Bruschetta, flatbreads and pasta—three words you don’t often see next to Perennial Artisan Ales Abraxas, Hill Farmstead La Vermontoise or Jester King’s Grim Harvest. But that’s not the case at Brea’s Alza Osteria, where you could spend more time trying to figure out what to drink than what to eat.
“I’ll just take the Hacerse El Sueco Farmhouse collab IPA from Naparbier and Beerbliotek while I figure out what to get next,” I tell our server.
Alza Osteria’s owner, Adrian Pabros, swings by for a table visit. He had seen my check-in on Untappd. “When you check into a beer, you get rewarded like no other,” he says, wearing a Bottle Logic Brewing hat and a grin.
I haven’t used the beer app in so long I think I broke it. Who gets 10 badges for one beer?
Among Alza Osteria’s dozen draft lines, four are from a recent tap takeover by Naparbier, a brewery out of Pamplona, Spain, a city best known for Ernest Hemmingway’s many heavy-footed romps. Naparbier’s brewer, Beinat Gutierrez, and founder/owner, Juan Rodriguez, even made it out for the event.
Local breweries are also featured at Alza Osteria, including Green Cheek, Bottle Logic and Chapman Crafted, but the real gem is the bottle list, which has around 75 offerings. “I try to keep a pretty good spread of beers on there,” Pabros says. “I try to keep a lot of the Belgian Trappist stuff, as well as a good mix of fun stuff.”
I guess I’ll have to break Untappd some more.
Alza Osteria, 131 S. Kraemer Blvd., Ste. B5, Brea, (714) 990-1044; alzaosteria.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, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest. When not writing about, photographing or filming beer, cocktails, and food, he can be found talking trash while playing video games under the name “OCBeer.”