Making the leap from home brewer to owning and operating a full-blown brewery is no easy task, but for Brandon Simmons it was a natural progression. Simmons is a familiar face around the Orange County craft beer scene. As he drove his bus full of hoppy people from brewery to brewery, he would recommend the perfect brews for everyone from the discerning palate to those new to craft beer. But leaving behind his highly successful Craft Beer Tours to open Tree Branch Cider House in Huntington Beach was a dream come true.
Tree Branch Cider House offers 15 different ciders and meads alongside 15 local craft beers on tap. With Simmons’ extensive knowledge of craft beer, he has curated an outstanding local tap list that includes Stereo’s Wall of Sound, Barley Forge’s Patsy On Nitro and Four Sons the Great One.
The ciders are made primarily from fermented apples; while they’re on the sweet side, they can still pack a punch. I tried the Pineapple Guava apple cider from Common Cider Co.; it was not too sweet, slightly tangy and smooth—an overall great complex combination at 6.5 percent ABV.
For those who don’t like anything sweet, try Newtopia India Pale Cyder. With its mosaic hops, this apple cider drinks like a craft beer, though it’s not as filling at 6.9 percent ABV.
While Simmons doesn’t offer food more substantial than snacks such as chips, you’re welcome to bring your own grub and menus are available from nearby eateries that will deliver. (The pie I tried from Two Guys Pizza was excellent.) Cheers!
Tree Branch Cider House, 6953 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, (651) 215-0743;