On August 29th, the brew team at TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room celebrated the very first batch of soon to be American Cream with a video posted on their Facebook page. “As it sits in the lauter tun while going through the sparging process, running hot water through the grain bed to create sweet wort. Congratulations to the brew team and everyone at TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room”, declared founder-proprietor, Joe Manzella.
Both ales and lagers will be produced daily for distribution and onsite enjoyment, but with a focus on lagers, which have won TAPS six GABF/World Beer Cup medals since 2015. The plan is to produce 5,000 barrels during its first year, with a capacity of 25,000 barrels annually. TAPS’ barrel-aged beer program will have its own dedicated, 350-capacity barrel room. In the video, brewer Kyle Manns tells us a little about the operation which includes duplicating their barrel room concept in other underserved areas such as Newport Beach, Long Beach, and further down the road, a certain new stadium in Anaheim.
The July 23rd opening of TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room, located at 15501 Red Hill Ave. near Tustin Legacy, marks a new era for TAPS Brewery, one of Southern California’s most decorated breweries, with over 100 medals to date including Midsize Brewpub and Midsize Brewer of the Year as well as 2 Golds, a Silver and a Bronze at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.
“TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room promises to raise the bar on the burgeoning beer tasting-room scene, offering “O.C.’s premier tasting room experience”, according to TAPS founder-proprietor, Joe Manzella.
The 19,000 square-foot tasting room is equipped with arcade games, multiple TVs and pool tables as well as outdoor patio seating and a large fire pit surrounded by wooden Adirondack chairs. Growler and crowler fills are available so nothing stands in the way between you and fresh beer. Brewery tours are available to see how the magic happens. Not a beer drinker? No worries, check out the Non-Beer Menu featuring Soju Cocktails, select wines, and more.
What about food to go with all that thirst-quenching beer? TAPS food truck Chef de Cuisine Roman Jimenez has been hard at work for months perfecting the menu for the permanently stationed TAPS food truck. Guests can savor award-winning ales and lagers while enjoying such tantalizing dishes as Bulgogi Beef Masa Fries, Bánh Mì Bacon-wrapped Hot Dogs, and a “Hippie” vegetarian burger.
TAPS brewers are Kyle Manns, director of brewing; Jonathan Chiusano, brewery operations manager; Erik Zwack, head brewer, TAPS Corona; Brennan Perry, head brewer, TAPS Brewery, Tustin, and Max Jones, QAQC/packaging manager.
Paramount to TAPS success as a brewery has been “investing in the best equipment possible for our brewers. It’s been part of TAPS’ philosophy since day one”, says Manzella. The team has purchased brewing and bottling equipment from leading manufacturers in Europe and North America and will continue to source the finest malt, grain, hops, and yeast.
The opening line-up of TAPS beers include The American Cream (formerly Cream Ale), Irish Red, Flex IPA, Amend This!, Keller Pils, The Velvet Hog, West Coast Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Ponderosa Pale, Hopsteppa, Hiya! and barrel-aged Silent Warrior available in draft and bottles, as well as other rotating, small batch, barrel-aged beers.
Twelve-ounce bottles are available in six-packs and by the case. Also for sale in the brewery are 32-oz “crowlers” and 64-oz stainless steel, refillable insulated growlers. Barrel-aged brews will be available in about six months in 500-ml bottles. So what are you waiting for?
Hours at the Barrel Room:
Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday 3 p.m. – midnight
Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight
Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Ample self-parking is available. Did I mention the patio is DOG-FRIENDLY?