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Costa Mesa (Randolph Ave)

Gary Neshanian | Oct. 19, 2019 (Randolph Ave – Costa Mesa, CA) update* Jan. 16, 2020

Before the original micro-brewery in Costa Mesa closes at the end of this month, Barley Forge, I wanted to share my favorite micro-brewery walking-tour or pub-crawl, all four micro-breweries on the quarter mile of Randolph Ave, my superfecta.

Randolph Ave is in the triangle of Costa Mesa freeways (405 – 55 – 73), just below South Coast Plaza, and at the north end of town sometimes called the SoBeCa area. It’s an easy quarter mile walk down the Avenue, starting at Baker (near The Camp), across the intersection at Bristol, and over to the end of the Avenue (near The Lab).

Green Cheek Beer (2294 N. Batavia St. #C, Orange, 92865)*
Brian Rauso and Evan Price are two friends that came down and bought Barley Forge in 2019, they reopened the doors in January 2020, after opening their Orange CA location a few years earlier. They have reopened the kitchen, and are using their new increased brewing capacity in addition to Orange.
Barley Forge Brewing (2957 Randolph Ave) opened 2014 by Greg & Mary Ann,
and closed 2019. They were the first craft micro-brewery in town.

Gunwhale Ales (2960 Randolph Ave, 949-239-9074)
Second micro-brewery opening just across the Avenue.
The first brewery-patio on the Avenue, and focused more on the IPA and Saison style brews. After a few years of using other facilities, and winning awards, they recently opened their own complete brewing facility in the city of Orange. Be sure to stop in their new facility for their freshest award winning brews.

Salty Bear Brewing (2948 Randolph Ave, 619-887-1111) Third only a few doors down and most recent to open.
Centrally located, with very convenient parking. Owner Joe has built a complete brewery, stylish tap room, and outdoor beer-garden with patio. Without their own kitchen they are connected to The Camp next door, with all of those restaurants, some delivering to the micro-brewery and patio.

Bootlegger’s Brewery (696 Randolph Ave, 714-871-2337) Fourth on the walk across the blvd and the oldest history.
The third tasting room for Aaron and Patricia, of the family-owned Fullerton brewery, hosting the original seven-barrel brewing system that started them off over 10 years ago. I got hooked on Black Phoenix stout in Fullerton years ago. Their patio connects to The Lab and restaurants, some delivering to them.

While not on Randolph, I still have to mention Brewing Reserve California
One of my favorite micros in Costa Mesa, family-owners Steve & his wife, well worth a couple mile drive – west on Baker St. – left before Harbor Blvd.
Brewing Reserve of CA (2930 College Ave, Costa Mesa, 714-884-4704)

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