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Tustin Brewing Company
Active Beers: 51
Beer Ratings: 156
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
13011 Newport Avenue #100
phone: (714) 665-2337
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vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
Although I live fairly close, I had actually never heard of this place until it showed up in a Pliny the Younger thread. Hollingsheads had blown through their supply, so I went down with a friend and his wife, and my wife and kid.
Interesting looking establishment. Very pleasant, wide open interior. No claustrophobia here. Nice long bar.
Unfortunately, when I began interacting with the staff, things went down hill. I don't appreciate an audible laugh when I ask if Pliny the Younger is available by the pitcher or the pint (I missed the sign advertising 8 oz. pours initially). Considering I had received both pitchers and pints of PtY the day before at Hollingsheads, it's not as though my query was laughable.
Okay, after the laughter died down, she was pretty prompt about getting the brews. But an 8 oz. pour my ass. More like 5.5 oz. We're talking about a bit of liquid sloshing around a tulip glass.
I don't like bitching about stuff like that, and I kind of wanted to relax. So I swallowed it and headed to the table with the beers. Where the waitress proceeded to get pissed at me for ordering at the bar. I actually headed to the bar when I got in, and didn't really watch where everyone else sat down since they were using the restroom and changing diapers. I guess bar service is literally only if you're sitting at the bar. The snide "we're a restaurant, not just a bar, and I'll take your orders" was unappreciated, as was the negative body language and visible frown. At least the waitress was hot. That's a plus, I guess. Once again: didn't want to cause a fuss, there with friends and family.
The waitress then went to talk to the bartender (apparently to have everything transferred to her tab), then ignored us entirely until the Pliny ran dry. Not interested in paying 6.50 for another mini-pour, I ordered something else. Not one of their brews, which I now doubt I'll ever try.
I'd like to think that the loss of my potential business, and my potential referrals, is something local beer establishments would like to avoid. On that front: failure for Tustin Brewing. I'd only go back if venue convenience for a large party is absolutely paramount. Multiple people were rude and the vibe of the place sucked.
02-13-2009 23:07:02 |
More by Overlord
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I am glad that someone submitted a picture as I am not sure that my words could do it justice. The exterior was made to resemble a castle with the Newport Avenue-facing side looking like a castle wall and the entry, through the parking lot, looked like a tower with a cupola. The entry opened onto a lobby with cases of logo items flanking either side. The entry also had a conical ceiling with a cupola at the top, creating a bright entryway. The long, straight bar was off to the left, past the m.d.s. also left. The back bar consisted of the brewhouse and four (4) "Fermentors". Take note, FerMentor Lew! The right side of the space was a sea of standard tables and chair along with a beautiful brick wall with both monitors and logos. Our server was the highly enthusiastic Mike H. (no last names, IAW Sonny Barger's comments in the recent documentary, "Gonzo").
Beers: All were identified in terms of OG, vice ABV. You'll have to do the math. Golden Spike Light Ale (1.051); Lemon Heights Hefeweizen (1.052); American Pale Ale (1.057); Red Hill Red (1.064); Blimp Hangar Porter (1.055); and Old Town IPA (1.064). The IPA was out on my visit, but the APA was plenty hoppy to keep me happy.
08-20-2008 20:50:11 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Visited on Monday, April 14th, 2008, about 3:00pm.
The business is located in a French Normandie by way of Disney themed shopping center. Parking wasn't a problem. The interior is a nice faux old timey vibe with lots of wood. You knew there were about a half dozen flat screens beaming ESPN, didn't you?
The bar is quite long and sports a hand pump, but there was nothing on cask the day I visited.
My friend and I were seated and treated to friendly, even chatty, service form an awesome waitress whose name escapes me. She ran the whole room (about six tables out of forty or so had guests) and visited often. She was knowledgable about beer, which is a nice bonus.
We only ordered dessert and beer (having unwisely eaten at a nearby pizza'n beer joint about five miles away), which was of fine quality if a hair pricey.
Their beers were about average for a brewpub, with nothing standing out as particularly good or bad.
The service and the physical space were very nice but the beer was not quite as good as average. I can't recommend it as a brewpub, but it may be a nice place to dine.
04-16-2008 00:31:00 |
More by charlzm
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | $$
*** If your car breaks down at Irvine and Newport, then stop in...otherwise move along ***
Located in the wallet shakin' area of upscale shops of Irvine, Tustin is a restaurant first, bar second, place to eat third, bookend to a parking lot third and a sorta brewpub fourth.
