Chapman Crafted Beers…

One week old or new rather, located right in Historic Old Town Orange, Ca.  Chapman Crafted Beers is one of the latests craft beer destinations to hit the ever growing beer community in Orange County.  When we first found out that Wil Dee of Haven Gastropub and Provisions Market fame was co-venturing along with Randy Nelson and brewer Brian Thorson into a new project of opening a production brewery in Orange, we were pretty excited to say the least.

Known as one of the best sources for craft beer Haven Gastropub and Provisions Market have always had excellent taps, beer pairing and beer events put together by Mr. Dee.   So why would a brewery two or three blocks from either location be anything less than amazing?  I mean to open a brewery in Orange County right now takes alot of balls, with the amount of beer available in the area, the amount of options out there right now, the location, the atmosphere, the people and most importantly, the beer, better all be on point.

After our Sunday meeting at Grits Fullerton we road out to The Good Beer Company (review coming soon), had a pint or two and decided to hit Chapman Crafted Beers on the way back from Downtown Santa Ana.  When we pulled up to the tasting room there was nothing necessarily fancy about it.  Now a days people are opening breweries like they are opening fancy hotels.  Some of us miss the days of the old Bootleggers where you were almost forced to sit next to people you don’t know and share a pint and a story.

Right now, there seems to be little signs of struggle when opening a new brewery in Orange County.  It’s almost as if business men and women are getting loans to open the most cutting edge brewery around.  Chapman Crafted Beers, kept it old school which is something we enjoyed.  The tasting room was big enough to give everyone their space, yet small enough to be able to have a conversation with someone you may not otherwise.  It was hot, it was at times loud, it was friendly and most of all the beer was excellent.

 

This is not to say, we may not see growth or change to the tasting room in the future, but it is to say, keeping a humble apperience in a county that is less than humble is refreshing.  Chapman Crafted Beers was welcoming which is important to us as cyclists who take our local beer and local rides seriously.  It was great to see familure faces like Brian who has been part of the local beer scene for sometime and who’s beer judgement you can trust (his taste in music ain’t bad either).

Chapman Crafted Beers seemed like a local spot where the focus was the beer and not the area where you consume the beer. A place where you can just come for a pint and not worry about pretentious people or beer snobs critiquing the decor.  It’s a breath of fresh air, it’s a brewery first maybe it will become a hipster joint later, but for now if you want to hang out at a place that will remind you of what Orange Counties breweries used to be like, I suggest heading over to Chapman Crafted Beers.

You remember going into a small unassuming tasting room and the big industrial fan was blowing and the areas the fan didn’t hit were just hot and muggy you would walk up to the bar top and order a pint and that pint at that moment was the best pint of beer you ever had?  You remember those tasting rooms?  I do and this reminded me of that.  Once you had your first pint the air became cooler, the mugginess subsided, your heart rate slowed and you thought to yourself, “awwwwh, I found my new spot.”  That is the kind of feeling I got when visiting Chapman Crafted.

Now, that might not be for everyone and perhaps I am being a little to nostalgic in my descriptions or maybe I vewied my entire experience through the eyes of someone who had been riding 30 miles in the Summer heat of Souther California.  You will have to judge for yourself.  Was it bike friendly?  Well, considering they have a huge roll up door in the front of the tasting room and we got spots right at that door so we could watch our bikes, yes. If we didn’t get that spot, perhaps not as there is no place to lock your bike as of yet.  However, they are open on Tuesday so WIN!

Ok, enough about the atmosphere how was the beer?!  You know what, it was pretty damn good.  I went with the Pale Ale, first why, because if I told you their IPAs were good and their Imperial Double was better, you’d probably expect that. Plus I just got off my bike and needed something that was going to be both refreshing and full flavor.  Then I went with the Hello Again  that’s their Lager and it was amazing, crisp, light and clean it was exactly what I needed on a hot day after a long ride.  I had a pint of the Black Lager or Blogger (get it?) which was equally as impressive and clean, a little maltier as to be expected.  Some of us had flights others went big and bold with IPA’s and a few Imperial IPA the Lost Invitation, I think it was called.  Some even went Coconut with the UnRuely Coconut Brown Ale.  That I must say was a tasty beverage.

I tasted just about everything on the beer menu and came away with a favorite and that is the Black Lager aka Blogger.  I can’t say enough about that beer, I would have gotten a growler but I didn’t want to have carry it back.  Next time, Chapman Crafted, next time.

Cheers!

FGBCbikes-at-chapmankegs-at-chapman

Tidelands Crit – SoCal Fixed Series-Dos LLantas-San Diego, Ca.

