Black Tuesday Part 1.

New year, new me. No, that's too cliché. This is a new chapter though, it warrants different thinking. So at the recommendation of a friend, I decided to tackle some breweries in Orange County by train. It made even more sense when I looked at the maps. Noble, a brewery with some of the best IPA's on the West Coast, is a stone's throw from the Anaheim station. The Bruery, producers and procurers of extremely creative barrel aged and blended beers, along with soon to be heavy hitters Phantom Ales and Bottle Logic, happened to be lined up neatly in a neat little row just north of the 57 Freeway. How neat is that? 

I arrived at Union Station just in time to miss the 12:30 southbound train. This would have normally frustrated me, and probably any other normal person, but the rules are different on missions such as these. I was told once that to really learn anything, you have to go into a situation with an empty cup and a desire to fill it. So there is very little scheduling done, with research only geared towards how to travel to a destination. And absolutely no online reviews. In the midst of this event, another friend recommended an excellent lunch spot while waiting for the next train. Philippe's has been serving up, what many consider to be the first, and best, French Dip sammy in LA since 1908. A choice of meat, a choice of cheese, and a number of dips. Easy and THE best preparation for drinking. Get the beef, double dipped, with any cheese since its also a classic deli, and load it with their house made spicy mustard.

After a rapid train ride to Anaheim and a seemingly slower Über ride from the station, I had arrived at stop number one. 

The Bruery. A brewery, located just outside of the Platinum Triangle in Placentia, has been concocting extravagant beers for the better part of eight years, and have set themselves apart in the competitive Southern California Scene. The after work crowd had began filtering in, giving the wine cellar inspired tasting room a very exciting and lively buzz. I scrambled over to a seat at the bar with my build-a-flight checklist in hand, and was subdued by the ambient audio of Explosions in the Sky. Thinking music. Exactly what was needed. I could only choose five (At a time), and since I am a notorious lightweight, would probably be best for sobriety purposes. When my tasting notes go from thoughtful to, "This is fuckin' good, playboy", I am in desperate need of In-N-Out. Notes across every spectrum were sensed! Christmas spice cookies with black licorice, smoky beef jerky and blackberries, roasted hazelnuts dashed with cinnamon, coconut vanilla cream, and a leather bound cigar box. I even got an elusive Black Tuesday from a member of their Hoarders Society. It pays to be social at a bar kids, remember that.

Tim Maher