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Costa Mesa Beer Trail: 5 Local Breweries You Must See

An afternoon spent on the Costa Mesa Beer Trail pairs perfectly with a foodie-centric Eatcation® in Orange County’s capital of culinary experiences, and a brewery tour is definitely in order. Did you know Costa Mesa has 5 of its own breweries?

Over the years, Southern California’s growing passion for craft beer and microbrews has proved to more than just a passing fad. Orange County breweries have collected awards in some of the biggest brew competitions in the nation and Costa Mesa’s homegrown breweries are no exception! Costa Mesa’s "Beer Trail" has grown to include five tasting rooms in and around the SoBeCa District

Gunwhale Ales was established in a pioneer spirit of exploration, a love for the California coast and with dedication to the time old tradition of brewing. The brewery located in the SoBeCa District brews what it calls “Coast Ales,” a fine blend between European farmhouse tradition and the bolder styles California brewers are known for. The airy and dog friendly tasting room does not serve food but does host a rotating schedule of food trucks. 

In true “bootlegger” spirit, Bootlegger’s Brewery was born out of the founder’s longtime home brewing hobby to benefit the local community. Since launching in Orange County in 2008, Bootlegger’s has expanded to three tasting rooms, including their Costa Mesa location just behind The LAB. The tasting room offers a range of beers including a Mexican American style lager, Old World Hefeweizen, Double IPA, red and Belgian style ales and plenty of rotating seasonal offerings. Food is not available for purchase, but guests can grab a meal to-go from one of the nearby restaurants at The LAB to enjoy in the tasting room. 

Brewing Reserve of California is a family owned and operated brewery on the edge of Costa Mesa’s South Coast Metro neighborhood. The tasting room offers 10 beers on tap, ranging from pale ales to saisons, cream ale and honey blondes. With a focus on approachability, Brewing Reserve of California provides a space for every taste and level of craft brew expertise. 

Salty Bear Brewing, near The CAMP, brings more California love to Costa Mesa’s SoBeCa District.  Just a few doors down from Gunwhale Ales! While they won’t have a kitchen, restaurants from The CAMP will offer direct delivery to the tasting room. 

Green Cheek Beer Co. is the newest stop on the trail. Owned and operated by two beer-loving friends, they've even won medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. The tasting room features a rotating selection on tap. Green Cheek Beer Co. also serves a variety of food from tasty burgers to vegetarian and vegan fare.

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