Since 2008, Bootlegger’s Brewery founder Aaron Barkenhagen has served some of the freshest and dankest micro-brews in Orange County. Located in Fullerton, right off of Commonwealth and close enough to DTF so that you’re in DTF but not of DTF, the tasting room brings in college kids, beer aficionados, and even Fullerton’s finest, who work about a block away so behave yourselves.
Bootlegger’s has one of OC’s most extensive list of beers from Belgian Style to IPAs to stouts and a few specialty beers that they offer. And while all they offer is suds, food trucks stop by almost daily (or order pizza from their next-door neighbor, Two Saucy Broads—they deliver!) Aaron and his crew live by the motto “Drink Fresh, Drink Local” and you can taste those words in every beer.
Palomino Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) is a slightly hoppy brew that you can drink and drink and drink because it’s that Good! The Black Phoenix Chipotle Coffee Stout (6.7% ABV) starts with chocolate notes that are followed by Kean Coffee-roasted beans and a hint of chipotle at the end. But the one that consistently pours out the taps is Bootlegger’s Rocco Red Ale Classic Red (7.1% ABV). With a full flavor from the malt and the hops, and a touch of caramel, Rocco Red won Bronze at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014—not bad considering 1,309 breweries competed that year.
Bootlegger’s has some fun games to play while you’re enjoying their award-winning suds including a gigantic Jenga game. Fellas: impress your gal with your pull out game. Gals: don’t pick up any guys who use that line on you—BOOM.
Bootleggers’s Brewery, 130 S. Highland Ave., (714) 871-2337; www.bootleggersbrewery.com