It seems crazy to open a taproom within steps of some of the best breweries in the area, but on Howell Avenue in Anaheim, not far from Noble Ale Works and Anaheim Stadium, we were picking from 40 taps of beer from throughout California as though we were kids in a candy store.
During the soft opening for Red Beards Taproom, most of the tap list revolved around India Pale Ales in one form or another; there are hazies from San Diego, West Coast styles from up north, and even some freshies from down the street. Eight wines are available on tap, plus there are more by the bottle, each showcasing a sense of place.
The long, marble, L-shaped bar envelops the beefy, red, tap-tube wall, and four screens sit readily above it to entice you into something new—and sports, of course. The tables resemble bowling-alley lanes, complete with arrows and dots; local artists’ works hang nearby, with a convenient QR code should you want to purchase a piece that speaks to you.
Owners Scott Nelson and Al Pirruccello have been general contractors and friends for more than 35 years. Around five years ago, they were enjoying a beer and sharing the thought that life was short, which led to “let’s open up a taproom and do this,” recalls Nelson.
As of press time, the taps lean heavily on Craft Beer Guild and Stone Distributing brews, “but I go down to San Diego at least twice a week to pick up fresh kegs from breweries we love,” Nelson says.
“With this taproom, our goal is to give you a good experience, telling you about the brewery you got the beer from,” Nelson says. “[It’s] not just about drinking a beer, but why it’s here and who’s at that brewery that’s doing such a good job.”
Red Beards Taproom, 2120 E. Howell Ave., Anaheim, (714) 758-5823; redbeardstaproom.com.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!