Great job to Dos LLantas out of San Diego in hosting The Tidelands Crit, part of the So-Cal Fixed Series.  For a race being on a Sunday evening in San Diego, there was a good turn out of both athletes and spectators.  We we lucky enough to be invited out to host yet another successful Craft Beer Podium for the men and women who participated.  We did a podium of beers all exclusive to our home base, Orange County, Ca.  Those beers included The Good Beer Company, Bootleggers, Valiant Brewing, Bottle Logic and of course Home Brew courtesy of Rick Morrello, one of the best Home Brewers in the county.

Our partner for the this podium was once again Craft Beer House aka Anaheim Liquor Mart.  Nasir has been a great support and partner over the past couple of podiums, without the support from local businesses trying to expand local craft beer, I don’t know how successful we’d be.  Once again congratulations to the organizers, winners and all of you who came out to support. Until next time.

Cheers!

JRock FGBC

Wolfpackhustle Shortline Crit

What a great time! Wolfpack Hustle: Shortline Crit 2016 was full of race drama, crashes, smiles and good people.  We hosted another successful Craft Beer Podium featuring our own home brew used by the victors to spray the crowd and introduced a new local brewery Unsung Brewing out of Tustin, Ca to those who made their way to the podium.  With an international field and USAC CAT 1 pros in this world class event the excitement can be felt the crowd and throughout the entire day.  Visit www.wolfpackhustle.com for complete race details also for awesome pictures of the event go to their Facebook for links to some of the best photographers in the game Shortline Crit 2016 Facebook.

The beer we featured in partnership with House of Craft Beer aka Liquor Mart in Anaheim, Ca was:

1st Place Mens and Women’s: Decadence by Ale Smith Brewing

2nd and 3rd Place Mens and Women’s:  Anthia by Unsung Brewing

Huge thank you to Nasir at Car House of Craft Beer/Liquor Mart for your support of The Craft Beer Podium and to Don Ward of Wolfpack Hustle for inviting us to host such an epic race!  If you would like The Craft Beer Podium at your next event email us for details.

Cheers!

FGBC?

Two Saucy Broads are saucy!

What can we say about Two Saucy Broads that probably hasn’t already been said?  How can we offer an unbiased opinion when they so graciously allow up to host 2pint2sday bottle shares at their pizza parlor?  How can we possibly come up with more rave reviews for a place that already get’s the ravest of reviews?  Like this…

Two Saucy Broads is hands down the best pizza parlor in Orange County, Ca.  If there is a better one take me there.  I mean I am sure everyone in the county has their “favorite” place to eat pizza pie, just like everyone has their favorite place to eat a burger or tofu or grab a drink.  But right here, right now, we are not dealing in opinions.  Sure a review is just that but sometimes reviews have to be looked at from a different angle and when you look at a review from said angle, it becomes fact.

The FACT of the matter is Two Saucy Broads has the best pie crust, the best sauce, the best cheese and the best and freshest toppings around.  The FACT is the craft beer tap list is in perfect rotation complimenting my order every time with something new and exciting on tap.  The FACT is when we have our resident vegan on the ride with us we don’t have to detour to make sure our friend eats.  No the FACT is he loves their vegan pizza.  So far that is 4 facts and we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Two Saucy Broads appreciates you.  We travel all around the county in search of the best places to drink good beer and eat good food.  We support local business from one side of this county to the other, from one part of this region to the other and very few appreciates our efforts as much as Two Saucy Broads.  The customer services is fast and friendly and the ownership supports our efforts and rewards those efforts by allowing things like our 2pint2sday bottle shares.  The staff is always welcoming even if we come in an hour before closing with 10 to 15 hungry and thirsty cyclists ready to make some noise.  Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry like I have knows A) those are the most annoying people and B) I am tired and I want to go home.

But the troopers they are, they put up with us, not that we are rowdy but it is the end of their day and we just rode in full of energy and and usually hungry as hell!  The fact of the matter is Two Saucy Broads Pizza  Pizza and Beer Parlor is the best in the county, 4 cogs. Period.  Visit them and tell them we sent you, if you don’t like the pie find me, take me to a better slice of pizza in Orange County and the pizza is one me!

Cheers!

FGBC

2pint2sday Review of Centro in Tustin, Ca

Here it is, the first 2pint2sday review of the year.  What took so long?  Simple, we didn’t go anyplace new the first few 2pints of the year.  This past Tuesday however we did, we hit this little micro brewery/winey/pizza place in Old Town Tustin called Centro.  I have to say when we first pulled up I didn’t think Centro was the kind of place that would take to kindly to a bunch of sweaty dudes on bikes looking for beer.  The place is pretty small, with a few tables and counter tops to eat or drink in the front of the house and a small patio in the back.  Lucky one of our crew members Jonny knows someone who works there and saved the patio section for us, otherwise I don’t think we would have fit at all.

