The Bruery Guava Libre

Two cream ales in a row! This was a collaboration beer with Funky Buddha out of Florida, so let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This sensory getaway transports you to a corner bodega with our friends at Funky Buddha in South Florida to recreate the flavors you’d find in a Cuban guava pastry. Championing the big, bold flavors that both of our breweries are known for, we brewed an imperial cream ale, adding lactose and vanilla to impart sweet, custard-like ribbons, and guava for filling its conceptual authenticity. It’s a collaboration that’s equal parts inspiration and admiration.”

Random: They recommend pairing this beer with shrimp empanadas.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly with some lacing left on the glass and a small crown. The body was super cloudy and bright yellow in color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with guava and lactose. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t have any extract taste. It also had a light malt characteristic. The taste was sweet with guava, but quickly taken over by lactose and vanilla. It also had a bready characteristic to it. It wasn’t nearly as bright as the nose, but still was solid. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with vanilla. A bottle of this was $14.99, which came to $.68 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, but it needed more guava in the taste and it was definitely a little too expensive, but what Bruery beer isn’t.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


The Bruery Share This: Mole

I’ve walked past this beer a few times, but I needed to try it, since I love mole inspired beers.

ABV: 11.1%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Let’s move beyond the concept of grabbing a beer, and reach for something bigger. Share This beer and be part of helping friends become mobile for the first time in Mexico – the source and inspiration of select ingredients in this beer. Each release in our Share This series spotlights unique ingredients and an important cause. Share This: Mole is a mole-inspired imperial stout collaboration with Chef Anne Conness, featuring ancho chilies, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs. For each bottle we produce, Free Wheelchair Mission receives one dollar.”

Random: The best mole that I ever had was in Chicago at Frontera Grill.

The beer poured with a full finger of light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation. The nose was what I expected: cocoa powder, lots of chili peppers and cinnamon. I didn’t pick up much vanilla, but that’s a scent that tends to get overwhelmed. The taste had a bit more depth. It had dark cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla. It had some chili pepper, but not enough for my preference. There was also some smoke as well and a touch of booze. The body was thick, bordering on syrupy and had light carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with dark chocolate and cinnamon. I picked up the bomber for $16.99, which came to $.77 per ounce, which was on the pricey side (as Bruery beers tends to be). Despite the price, I thought this was a really good beer, especially for a winter night. If you like these flavors, it’s worth picking up.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Or Xata

Awhile back, I had a business trip in California and Val joined me for a long weekend. We made our way to The Bruery and took a tour. This was one of the beers that we drank during the tour and Val loved it. Since it was on tap at Brickwall, Val got a glass.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Horchata is a traditional, sweet, milky drink originating in Spain and Latin America that has become quite popular in Southern California, particularly with Mexican cuisine. Our homage to the traditionally non-alcoholic drink is a blonde ale brewed with a heavy dosing of rice, cinnamon and fresh vanilla beans along with lactose for a little extra creamy character. These ingredients meld together to create a taste and experience that hints at horchata, but it’s much more than that. The flavor is hard to describe, but for those who know it, you know you love it.”

Random: I’ve never had a real horchata. That needs to be rectified.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a straw yellow color with a tinge of cloudiness and moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and grain. It was incredibly inviting. The taste was even better than the nose. The cinnamon and nutmeg notes were prevalent, along with rice and milk sugar. Vanilla came through as the beer warmed. The alcohol was well-hidden. It had a moderately thick body with just enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cinnamon and nutmeg. I thought this beer was outstanding. This is one of the best horchata inspired beers I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

The Bruery Mash

One of the highlights of my California business trip was going to The Bruery. I was a bit surprised that it was in an office park and also surprised that the tasting room was relatively small for a brewery that size. I will say it had one of the best tours I’ve ever been on and we got to sample this beer while we were there.


ABV: 12.5%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An English-style barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, Mash is an intense yet balanced beer with notes of burnt caramel, toasted bread, ripe pear, dried figs, vanilla, toasted coconut and finishes with oak tanning. This has become an instant favorite around the brewery due to its balance, subtle complexities and overwhelming deliciousness.”

Random: They recommend pairing this beer with meat pie, roast venison and baked apple crumble.

This brew poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. There was a small crown on top of a mahogany-colored, hazy body with no visible carbonation because of the color. The nose was filled With bourbon and vanilla. It also had caramel, booze, leather and figs. The taste smacked me in the mouth with a sharp booze note. After I adjusted to it, I picked up caramel, burnt brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon. There was also notes of toasted brown bread and figs. It had a medium thick body for the style with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with alcohol, bourbon and vanilla. A bomber of this was expensive at $21.99 ($1 per ounce), but if you’re into the style, it may be worth it. This beer would definitely benefit from a few years of age to tame that booze note, but this was a good start.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Bruery Terreux – Batch No. 1731

While I was out in California, I found a small gastropub with sandwiches and salads and some interesting draft selections. I stopped in for an early dinner and they had this on draft. Even though I went to The Bruery a few days prior, I didn’t remember seeing this one on tap.


