Costa Mesa Beer Trail: A Pitcher Perfect Vacation Experience
An afternoon spent on the trail pairs perfectly with a foodie-centric Eatcation™ in Orange County’s capital of culinary experiences!
Over the years, Southern California’s growing passion for craft- and micro-brews 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! Since the 2014 opening of Barley Forge Brewing Co. – the city’s first-ever full production brewery – Costa Mesa’s "Beer Trail" has grown to include four tasting rooms in and around the SoBeCa District.
Barley Forge Brewing Co. brews Belgian, West Coast and German-style beers, all with their own original spin that has garnered plenty of recognition in the brewing world. Titles include a Gold Medal winner in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, a Silver Medal winner in the World Beer Cup and regular ranking as Best Brewery and a reader’s choice pick by OC Weekly magazine. The tasting room includes a fully operational kitchen offering menu items ranging from salads and cheese boards to burgers and other grill offerings. They also host a weekly Tuesday Trivia Night and Thursday Night Jazz.
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 is the most recent brewery to open near The CAMP and brings more California love to Costa Mesa’s SoBeCa District. Just a few doors down from Barley Forge and Gunwhale Ales! While they won’t have a kitchen, restaurants from The CAMP will offer direct delivery to the tasting room.