Founded by Laguna Beach natives Brent Reynard and Mike Lombardo, Laguna Beach Beer Co. continues to win over locals with a laid-back surf style, art and delicious quality beers. But it wasn’t until the company acquired Cismontane Brewing Co.’s Rancho Santa Margarita production and tasting room and expanded it to include a kitchen, that the brews really started flowing.
The kitchen dishes out tasty bites such as spicy, maple-glazed, ale-cured bacon, which is offered alone as an appetizer—it’s that good—or stacked high in its signature At-LB sandwich (a take on a BLT with avocado, tomato, lettuce, house-cured bacon and grain aioli). Pair either with the La Tour saison (6.2 percent ABV), which is dry-hopped with Australian summer hops for bright tropical fruit notes and a clean finish.
At 6.3 percent ABV, the Greeters Ale is Laguna Beach Beer Co.’s flagship beer, using Cascade, Centennial and Citra hops to form a refreshing pale ale with a nice hoppy feel and great earthy character. A solid holiday lager to be enjoyed any time of the year is Winter Swell (7.2 percent ABV), an amber with notes of toasted malt and spices such as cinnamon and allspice that give this brew a classic warm feel.
Reynard and Lombardo plan to open a tasting room in their hometown, a dream come true for the longtime friends. Look for a soft opening in early May, followed by a grand opening mid-month—just in time for an endless summer of great suds.
Laguna Beach Beer Co., 29851 Aventura, Ste. D, Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 264-6821; www.lagunabeer.com.