ABV: 5.1%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Batch No. 1731 is a 100% brettanomyces-fermented hoppy session ale created by homebrewer Kevin Osbourne of Los Angeles. When we judged through all of our competition entries, his complex yet quaffable creation shouted WINNER! (as well as tropical! funky! and dry!). It puts El Dorado, Mosaic and Chinook hops on a pedestal as much as one possible could.”

Random: The tour at The Bruery was one of the best I’ve been on, behind Flying Dog.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated at a slow pace and left spiderweb lacing on the glass. The body was bright orange and hazy with no visible carbonation due to the haziness. The nose had a lot of orange peel and a touch of tartness. It had some grapefruit peel as well. The taste had some mustiness to it, I’m assuming from the addition of Brett. It had light tartness and orange and grapefruit peel. This was a beer that let the hops shine through rather than the wild bugs. It had a thin body with high carbonation. The finish was quick, dry and musty with some citrus tartness, like an unripe orange. The beer was very easy to drink and given the low ABV, I could have put a few back without an issue. I would definitely have this one again, even though I didn’t pick up any of the tropical aspects of the beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery 8 Maids-A-Milking

I don’t normally seek out the Christmas beers from The Bruery, but if I see one sitting on the shelf, I pick it up since they tend to be quite good. This was the 2015 selection.

8 maids

ABV: 11.3%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “8 Maids-A-Milking is the 8th beer in our ’12 Days of Christmas’ series, and we’d be udderly crazy to release anything but a milk stout. So we made an imperial milk stout to stand up to whatever Old Man Winter throws our way from now through 2019 with the final release of our series. 8 Maids-A-Milking is brewed with lactose, which is commonly referred to as milk sugar. It’s the only type of sugar that is unfermentable by yeast, which adds more perceptible creaminess and sweetness to the finished beer. This mouthfeel and sweetness is complemented by robust layers of milk chocolate, subtle spice accents from our house Belgian yeast and roasty, cafe elements indicative of our take on the style. Celebrate the seasons with the best of both worlds: enjoy some now, and lay a few down for up to 4 years to be enjoyed upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.”

Random: “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” is one of my least favorite Christmas songs.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown on top of the body. The body was a dark brown with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had smoke, lactic acid, milk chocolate Hershey kisses and vanilla. I didn’t pick up any spice from the yeast. The taste had a lot of complexity. It started with milk chocolate and lactic acid, but also had a certain tanginess with raisins. Some creamy sweetness came through too with smoke and Belgian yeast. The spice at the end was light but gave it some depth. The body wasn’t as thick as I would have thought, but it did have a lot of carbonation. There was also the expected booze warming at the back of the throat. It had a lengthy finish with cocoa and creaminess. The bottle was $12.99, which came to $.52 per ounce, which isn’t bad for a beer from The Bruery. I enjoyed this beer, as did Val, although I wish it were a bit thicker.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery 7-Swans-A-Swimming

This was the beer that I had last night to celebrate the end of quarter. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 11%

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “7 Swans-A-Swimming is the 7th beer in our ’12 Days of Christmas’ series. For this verse of the story, we chose the path we don’t often take – we brewed to style. No bells, no whistles, just our best take on the Belgian Quadrupel style. Brewed with nothing but water, malt, yeast, hops and a bit of Belgian dark candi sugar, this beer may not be as out-of-the-box as some of our past winter brews, but it’s just as tasty. Rich and complex, this robust dark ale juggles notes of raisin bread, dried apricots, burnt caramel and roasted pecans. The sweet flavors provide a full body and the bright yeast wafts the sweet holiday notes out of the glass, into your life. 7 Swans-A-Swimming is a perfect holiday sipper. Delicious right now, but suitable for aging up to 5 years, upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.”

Random: I am a huge fan of having glasses that match the brewery of what I’m drinking.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on my Bruery tulip glass. The body was a dark brown with a lot of visible carbonation. The nose had candi sugar, figs, dates and some alcohol. The taste had a bit more going on. I picked up the same candi sugar, figs and dates in the nose, but also found some cherries, apricot and yeast. Brown bread came through at the end of the sip. It also had some booze warming in the back of the throat, but not as much as I would guess given the ABV. The body was lighter than I expected with lots of carbonation. It had a long finish with dark fruit and cherries. I was impressed by this beer and really enjoyed it. It was on the cheaper end of the spectrum of The Bruery beers. It was $15.49, which broke down to $.70 an ounce, which still wasn’t cheap, but I would get another one of these to age. If you still see it on the shelves, it’s definitely worth it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0