perfect foil against this recent, brutal heatwave.
But in a room full of beautiful Belgians, To the Depths Black IPA (7.5% ABV) stands out. Winneker uses cacoa nibs from Ghana, chocolate malts, to create a roasty, nutty and hoppy brew! Whew! So enjoyable, the chocolate really stands out, it's not too sweet, more of an earthy taste, and the hops complete the flavor profile.
Make Suds Clemente your next day trip and visit Lost Winds Brewing Co, the new "Brewer by the Sea"—or something like that...
Lost Winds Brewing Co., 924 Calle Negocio, Ste C., San Clemente, (949) 361-5922; www.lostwindsbrewing.com