Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA

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The last of the breweries visited during my week was Noble Ale Works, the one that I was most interested in visiting due to their large selection of IPAs.  I was prepared for what I found… a crowd.  This part due to brewery, but just as much as the Anaheim Angels baseball game, which was starting just about the time of my arrival.  By the beginning of the second inning, about half the crowd had left for the short walk to the stadium.  Not to get too sidetracked, but I arrived hungry, and the food truck on duty for the day was awesome, with a BBQ sandwich that was as good as I’ve had anywhere. 

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I did compliment the owner, but I couldn’t help but ask if they’d sold any sodas.  “Just a few, for the walk to the stadium.” Truly “ice cold.”

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So, when you order a flight of IPAs, it’s hard to tell one from the next.  But here they are, five different varieties.    Baby Gaga Session IPA was as appealing as it’s name, which is to say, not so much.  The Breakaway Pale Ale actually lagged in the pack.  The Big Whig IPA was better, with a little citrus and a nice enough finish.  The Tongue Tickles Double IPA didn’t tickle at all, but it was a fine entry.   Finally, the Mosaic Yum Yum Triple IPA was big on the hops and flavor and was my favorite of the batch.  And sadly, with 2-3 ounces per sample, I had to hit the road, safely, of course.

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All of the aforementioned IPAs were on draught board, conveniently in a column titled “Hoppy-ish.”  There were another five in “Light-ish,” three in “Dark-ish,” and another four in “Unique-ish.”  

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In hindsight, I should have selected the two heavier hitters (by ABV) and checked out The Londoner (a brown porter) and the Naughty Sauce (a stout with oats, milk, sugar, coffee instead of roasted grain, with nitrogen).  I don’t know if I’d like it, but… I should have ventured further, like the cask option.  On the other hand, and without having sampled it, I’ll go ahead and say I wisely avoided the Soda Jerk, a Vanilla Cream Soda beer.  They’re obviously very open to novel ideas…

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The brewery had plenty of tables, but a very small bar area to order drinks.  I’d have preferred a bar seat to get a little bit of the story from the staff. It was a worthwhile stop, but not the highlight I had expected.  That said, they had several highly rated IPAs (Royalty, Citra Showers and Citra Yum Yum) when I was doing the research that either weren’t available or retired.  I’d definitely come back for a baseball game and that food truck.

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