Some stores have you bag your own groceries, there's self-checkout at Target and Home Depot, and I've been to cook-your-own-steak restaurants. But what about a pour-your-own-beer pub? Yaaaasss! The Wall in Old Towne Orange has opened with 55 taps of beer and some great-tasting grub to go with it. Owners Dan Martinez, Ryan Sauter and Zac Henson have brought in a couple of alums from C4 Deli and Chapter One (Chef Dave Larsen and general manager Mike Long, respectively) to facilitate your eating and drinking experience. So far, so great!
Beginning with the craft beer, the team at the Wall has gone to great lengths to find not only the best-tasting brews but hard-to-find beers and even a few exclusive suds brewed and served only at the Wall. Chef Dave has filled his menu with bites to eat that you might've found at the International Street Fair: Elote, brat bites, ceviche, gochujang wings—oh my! I tried the Short Rib Lettuce tacos: tender pieces of short rib wrapped in butter lettuce FTW.
But how does the pour-your-own-beer system work? Take it away, Mike!
“Our devices pull height and weight in order to calculate a Body Mass Index for our said customer. We then load a chipped bracelet with that information, and you are then free to unlock our tap system to sample and pour beers of your choice! The pouring will cease once you've reached just under the legal alcohol intake for your Body Mass Index, charging at fair prices per ounce poured.”
55 taps, so where to start? Shiro from Coeda Brewery in Japan (5.5% ABV) is a Hefeweizen rich in flavor and almost thick with malt, with super-high quality ingredients and no unfiltered aftertaste. Unsung's Buzzman “Mutant” American Ale (5.2% ABV), meanwhile, is infused with lemon verbena and exclusive to the Wall. The lemon verbena isn't overpowering and fully compliments the light hops and malt—refreshing, so pair it with the Gochujang wings!
But the winner right now is Guladon Bock from Manos de Calacas (6.5% ABV). With the craft beer scene exploding in Baja and Mexico, I've had some pretty good IPA's, reds and stouts but this Guladon Bock was almost perfect in flavor, malts, and enjoyment. The flavor profile was dead on, which translates to using the best hops and malts that you can find.
There's even more to come at the Wall, so ya'll get up and trade in your ankle bracelet for one that let's you pour some craft beer, you hear?
The Wall, 80 Plaza Square, Orange, (714) 988-7700; thewallrestaurant.com