San Diego Beer, Local & Independent!

My Orange County Adventure pt. 2 – Left Coast Brewing

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Usually by the second day of any trip to the city of Los Angeles, I’m more than ready to head home at the earliest opportunity. On this particular Sunday I was even more anxious than usual because I had it in mind mind to stop on the way home and finally check off a brewer that had been on my ‘need to visit’ list for far too long. After trudging my way across the 101 freeway only grind to a halt more often than not along the 5 south, it’s always a relief to cross into Orange County and those beautiful yet spacious lanes from Fullerton all the way down to the San Diego county line. My destination on the warm day would be just short of the San Diego limits. Nestled in the hills just east of interstate 5 in the town of San Clemente is a small brewery with a very large flavor profile. I’m talking about the good people at Left Coast Brewing.

With this being something of an impulsive visit and I would be driving home to San Diego, I wanted to make sure I didn’t go crazy on the beers, something that is usually far too easy for me to accomplish. Luckily I made sure to have a large lunch before leaving L.A. but I wanted to make sure to only order a taster flight and so I made a quick promise to a higher power that after the flight I was cutting myself off. A taxi from San Clemente wasn’t going to be in the budget.

My flight was six tasters, a mash-up of some of their usuals and a few seasonals. Here’s how it all went down.

Rye IPA – 7.0%ABV – Like most of the rye style IPA’s I’ve had this was one that went down easy and gave me little to complain about.It’s a nice copper color with a malty aroma, but taste-wise isn’t overly malt heavy. It’s taste has a nice citrus zest to it and I enjoyed it. A nice beer overall.

Wedge – Black IPA 7.1%ABV – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t usually like the roasty-toasty flavor that most black IPA’s have. It’s a personal preference, but I try to set that aside so I can be objectionable when I’m tasting new beers. If you like roasted malts flavors, you will really like this beer. The smell of roasted malts comes right off the glass. While that flavor fills the glass, you can also note that this is a brew with a full body to it. Hops are mild but noticeable and seem to provide a little punch the roasted malt profile. If you like that flavor, you’ll love this beer.

Asylum Trappist Belgium 11.8%ABV – This beer has some really great things going on, if you are a fan of this style of beer. A nice balance of sweet flavors from honey that hits you across the nose. The sweetness does a great job of balancing out the high alchohol flavor which is present but in no means overpowering. Again, I found this to be a beer that has a high drink-ability to it and was glad that I only had a 4oz taster, anything more and I would be in my car sleeping it off.

Una Mas – Amber Lager 5.8%ABV – If you like ambers than you’ll enjoy this beer. It pours out a nice penny-copper color and has a nose of caramel coming off of it. This beer high drink-ability factor, especially for a warm summer day. The malts are a little heavy, but that’s personal preference again.

Trestles IPA – 6.8%ABV – Now we start to get a little more in my wheelhouse. I got a great hit of citrus hops on the nose along with some notes of grapefruit. It tastes much as it smells, which is a delightful combination of the hops profile and the malt and earth flavors that are also noticeable. I enjoyed this IPA quite a bit.

Hop Juice IIPA – 9.7%ABV – This beer is the reason why I walked in the door, so I had to save this one for last. The color is a nice golden copper and the nose is all hops as well. This is a hop dominate double IPA from the first sip, it’s in the front, middle and end of the beer. You cannot hide from these hops, but why would you want to. In my opinion, this is one of the more underrated double IPA’s around and if you’ve not tried it, I definitely think it’s worth a shot.

After I wrapped up my tasters, I made sure to eat some of the awesome pretzels provided by Left Coast and partake in several tall glasses of water. I had a chance to chat with several fellow tasters and generally had a pretty darn good time while doing it. So while I may not make it to Orange County all too often, it’s good to know that they have a beer scene that is thriving in much the same way as San Diego’s. It’s also nice to know you’re going to get a nice selection of some different styles that you may not find around town too much. Now if only I had a helicopter…   




Author: hoptologysd31

Beer lover living the dream in San Diego, CA. I'm always looking to find great beers in places where I'd least expect them.

One thought on “My Orange County Adventure pt. 2 – Left Coast Brewing

  1. Might be a scary combo: beer tasting and flying a helicopter. haha Those beers look delicious. Good thing that’s not the taster size in your photo! Wait, what am I saying? I wish that was the taster size!

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