Instant Beer Review | West Coast Edition: Ocean Ave Brewery, Laguna Beach

Traveling up the California coast toward LA I pulled out my trusty iPhone and entered “brewery” into the Google Maps app. Up popped Ocean Ave Brewery in Laguna Beach, directly in my path. Lauren Conrad territory. Bikini-ed women and tank topped brahs abound.

Again with the brahs?

I calls ’em as I sees ’em.  And I sees a lot of ’em in Orange county.

The brewpub is right off the main drag on, of course, Ocean Ave. It’s a nondescript little joint.  Once inside the first thing that jumps out at you are the giant liquor and brew tanks, right behind the bar. In your face. It’s really an odd site, but strangely inviting. Polished copper always makes me cheer up, maybe it’s because my brain knows beer is soon to follow.

The second thing that caught my attention were the tanked topped brahs talking about benching 300 lbs. I interrupted their conversation to inform them that I also could bench press 300lbs., in 3 installments. They were not amused. Oh well, onto the beer.

My first instinct was to order the Koko Brown ale. Unfortunately that batch was recently finished off and the bartender — who I might add was just flipping bottles in the air, bouncing them off of his elbows, while making tropical drinks — encouraged me to try the Wailua Wheat ale. Sure, what the hell.

Was it like a luau in your mouth?

DAMMIT MAN, I’m telling the story here!..Yes…it was like a luau…in my mouth. Although it didn’t strike me as a classic wheat beer in any way. A sparkling golden color, the Wailua was very bright and refreshing. Both fruity and citrusy with hints of an hibiscus aroma. The perfectly sharp taste tingles the tongue and finishes quickly. My bartender added a wedge of orange to the pint which I immediately removed from the glass. No self-respecting beer geek sits at a bar with fruit hanging from their glass — no matter how good the bartender claims the combo to be. No sir.

Well aren’t you a manly man.

I can bench 300 lbs. I swear.