The Bruery, Placentia, CA

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After having met two other guys traveling on business, we planned on meeting here a couple of nights later.  One couldn’t make it, but the other did, who happened to live in the Atlanta area like me. 

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The Bruery is known for being fairly adventurous with a wide variety of styles, barrel aged variations and further explorations within each, as a craft brewery should… if they at least have a stable of beers to pay the bills.  It’s also a popular spot, one that is known to have lines out the door.  We happened to miss that type of rush.  It’s not a big place, but has a fairly big reputation, having been, in relative terms, an elder brewery, on the scene since 2008.

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Below are the Loakal Red (very good, some hops but creamy), Mischief Hoppy Belgian Golden Strong (okay, I had hoped for better), Trade Winds Tripel Belgian (better than good, short of excellent), Ride That Pony Imperial Brown (very good), and BBA Smoking Wood porter (excellent, curious that they are retiring this one).

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So, Paul, my beer acquaintance invited another guy to join us, a local that he had met on other visits.  They bring bombers to trade whenever they meet.  His friend is a member of the Reserve Society, a stratagem that is apparently popular among some of the area breweries.  Beyond that is a Hoarders level, but, whatever.  Essentially, become a paying club member, and you’ll receive some special beers they hold back from the general public.  In other words, if you’re not a local, you’re out of luck.  Unless, that is, you make friends with a member.

So it was that I was able to sample the Melange #12, a blend of various other barrel aged beers that they let hang around, which was bold, boozy and fairly sweet.  I should have taken a picture, but  p00f! it was gone.

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I can understand the attraction to additional revenue and collecting a subset of people who are likely to give a lot of repeat business.  Still, I hope it doesn’t catch on.  One of the attractions to visiting breweries is to sample things you can’t get elsewhere, and not from just geographic accessibility.  I’d hate to visit breweries and be teased with stuff in stock and told, “Sorry.  Members only.”   To be fair, nine of 15 beers on tap were “Tasting Room Only” releases.

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In any case, it’s a great craft brewery, and it was well worth the time.

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