Centro seems like a nice lunch spot or nice quiet neighborhood joint if you live in the area.  They have a beautiful brick over for there pizza pies and a they brew their own beer.  Don’t walk into Centro asking for a Bud Lite, wont happen.  But if you ask for a IPA brewed right next to the kitchen, by the register near the stair case, they got you covered.  We tasted all the beers they had on tap from a Chai Porter to a Cream Ale, from a sour to and IPA.  

We had a couple of their pizza pies as well, the salami itself was excellent, the rest of the pie was just ok.  I am a pizza guy so it’s hard to impress me with your pie unless it’s truly out of this world.  The hospitality was tremendous, the staff was small but so was the place, the pizza and beers kept coming, rarely did we have to wait albeit, it was a Tuesday night and they stayed open for us past their normal closing time.  Nevertheless, the head brewer came out to talk to us about his beer, the waitress was very friendly and the manager was very accommodating, he did save us the patio after all.  Without the patio as I said before it would have been tough.  We didn’t have a place to lock up in front and good for us there were no cars around back so we were able to keep our bikes at arms length.

The menu itself seemed to have a lot going for it and one of our guys even had a glass of the wine they make.  So in the end, we had good beer, we ate pizza made in a brick oven, they reserved an entire patio section for us and our bikes never left our sides.  I would say that is a successful 2pint2sday at Centro in Tustin, overall I would give them 3 1/2 cogs.  If you are ever down that way we’d suggest you check it out but they close early so hurry up or you’ll miss out. Tell them Fixed Gear Beer Crew sent you…

Cheers! 

The first 2pint2sday of 2015 @ C4 Deli

The first 2pint2sday of 2015 proved to be a success.  I have to admit that I think about canceling 2pint2sday all the time, simply because it is so hard to get people to ride bikes and drink craft beer on a Tuesday (…on a Tuesday…) in Orange County, but then I think that is “the inconvenient ride” for a reason.  The majority of people that came out for 2pint2sday this week were not even old enough to drink.  They are part of the OC Brakeless crowd that simply loves to ride track bikes whenever they can.  So, my boy Luis of OC Brakeless invited some of the young men and women you see in the picture above (an amazing shot by J. Bustamante) .

The fact of the matter is we had a good 24 mile ride round trip through 3 cities in Orange County including our destination of Downtown Santa Ana, where we had drinks and eats at C4 Deli and Native Son Ale House.  C4 Deli offers trivia night and craft beer happy hour every Tuesday night, over at Native Son we usually hit them as a “night cap” if you will.  Native Son offers pitchers of craft beer which is always a plus on 2pint2sday!

I mean when you can get a pitcher of Deschutes Hop Trip you do it, right?  Over at C4 they had an Imperial stout by Hanger 24 that was certainly a “sippin tea” if you know what I mean.  A 16.5% Imperial Stout called Pugachev’s Cobra a barrel aged stout that had great flavor, wasn’t as heavy as I would normally like out of a stout but the flavor was there and WOW! the 16.5% was evident that’s for sure.

Overall the ride was fun, the cruise down the riverbed at night is always interesting, the wind on the city streets even had the youngster gasping for breath and the cool crisp Cali night begged for good craft beer.  We got it all on our first 2pint2sday of 2015.  Joine us on our next adventure next Tuesday!

Cheers!

DRAKES TAP TAKEOVER @ THE IRON PRESS ANAHEIM

Yet another great tap takeover at The Iron Press at Anaheim’s Packing DistrictDrake’s Brewing was in town to showcase some of their great craft beers, with resident craft beer DJ, DJ Lex on the one’s and two’s.  The plan for this 2pint2sday was to hit The Kroft for some food and a beer but, as usual, we wound up at The Iron Press for more beer and music.  Drake’s had several options available that night.  A few highlights were the BA Jolly Rodger which was quite tasty, and Drake’s Imperial Stout.   On the other hand, the Special IPA and Experimental IPA both fell a little flat.

Next up was Rough Draft IPA.  Excellent!  Rough Draft came with it with this IPA: hoppy, bitter, but smooth and refreshing (something sometimes missing in an IPA).  But, you know who stole the show?  Who dominated the evening?  Who decided to step their game up and spoil the party that was supposed to be a Drake’s tap take over?…  A local beer, by a local brewery that is pretty new.  The Hang 10 DIPA was a smash HIT (all caps, bold)!  That was it that night.  A taster was needed because after visiting Beach City Brewery last year their IPA wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be – the Rye’t IPA was their best beer by far on that visit.  Needless to say, it looks like they figured it out, Hang 10 DIPA can stand up to any local DIPA, including anything Noble Ale Works is producing.  We suggest you find it and try it.

Another successful 2pint2sday.  Another successful tap take over at The Iron Press in Anaheim.  Oh and another successful dish at The Kroft.  I don’t think I mentioned the Chicken Pot Fries, did I?