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Active Beers: 77
Beer Ratings: 1,605
Beer Avg: 3.72
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$ - inexpensive
[ Brewery, Bar ]
130 S Highland Ave
phone: (714) 871-2337
Tasting Room Hours
Sun - Thurs 11am - 10 pm
Fri & Sat 11am - 12pm
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I thought that I had reviewed from my notes but it turns out that I did not so I am taking the time to do it now.
Visited this place for the first time on Knuckle Sandwich release which was a Thursday. I showed up a bit after 4 which was when it opened and people were finally able to get the long awaited DIPA. There was a very small line and it moved at a great pace which does not typical happen on release days.
The atmosphere inside was off the charts. The place itself is pretty small and it was packed full of people with grins from ear to ear. I picked up my alotment grabbed a growler fill of Black Phoenix my personal favorite Bootlegger's beer and grabbed a pint of their Black strap porter to try before I hit the road since I live about 2 hours away. Everyone that worked there was insanely nice and the place is very well kept. Service was excellent and I highly suggest visiting this place on a friday night so you can try a handful of their tasty treats.
07-28-2011 19:37:48 |
More by DarthKostrizer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
By a considerable distance, I enjoy washing down a pint in an industrial warehouse tasting room more than a fancy dark oak decorated restaurant/bar.
Some breweries make brass and oak work better than others - Russian River is a good example. But in my experience, people sitting down at a restaurant table scarfing nachos and wings pretty seldom will lean over to the next group and comment about the quality of the head on their beers. Hell, you might get slapped for that.
Not happening at Bootleggers, the informal 'spit on the floor and call the cat a bastard' kinda place where I'm most comfortable. From the large folding table that acts as the community cO2 factory to the two seater tables close enough for folks to smell each others suds, Bootlegger's is about sharing the beer love.
The owners encourage this - I suspect it would be difficult to bring in an outside beer for consumption at Russian River (not to single them out, again, nice place). At Bootlegger's, no problem as long as you a) buy their beverages b) share with the owners.
So, I'm giving atmosphere a serious A plus. Their beers aren't in that rarefied stratosphere, but close - an overall B plus - A minus, which is as high as I rate any other brewery.
For me, the core of craft brewing is about challenging the status quo, taking risks with flavor combinations while being dedicated towards excellence in the basic styles.
I see this philosophy in Bootlegger beers like Black Phoenix, a well-assembled, well-brewed chocolate-chipotle stout. Even better than the basic BP is their much spicier Imperial version...and last week they released a nitro BP.
Sometimes the experiment flops (the nitro BP, IMO), but it always makes for an interesting visit. I enjoy being a lab rat for new craft brews.
With all the variety, the brewery makes it easy to shop through their beer board - which typically has 12 to 20 selections - a sip at a time by offering half pints. The pours are always generous, with short head beers brimmed to the top of the glass without exception. I like that in a tasting room.
And partnering with these beer explorations are the food trucks that come to Bootleggers, rolling restaurants that are always trying their asses off to be fast-food visionaries. You ain't lived until you've sampled fries covered with spicy Asian beef alongside a hopsy amber (Rocco Red).
Can improvements be made? I suppose. But if you're a person like me who'd rather lean back against a giant silver beer vat than a shiny brass bar rail, it's nothing really worth mentioning.
07-26-2011 20:16:25 |
More by Vanlingleipa
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
I visited the "tasting room" of Bootlegger's Brewery along with a couple of friends. We got four rounds of half-pints and all shared with each other, so we got to try twelve different beers. I was pleasantly surprised at how many different beers they had available on tap--more beers than I knew they brewed! This is particularly impressive given their small, compact brewery set up. Highlights for me included a Belgian beer brewed with plums, a white beer brewed with lemongrass, Knuckle Sandwich, and Black Phoenix. I was disappointed that they had sold out of Knuckle Sandwich bottles, but given that I was there for the last hour and a half of their open hours on a Saturday night, I can't complain or blame. We were also too late for the food truck(s) that had apparently been there earlier. It would be nice if they sold some sort of snacks (e.g., peanuts). I got a printed pint glass (two for five dollars is a good deal). I'll happily go back first change I get!
07-18-2011 20:22:50 |
More by PhiloPsych
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I'm not going to lie. Bootlegger's Brewery is one of my favorite places to go for good beer. There are no pretensions there. Just people sitting/standing around, laughing, having a good time while the good folks are slinging some fine beers.
Going to the brewery gives you the chance to try many beers that are available only at the brewery (Dr. Tongue, Spring Ale, Lambic #3...). Of course, the only beer they have is their beer, but often they'll invite people to brew a beer on their system and get a tap just for that. Food is in the form of food trucks. The food trucks they have are usually pretty good. Watch out for the Tommy's truck...that was a bad case of heartburn haha.
Prices are reasonable. Bootleggers staff are friendly. Patricia, Aaron's wife, is often seen serving the beers. While standing in line one time, I met Aaron's parents and chatted it up with them. It really feels like a community brewery.
Love the place. Just wish it wasn't so far from me (it's about a 30 - 45 minute drive).
06-20-2011 03:57:43 |
More by UnknownKoger
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
Stopped by Bootlegger's Saturday night after Noble Ale Works. My forth visit to Bootlegger's. Heard they had SoCo ipa on tap. Thought I'd better go the first night before they tap out. Last time I drove to Bootleggers I went the day after they tapped SoCo and it was gone. Needless to say I was pretty bummed.
