For nearly a year, Barley Forge in Costa Mesa was a scant few blocks from Weekly World Headquarters, and I didn't take advantage of it. That's probably my biggest regret.
One of the heavy hitters of Orange County's third generation of craft breweries, Barley Forge's tasting room and production facility just off of Baker and the 55 has been churning out interesting and decent beers for its entire lifetime, the latest being the center beer in that flight up there, Mango Hefe.
The beer tastes like mango for sure, but it's unlike any fruited beer you've ever had. For one, unlike the popular fruited Belgians, the mango isn't so much on the nose as it is part of the body of the beer. You might not notice the fruit at first taste, but mid sip, it'll show up. And instead of finishing with that little funk you might be used to from your fruited saisons, Mango Hefe says goodbye with a nice, firm wheatiness thanks to the Der Biersal hefeweizen base, a another Barley Forge favorite. It's a refreshing, but comforting beer. Not too crisp, not too deep, just perfect the transition into an Indian summer.
If you like the fruit, or esters in your beer, or just hanging out at a pretty cool place on a weekday night, head on over to Barley Forge and try it out. 'Cause I can't do it as much as I want anymore, and I need some people to live vicariously though.