Thankfully, all was not lost when Haven Gastropub + Brewery closed in Pasadena to end 2013. Co-founder Wil Dee returned to the friendly confines of Old Towne Orange, home to the original Haven Gastropub and sister establishment Provisions Market. Dee teamed with Randy Nelson on Chapman Crafted Beer and brought in former Drake’s and Haven head brewer Brian Thorson. I haven’t been to the source yet, but really enjoyed Chapman Old Towne Fest, a 5% ABV festbier that I found in the “Malty” section of The Bottle Room‘s craft beer menu in Uptown Whittier.
According to head brewer Brian Thorson, “We wanted to create a lighter more drinkable Oktoberfest beer than you would find with most American versions. We looked back to the classic Oktoberfest brewed in Germany which are lighter in color, dry, and low ABV for inspiration. We added a touch more Vienna malt to create a slight amber hue, while retaining the light, dry, and crushable nature of the style of beer. We were really excited about how the beer turned out because ultimately the goal was to create an extremely drinkable sessionable Oktoberfest.” Unfortunately, Oktoberfest doesn’t last forever, so of course Old Towne Fest was short-lived, but I was glad I got the opportunity to pair a pint of the beer with one of The Bottle Room’s vaunted burgers and grilled corn on the cob “elote.”