The Bruery “Gremlin” Belgian Golden, “Trade Winds” Spiced Tripel, “Saison Tonnelerie”, “Mrs. Stoutfire” Smoked Stout, and “Tart of Darkness” Sour Stout: I couldn’t go home without making a special trip to The Bruery. I haven’t been to their tasting room, though I did make it to Bruery Provisions before it shut down, which was recently reopened by Haven Gastropub.

Gremlin: I wanted to order a flight full of beer I’ve never had before and I have never even heard of this one before, so naturally it made the cut. Earthy, lemongrass profile with distinct vinous qualities. Slight sour / tartness which was welcoming. A fair amount of lingering herbal spice. Overall tasty, but fairly underwhelming.

Trade Winds: I’ve been dying to try this one for a few years now but haven’t had the chance. Beautiful Thai basil sweetness with hefty amount of spice. Hint of citrus. Creamy mouthfeel with a lingering finish. The taste was really nice, but something about the beer was off like it was flat or something. I’ll have to get a bottle next time I find one and give it a second go.

Saison Tonnelerie: Another beer I’ve been wanting to try, this saison was loaded with banana, but not nearly as sweet as Gremlin. Pleasant herbal spice, like sage or something. Mild pepper picked up on the palate. Faint tartness. Again, tasty but fairly underwhelming.

Mrs. Stoutfire: The beer I had to have in SoCal. I wasn’t leaving without it and I was pretty disappointed Beachwood didn’t have it on tap. Big boozy, smokey aroma. Sweet cocoa nibs with a distinct coffee presence. Smokey, almost burnt malts with toffee. Slight creaminess with a lingering body. Definitely the star of the weekend for me. You better believe I picked a bottle up for the road.

Tart of Darkness: A pleasant bonus beer I wasn’t expecting to try. First thing I noticed was the body was very thin. Boozy and vinous with lots of tannins from the barrel-aging process. Slightly smokey with a hint of cocoa. Very tart / sour with a dull sweetness. Toffee malts. Fairly dry with a lingering finish. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite Bruery sour, but it’s pretty close.

Verdict: Mrs. Stoutfire, Tart of Darkness, Trade Winds, with Gremlin and Saison Tonnelerie tied for last. I actually didn’t care for my tasting-room experience. It was nice and fun to go, but I couldn’t see myself being a regular. I dunno, in my eyes The Bruery just seems bigger than that. I guess I was just looking for a bigger experience like Russian River.

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