The long awaited opening of TAPS Brewery and Barrel Room is now a reality. TAPS Fish House & Brewery, a pioneer of the SoCal-Orange County craft beer scene has opened its first-ever tasting room and full-scale production brewery in a 19,000-square-foot space, marking a new era for one of the region’s most decorated breweries, with over 100 medals to date.
The tasting room evokes the charm and nostalgia of an old brewery complete with arched brick walls, concrete floors, and rustic finishes along with galvanized pipe lights, custom-made locally. There is also vintage pinball and other classic video games situated at a corner for those who might enjoy in revelling with friends after a hard day’s work.
The TAPS food truck will also be permanently situated outside, and visitors may order food from a touch screen kiosk by the front door to pair with their award-winning ales and lager.
Some of the tasty food on offer include:
Brewery Pretzel ($5.99) — a great snack for those not wanting anything too heavy, but enough to nibble on while sipping on your favorite brew. The pretzel is brushed with herb garlic butter, and sprinkled with pretzel salt, and served with miso mustard sauce.
Bulgogi Masa Fries ($4.99) — crispy handmade masa fries are topped with bulgogi (Korean style beef), kimchi, heirloom pico de gallo, and lime crema.
Banh Mi Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog ($8.49) — who doesn’t love hot dogs? The bacon-wrapped Vienna hot dog is sandwiched between a poppy seed bun and topped with pickled vegetables, jalapeno slivers, cilantro, and finished with a ginger lemongrass aioli. Super tasty whether you’re having beer or not.
Colonel Roman’s Fried Chicken Sandwich ($9.99) — I love fried chicken and there’s nothing better than this to eat while sipping on a beer. The fried chicken breast is accompanied with cider vinegar slaw, house pickles, and truck sauce (ketchup, mayo, mustard).
Royale w/Cheese ($8.49) — a classic cheeseburger with a twist. The smashed beef chuck patty is topped with Sriracha pickles, shaved iceberg, truck sauce and held together by a soft potato bun.
Hippie Burger ($7.99) — this veggie patty is perhaps one of my favorites on the menu. The burger sees shaved iceberg, truck sauce, French onion dip, Sriracha pickles, all sandwiched between a soft potato bun. Although it is a veggie burger, it isn’t suitable for those that are strict vegetarians as the patty is cooked in a fryer that cooks non-vegetarian items. TAPS is working to change that though, so stay tuned for an update when that happens.
The opening line-up for TAPS award-winning brews may 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. My favorite is definitely The Velvet Hog.
The Brewery is open:
TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room
15501 Red Hill Ave
Tustin, CA 92780