If there was an animated TV show about the adventures of the Green Cheek parrot, I would watch it more than Game of Thrones. The parrot is part of the branding for Evan Price and Brian Rauso’s new Orange County brewery, Green Cheek Beer Co..
The brewery, housed in Valiant Brewing’s former space on Batavia in Orange, is busy with the constant stream of beer fans who have followed the signs back to the taproom. I sampled a wide variety of beer styles while there from Bier, a really light yellow lager with mineral character; to Good Vibes, a session IPA (my pick of the group); and a Double IPA with the great name of Harrumph! Then I finished with a classically styled stout, Cut the Lights and the sangria influenced Berried in Berlin Berliner Weisse.
Micheladas were also on offer as well as a Shandy to round out the eclectic list. You can purchase growlers or crowlers of most of beers, which I observed many people doing on that first weekend of NFL football. It was also great to see that a lot of the offerings were low ABV.
On the minus side, the space was toasty inside, even on a non-brew day. The air doesn’t quite seem to move. Also, the lovely little taster glasses, akin to wine glasses minus the stems, were a bit wobbly in the taster tray and required a firm grip, lest they slip.
In the end, all you need to do is follow the advice painted on the wall – Smile While Drinking – and it becomes about the beer again, as it should be.
The BEER OF THE WEEK is the return, for the third year, of California Love from Smog City Brewing Company. California Love is a big beer that hits 8.5% ABV, it is an Imperial Red Ale brewed with Pinot Noir Grapes, Orange Peel and then aged with Oak. It is an ode to the flavors of both Northern and Southern California “into a beautifully complex expression of balance.”
For this week’s HOMEWORK, if you were prompted by the interview with Ventura Coast Brewing Co. last week or my piece a few weeks back about patio drinking, you should know that another brewery calls Ventura home and has a patio from which to enjoy their beers. Head Brewer Mike Morrison and friend/partner Seth Gibson helm MadeWest Brewing Company. They opened their tasting room back in January, 2016, and now the 30-barrel brewhouse is pumping out beers such as their IPA filled with El Dorado, Citra, Ekuanot, Eureka! and the un-named 07270 hops; a Standard Pilsner; and a West Coast pale ale with Mosaic, Simcoe and more Ekuanot hops.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.