Before Valiant Brewing Company officially opens for business Saturday, we hopped in for a drink (or four). Our guide: Jack Thomas, assistant brewing technician. He gave us the lowdown on our four samplers featured above. This way, you'll be plenty informed about what to order come the weekend.
"Our name, Valiant, is meant to evoke nobility and tradition, as well as a strong sense of bravery and doing what is right and virtuous. All our beer names are meant to signify this to some degree, but the names must also connect to the profile of the beer. Besides having cool names, all our beers are meant to be balanced, meaning that every beer has to have a top-notch aroma, flavor and mouth-feel–the whole package."
Here's what they've got on tap:
Maverick's Mighty Ale (our favorite): While this beer is in the style of Premium Bitter, the hop profile on this ale is not very bitter. That's because this beer is brewed with more mild hops, which lend it a subtle bitterness as well as an earthy and grassy smell. The malt lends it a slightly roasted mouth feel. This beer clocks in at a low 3.6 percent.
31 Kings: Its first IPA is brewed with six different hop varietals and a healthy dose of dry hopping during fermentation. The aroma has a distinctly pine and resin quality, as well as grass, fresh dirt and some citrus. Light on the palate, the flavor is bitter, but even this has a good balance and does not overwhelm the senses as so many American IPAs tend to do. 31 Kings is 6.5 percent and has an IBU of 60.
Veranda: The signature ale is a bier-de-garde. It is its most popular beer enjoyed by beer aficionados, as well as novices to the craft beer world. It has a wonderful aroma of spices and caramel. There's a light mouth-feel and a semi-sweet flavor with a light acidity. It has an ABV of 8.5 percent.
Also being served with flights is a complimentary English Barley wine for the grand opening. At 12.5 percent, it has a delightful nose of caramel, coffee and chocolate, leading to the flavors of vanilla, cherry and a slight oak smokiness. It also kicks your ass.
Valilant Brewing Company is located at 2294 N Batavia, Ste. C, Orange, (714) 408-2VAL (2825); www.valiantbrewing.com.