Your In-Flight Beverage is by Hangar 24 Craft Brewery

Craft Beer Redlands

Your in-flight beverage is…being brewed right across the street from Redlands Municipal Airport. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery has been slowly expanding its reach from the Inland Empire. You have probably seen (and tasted) their flagship brew, Orange Wheat. And you may have sampled their pale ale at a festival or at places like Tony’s Darts Away. And you may have seen their latest bottled product, Alt-Bier.

What you can’t get without visiting is the homey vibe and special beers. My beery compadre, Richard and I were not there but a few minutes and the place was hopping with little room to place a cup down. Tasting sample trays were being set-up and people were coming in from church with their growlers looking for re-fills.

We had made the drive for the specials. Polycot was on tap, made with a lot of apricots. This was the rare fruit beer, aside from lambics and sours, that was really fruity without being cloyingly sweet. The apricot taste was front and center but it had a dry and bitter finish. It was a shock at first but then I remembered that the Orange Wheat is not super sweet either. It is more the latter than the former. I brought home a bottle and was really struck by the orange aroma that faded into a strong cereal taste on the palate.

Also on tap was a porter, which I didn’t get to because my second beer was the uber-hoppy and strong homebrew IPA. It’s made in conjunction with a local home brewer and utilizes six different hops. And it was thick with bitterness, almost to the point of being a barleywine. I would love to get a bottle of it and see how well it would age because I think it would mellow into a less hoppy strong ale.

The other specialty beer available was their second anniversary beer made with candi sugar worked up by the local culinary school and apples from the Oak Glen orchards that Huell Howser made famous. I sampled it at the Stone 14 bash and found it to be full of caramel but the apple didn’t pop for me. Richard on the other hand could get a nice apple cider taste from it. Either way, I love the idea of using the local ingredients. It meshes well with anniversary celebrations and makes it more of a community event.

You can also get tours from the staff. It isn’t long distance-wise but it is filled with information. Especially interesting was the fact that their bottling machine was from Italy and its directions were only in Italian. Please insert your Laverne and Shirley joke here. And yes, people have flown in for the express reason to buy beer. Considering the traffic havoc to and from Las Vegas, I can see why.

As usual, the Beer Homework is really onerous. Well, actually to some beer snobs it might be. Last week, I suggested a shandy (which is now completely sold out at the Burbank Bevmo) and this week, I suggest trying a few fruit beers. You can get all sorts of different fruits. Strawberry, cherry and orange. Samuel Smith makes some good fruit beers or you can get a Buckbean can of Orange Blossom ale. Toss in a lambic as well. Then use your personal favorite to make a float to cool down.

Beer of the WeekDrakes from San Leandro was overlooked for awhile but they are really making some solid good stuff again. The 1500 Pale ale can be found at Whole Foods and it really has great grapefruit aroma and floral notes. The bitterness fades away a bit and can’t match that first aroma but it is supposed to be a pale and not an IPA so the style fits. Drakes also does a hefeweizen and a regular IPA that you can check out.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman's writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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