Being sandwiched between the craft beer cities of San Diego and Los Angeles could be intimidating, but if Orange County brewers feel that way, they certainly don’t let it show.
Anaheim is one of the fastest-growing beer destinations in the state, with 15 breweries and counting. Three of the city’s notable offerings are the Anaheim Brewery (closed during Prohibition but re-established in 2010 after a 90-year hiatus) and, on each side of the Santa Ana River, less than two miles away from each other, Noble Ale Works (try their Naughty Sauce Stout and Aim for the Fences IPA) and the Old Orange Brewing Company, both of which have tasting rooms.
Elsewhere, the options are numerous and varied. San Clemente has been popular with beer lovers for years, with its Left Coast Brewing Company, the largest craft brewery in the county by volume, and relative newcomers Artifex Brewing Company and Lost Winds Brewing are excellent options as well.
In Placentia, try The Bruery’s award-winning ales and wheat beers. The brewery is run by the Rue family, hence the name; they also have a tasting room, Bruery Terreaux, in Anaheim. In the hills of Rancho Santa Margarita sits the Cismontane Brewing Company (the name means 'this side of the mountains').
Others to try: Tustin Brewing Company, one of the pioneers of the scene, brewing since 1996, in Tustin; Bootlegger’s Brewery—with their unique Black Phoenix Chipotle Coffee Stout—in Fullerton; and the city of Orange’s Valiant Brewing Company, with more than a dozen beers in its taproom.
From board shorts to mouse ears to designer clothes, what you wear in this sun-splashed corner of the state says everything about how you like to play. Whether it’s surf-perfect beaches or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns dotted with luxury yachts, “The O.C.” stands out as one of California’s—make that the country’s—most iconic destinations.
“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.” --actor Dennis Quaid
Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA.
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