BeerVisits - UK - Europe - USA/Canada - World

Pub Visit - USA/Canada

Fullerton, California:
Bootleggers Brewery Tasting Room

Thursday 24th May 2012

Bob Thompson

Bootleggers 1I must that admit that I have reservations about my visit to this brewery. Please note I particularly say visit, as the beers were extremely good and the locationwas fine. The problem for me was the customers. Now, I'm a beer geek; I wouldn't be writing for this website if I wasn't, but I do have one or two topics of conversation other than the amber nectar. When I went to Bootleggers I was on my own and was able to earwig the conversations around me and, after a while, I found it profoundly depressing.

I was surrounded by "experts", many of whom were just posturing to each other about beer in a way that sounded like they were trying to imply that their personal knowledge and experience was more important than that of anyone else, yet it had probably all been obtained from the internet. I have been to many beer bars and breweries in the USA, yet I've never really come across this phenomenon before.

Bootleggers 2When I was young we called it "Regging", a term coined by conversations with a certain Reg Elliot. Just suppose you had told him you'd had a beer on the Moon, he would then counter by saying he'd just had one on Mars! Reg always trumped you whatever you told him. I was taken back to those days with the antics of the crowd in here.

I was in a working brewery and this explains the somewhat restricted hours for tasting the products. It was possible to walk from the Fullerton railroad station so was accessible. See below for more information.

It is basically a big room with the addition of some tables and chairs but most of the customers were standing. Catering was provided by a food truck in the yard which I patronised and thought it was very good, supplying food in a number of different styles.

Let's talk about the beers. There was a good selection; I could have had any of the following eleven: Old World Hefe (5.0%); Palomino Pale Ale (5.5%); Rustic Rye IPA (6.2%); Golden Chaos (8.5%) (Belgian Strong Ale); Black Phoenix (6.7%) (Coffee Chipotle Stout!); MacDougal Scotch Ale (6.8%); Chango (5.0%) (Mexican style Lager); Prohibition Mild (3.2%); Mint Chocolate Porter (6.1%); 79 Anniversary Ale (7.9%) (Belgian Red Ale) and Smokin' Jack (abv unknown) (Smoked Ale).

Bootleggers 3They did a sampler set of five 2oz glasses, so I had four of the ales and one novelty act in Mint Chocolate Porter. They were all well made beers and the Porter was accurately described.

Normally in the USA I use the samplers to decide what the best is and have a pint of it. I couldn't be bothered here; reasons stated above. I walked back to the station and caught an early train to Los Angeles. Despite my experience here I have to say the beers I had were good.

Since this visit to the brewery and tasting room on S Richman Avenue they have moved to larger premises on the other side of the railroad tracks, which is a bit closer to the station. The details given below reflect the situation at the new location. I would definitely like to visit it, if even only to see if the clientele has changed!

Important Information:

Bootleggers Brewery Tasting Room, 130 S Highland Avenue, Fullerton CA-92832
Tel: 714 871 2337

Open: Sunday-Thursday 11.00-22.00; Friday-Saturday 11.00-24.00

From the Fullerton Transportation Center (railroad station) exit in to Walnut Avenue and turn right. Cross over Harbour Boulevard and at the next block turn right in Highland Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks and you will find the brewery on the right. Allow ten minutes.

Fullerton station is well served with 11 trains in each direction on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service to San Diego. It is also served by Amtrak's daily long distance South West Chief from Los Angeles to Chicago via Albuquerque and Kansas City.

Metrolink, the suburban railroad, has trains to Fullerton from Los Angeles on the Orange County line to Oceanside via Anaheim and also on its 91 line to Riverside via Corona.