Everytime I visit Bootleggers I am greeted with smiles and great beer. My first visit in the evening. Seems to be a much larger crowd than the times I've visited when they just open the doors or Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere seems to be even more in the evening. A great crowd with familiar faces that evening. The guys from NBT was in the house drinking it up. It seems to me like a different crowd than my visit at Noble Ale Works. There was a food truck outside serving it up. I think it was ChompChomp. I wasnt there for the food. In the end I was happy to leave that evening with my growler of SoCo.
01-31-2011 17:31:20 |
More by dcgunman
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $
Visited dozens of times since they opened a couple years ago. Just now saw that I can tick this place on BA.
Atmosphere is interesting to say the least. You pull up to a quiet business park on a dark and dangerous corner with a stopsign where no one stops anyway. You might expect to see homeless people squatting in the corner or possibly a 70's Caddy with dark tinted windows and hydraulics but instead you find a food truck, a strange looking church, and a brewery with the sounds of Ted Nugent spilling out. Clientelle is an interesting mix between bros, hipsters, business men, and nursing mothers.
The beers consist of the hoppy ones and the rest. Hops are one thing they do right. Knuckle Sandwich is one of the few malty IPAs that I really enjoy. Soco IPA is the extreme opposite with plenty of hop flavor and severe cottonmouth. Dr Tongue was (and from the sounds of it will be again) a very nice hoppy brown ale. Oh, and the chili coffee stout (Black Phoenix) is quite good too.
Then there's the others. A few sour beers, a few bourbon beers, an APWA (often run through the "hoppinator"), and some interesting seasonals like a mint chocolate porter, a spring saison with various whacky ingredients, and a smoked wheat.
Aaron, Patricia, and the employees are always really nice and helpful, and they put up with hooligans that are always asking for favors.
01-29-2011 07:05:46 |
More by t0rin0
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Let me start with the things I don't like about Bootlegger's:
-not close enough to my house
-open too few hours
Uh... I guess they could use a few extra chairs? The atmosphere is charming and you know you're in a brewery, but it does straddle the line between austere and uncomfortable.
Seriously, I love this place. Any time I'm with a bunch of beer buddies heading to The Bruery I try to convince them to change course a few miles, or at least leave a few minutes early to squeeze in a visit. (And everyone always has a great time.)
Their beers are really, really good. It's always a pleasure when they're pouring their lambics, but even when they're not there's always something good to drink. I love it that they pour half pints, too - I get to try more beers and still make it home safe. Cheap prices, cheap growler fills.
The owner's wife (hm... she is probably also the owner?) has been pouring every time I've been and she's a doll! So sweet and accommodating. And every time she brings me my tab I can't believe how little money I've spent.
01-24-2011 20:06:15 |
More by lisomiso
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $
I've been here about 10 times since my first visit in May '10. Just a mile or so northeast of the 5/Euclid, and being not that far from The Bruery makes this a common 2nd stop for me when I'm up there.
The location is quite small, in an industrial district a stone's throw from the Fullerton train tracks. The tasting room is located right in the brewery itself, with tanks and brewing equipment everywhere.
The majority of the time, Leo is the one working there, jovial and always willing to talk about the beer in hand. The standard house beers are solid, but I really like the sour experimentation they do, lots of test batches which are fun to try out. Certainly a good stop in the area, especially with easily the cheapest sour prices around.
01-13-2011 23:56:17 |
More by Halcyondays
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
Today's Bootlegger's is different from the one I first walked into about two years ago. Back then, tasters were free because they couldn't legally sell beer to drink on premise (only growler fills and bottles to go), fruit lambics were being aged in barrels, and Black Phoenix hadn't been created. Today, the crowds at Bootlegger's are larger, you can drink on premise, and there's usually a dozen beers on-tap at low prices.
The tasting area is not large. The description of being in a garage with some drinking buddies is accurate. There are a few surfaces around which you can place your mason jar full of beer. I like one of their promotions; I believe the first Friday of each month, you can bring in your favorite stein and get it filled for a discount (note to self: bring the maß!)
Sometimes you'll spot Aaron (the owner) and Patricia (his wife) in the tasting room pouring from one of the many taps. Usually about a dozen beers on-tap, but with a capacity to do 20. A wide variety of beers have poured from these taps, from staples like the Old World Hefeweizen, to newcomers like Knuckle Sandwich, to even sour fruit beer! Beer quality ranges from solid to outstanding, but more of them leans towards the tasty side of things. Pints go for as little as $4, and many of them stay under the $6 watermark.
If you're in north Orange County for the weekend, don't miss out on Bootlegger's. While you're at it, The Bruery is just down Orangethorpe...do both!
01-12-2011 20:12:03 |
More by DoubleJ
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $
Stopped in here on a recent trip to Cali with womencantsail, tOrinO, and fbm115. Upon pulling up a train came blowing by on the train tracks startling the crap out of me. The location was easy to spot once you got to it. Upon walking in the large open bay door you could tell that you were in a microbrewery right off the bat. There was a nice little sitting area off to the right upon getting up to the 'bar'. There was a really nice selection of their brews on at the time that were printed up on a chalkboard hanging above the bar. As stated before the prices are really cheap here for their beer. You CANNOT beat the $3.50 sampler. All of the brews here were good or decent as you can tell by my reviews of the ones I tried. All of the staff was very nice and knowledgeable about the brews they had there (which I love to see) and would even give suggestions on which order to do their sampler in as to not kill your palate from the start. A cool spot to hang out and have some cheap brew. I will probably go back to try some of the brews I missed trying on this past trip next time I am around.
01-11-2011 17:24:37 |
More by thagr81us
Bootlegger's Brewery in Fullerton, CA