Walking up there is a gated outdoor area with a swag merch hocking area inside and a stainless steel brewpub with bar to the left with a restaurant to the right.
Service was lacking even on a Tuesday night.
Beer selecton was a hefe, pale, IPA, guest Sierra Nevada Porter, scrod brewpub beers and a 10th Anniversary that was a bitter metallic red.
Good for being in biz 10 years, but this is not a brewpub concern for the owners.
Could you take your Mother here? Yes, but not my Mother...she likes half decent service and half decent beer.
1- Instruct waitstaff to use coasters
2- have a good beer for beer customers like me
3- brew a better beer for a 10th Anniversary than a basic sorry red
sory for the honesty
08-23-2006 08:39:19 |
More by blitheringidiot
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$
Extremely interesting architecture for this brewpub with a nice outdoor seating area (for smokers).
Relatively small inside with fairly sparce and standard brewpub decor.
Usual brewpub menu offerings with nothing that really stood out.
Standard offering of 5 of their own brews and one guest beer on tap with the addition of Bud and Coors Light.
I only tried their special 10th Anniversary Ale....what they described as a hoppy red, and didn't really want to stay around to try more. it was disappointing to say the least.
Place was VERY busy and packed for a Tuesday night and understaffed so the service was far from stellar or even adequate.
Moved on ofter the one brew to Steelhead Brewery for their $2 pints and $5 pizza instead.
08-23-2006 05:59:20 |
More by IntriqKen
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Before heading over to watch fellow BA PMR brew some beer and share in his incredible stash of brews, I hooked up with BA Swillinbrew and decided to hit up a few local establishments.
The first of which was the Tustin Brewing Company. The exterior is rather unique and very hard to miss. A large white rotunda rises out of the corner of the parking lot and is capped with a dark slated Witches hat style pointed roof - this is definitely not your usual run-of-the-mill looking Shopping Mall Brewpub. Parking was easy enough, but all of the bays seemed to have green painted curb stones with either 30 minute or 1 hour parking restrictions, so check beforehand if you plan to stay here for a while.
The entrance lies at the base of the rotunda, just to the right of the equally strange looking and demure Olivias Doll House Tea Room to the left, feels like being in fairyland at times. An outside drinking area lies off to the right of the entrance and has good selection of tables, chairs and sun screens.
Inside the scorching heat of the midday SoCal sun was replaced with a cooling Air-Conditioned interior that was darkened. Once past the entranceway it opens up into one large room which serves all of those that wish to stay inside rather than sit outside. The Brewery seems huge, and is easily spotted off to the left, lots of stainless tanks and vessels squeezed behind the bar and in front of what looks like a refrigeration plant of some kind. All this runs down the whole left hand side wall. Twenty or so stools line the front of the wooden bar. A walkway is demarked in front of the bar with a waist height wooden wall that also has stools. This wall divides the bar area from the rest of the room to the right hand side which has many tables and chairs all neatly laid out, clearly this is an area devoted to those that want to eat. Right at the back the entrance to the toilets sits off to the left and the Kitchen area takes up the back wall in front of the seated area making the servers job that bit easier. Interior décor is very open and spacious; the walls are bar brick and are decorated with large colorful logo pictures of the house brews on offer. Two large paintings of Old Tustin look down on the interior from each end of the hall like seating area, and a healthy dollop of large screen TVs add the requisite sports projection.
We decided to sit at the bar, right in front of a Homark Handpump, sadly the Beer Engine was not in use but on occasion it is. Beer range was marked up on a chalkboard high above the bar; Golden Spike Light Ale, Lemon Heights Hefeweizen, American Pale Ale, Red Hill Red, Blimp Hanger Porter and Old Town IPA. The specialty beer of the month was Double IPA, both Swillinbrew and I sampled a taster, seemed a little sweet at first but finished with an enjoyable hoppy orange trait. Cant say I tried all the brews, we were just having the one, so I opted for the Old Town IPA, enjoyable stuff and it drank equally well alone and with food. The beers are Ok and seem to do the job though. Also serves Guinness and Wyders Pear Cider for those that way inclined.
Food Menu is pretty cool, with some unusual listings but I went straight for the French Dip Sandwich, plenty of thinly sliced beef and the Steak Fries that came with it were excellent, they even had Malt Vinegar for them!
Atmosphere seemed a little quiet, but it was early in the day, and I actually enjoyed the peace at the bar. Beer seemed so-so and the food was good. Service was OK, it was quite and the server still managed to pull two regular IPAs instead of one regular and one Double, but all in all a decent place to hang out, and Ill be back to try the other brews for sure.
Thanks to Swillinbrew for the ride out here.
05-28-2006 20:21:02 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Okay, I live 2 blocks away from here so I'm finally going to review it.
Upon walking up to the entrance, you're greeted by a spanish villa type of a turret, very nice. Inside it's spacious, clean and has a good california pub feel to it. It doesnt hurt that the waitresses are pleasant to look at and there are plenty of big screens.
The service was okay. I never had to wait for anything and was kept happy. However, i've emailed this place several times about their beer selections and never received a reply. The selection of beer is okay and hits most of the american styles, pale, IPA, wheat, red, porter and sometimes a stout, barelywine or double IPA... too bad most of their beers are nothing to write home about, yyet nothing to really complain about either.
The food is really good and is your expected pub fare ie fish & chips, burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. My food has always been fresh, hot and the price is really reasonable. I do like the atmoshpere here. However, i'd come more often if the beer was better. Like I said, it's not bad, but when i also have BJ's, Oggi's, and Back Street brewing within 3 miles of my house, i have to choose them first for my brewing consumption.
EDIT: Visited twice, in Nov 08 and Jan 09.
Selection up to 4, Quality up to 3.5, service up to 3.0.
What a turnaround this has become. They got a new brewer who turned these around, then he recently left and another brewer took up the torch and cranked it up. The house beers are getting a few tweaks, more special brews and the guest taps are now off the hook. They consistently carry the beers you would only see at Hollingshead. On tap they've had Hop 15, My Bloody Valentine, brews from the Bruery, Alesmith, Port/Lost Abbey and they recently had a Russian River NIght with Pliny the Younger and Elder, Blind PIg on tap, and Consecration in bottles. The taps keep rotating and they're just off the hook. They're really trying to turn things around and they're doing a great job!!!
09-13-2005 21:49:45 |
More by SwillinBrew
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Atmosphere: Nice brewpub feel with a long bar to the left of the enterance. The brewery sits in full view of the bar and adds nicely to the overall feel of the place. There is a large open air seating area with a patio in front just to the right of the entrance
Quality: Middle of the road beer and decent food to match. Overall there is nothing to make you rave and very little to complain about
Service: Hit and miss...the bartender never served a beer with a collar of foam on it during my two hour visit, an oversite that must drive the brewmaster crazy
Selection: From the beers to the food the basics are covered. The beer selection is listed below and the food is standard pub fare
Food: See quality...it's all ok
Draught Beer (Nov 12, 2004):
Golden Spike Light Ale
Lemon Heights Hefeweizen
American Pale Ale
Red Hill Red
Blimp Hangar Porter
Wyders Cider (Pear & Raspberry)
The Old Town IPA was not available during my visit.
What a difference seven years makes! Over this elongated period of time, beer has been elevated to a stature few other brewpubs can match.
Head Brewer Jon Porter is skilled in the classics and boasts rock-solid skills for the year 'round offerings. His out-of-the-box creativity, however, shows how much passion he brings to work each and every day.
Tustin Brewing is on my 'must see' list for anyone residing in or visiting Orange County.
11-13-2004 22:30:27 |
More by IceAce
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
Tustin Brewing Co. is one of my favorite stops when I'm down in Orange County. As you approach the brewery the first thing you notice is the large castle-like turrett which serves as the entrace to the brewery. Very cool indeed. TBC always has a good selection of brews on tap but, as usual, the IPA is my favorite. The service is never great, but good enough to keep me happy. Everything I've had to eat has also been very good. I highly recommend the philly cheese steak and the clam chowder bread bowl. Both were top notch. We usually incorporate a trip to TBC along with hitting up Beverages and More just up highway 55.
02-05-2004 04:30:10 |
More by KingSlender
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
The first thing you notice in approaching this establishment is that it looks like a castle. It sits in a little strip mall with barely enough parking to accomodate the several businesses there. It's nicely styled in rock to look somewhat medival. When you enter, you notice how nicely the wooden bar, tables and the railing separating the eating room from the bar, tend to shine brightly in the lighting. The brewing system is well visable from the bar (it's right there in front of you) and adds to the ambiance. The IPA is very good. The pale and porter are OK, and from the sampler we tried, everything they brew seems to have a pleasant and consistently good taste. The service is good and expedient. We especially liked the clam chowder in the bread bowl. This is one of the better brew pubs in Orange County.
01-01-2004 18:27:16 |
More by ChappyCubsFan
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Tustin Brewing Company in Tustin, CA