Review – Dated April 23, 2011
If you enjoy beer at Killarney’s in Riverside and Temecula, The Salted Pig in Riverside, or Eureka! Burgers in Redlands/Claremont, then you would have loved seeing their brewing experts enjoy the greatest hits of perhaps their favorite Orange County Brewery- Bootlegger’s.
Fans, who paid $32 each for 10 tastings, a collectors glass, two food truck tastings, a live band and a day full of fun, were whisked away from Bootlegger’s headquarters in Fullerton to a “secret” location (just down Walnut street) by bus. The venue was filled with seven different stations to taste what seemed like every Bootlegger’s beer ever brewed. A live band whaled away while fans made friends with each other, exchanged tips on their favorite beers and enjoyed the rare flavors on tap. Among the crowd were beer aficionados from Killarney’s and Salted Pig as well as the head brewer from Newport Beach Brewing Company. After four hours, closing time was announced and the fans headed back to the bus to allow staff to set up for yet another four hour session later that evening.
The distinctively young crowd had nothing but positive impressions of the venue, the staff and, of course, the beer, chanting “Bootlegger’s, Bootlegger’s” on the bus ride back. We await the Fourth Anniversary with great anticipation.
If you’re looking for Bootlegger’s in the Inland Empire, here is an exclusive list of the distributors in our region as provided by their sales manager:
- The Salted Pig in Riverside
- Killarney’s in Riverside and Temecula
- Charlie Jewell’s in Redlands
- Eureka! Burger in Redland & Claremont
- Twisted Gourmet in Cororna
- Big Al’s Pizza in Corona
- The Heights in Upland
- Big D’s Pizza in San Dimas
- Owen’s Bistro in Chino
- Riverside Grill in Chino
- Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom in Chino Hills
- Swasdee Thai Cuisine in Chino Hills
- NYPD Pizza in Corona
- Liquorama in Upland
- La Bodega in Riverside
- Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora
- Sunrise Market in San Dimas
- BevMo in Corona, Mira Loma, Rancho Cucamonga & Redlands
- Total Wine in Rancho Cucamonga
- McGrueder’s Liquor & Smoke Shop in Norco
Preview – Dated April 10, 2011
UPDATE (4/23/2011)- Evening session is SOLD OUT, but there are still tickets for the afternoon session. Come down to Bootlegger’s and get one of the last tickets!
While Hangar 24 is the most popular brewery in the Inland Empire, Bootlegger’s Brewery may be the equivalent for Orange County. Indeed, both have similar American craft beer styles that are popular with beer snobs as well as regular folks and both are celebrating their third anniversary in 2011. For much of western Riverside County, Bootlegger’s off the 91 in Fullerton is closer than Hangar 24, making it an obvious choice for a weekend trip.
Much fanfare surrounds Bootlegger’s third anniversary, following up on reports of an impressive turnout for their second anniversary. Head Bootlegger Aaron Barkenhagen is often credited with crafting the excellent taste of their beers that have caught on like wildfire (as the name of their Wildfire Wheat may suggest), particularly among the 21 to 40 crowd in central and north O.C.. Anyone who has visited their Fullerton brewery knows that the staff works just as hard ensuring that the line for tastings, which can extend out the door, is quickly served.
The third anniversary party on April 23, 2011 promises big things. Attendees will meet at the brewery’s headquarters (401 S Richman Ave Fullerton CA) and be whisked away to a secret location (rumored to be around Downtown Fullerton, though you’ll need to take the bus from Bootlegger’s) with:
- 2 Food Tickets (1 for each of the two trucks)
- 10 taster tickets (additional tickets will be available for purchase)
- Commemorative tasting glass
- Live bands and DJ
- Around 30 house beers on tap including several barrel aged rarities and sour beers
- Collaboration desert with the gourmet food trucks
- Plus more!
Bootleggers must have a secret stash hidden in their walk-in fridge that we’re not aware of, as they seem to have found a keg of just about everything they’ve ever made to be served at their party, including:
- Bourbon Chaos
- Brandy Chaos
- Sour 76 with Cherries
- 77 Anniversary
- 78 Anniversary
- Imperial Phoenix (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
- Imperial Phoenix
- Imperial Phoenix (Extra Chipotle)
- Nose Job IPA
- Spring Ale
- Black Phoenix
- Rocco Red
- Dry Hopped ESB
- Golden Chaos
- Rustic Rye
- Old World Hefeweizen
- Dr. Tongue
- Lambic #2
- Lambic #5
- Prohibition Mild
- Plum Riot
- Knuckle Sandwich
We were quite amused that Bootlegger’s chose to list Knuckle Sandwich last, given that it may be their most popular beer, often causing shortages at Riverside’s craft beer liquor store, La Bodega, and maintaining a cult following in Orange County. Even The Salted Pig in Riverside gastro pub tried to keep this on tap, blowing through a keg in about a day. If you haven’t tried Bootlegger’s and don’t feel like driving to OC to find out what all the buzz is all about, check the Salted Pig, which rotates their taps to include a Bootlegger’s selection (usually something on the lighter side, i.e. Spring Ale or Old World Hefe). If you prefer to enjoy your beer at home, Bootlegger’s is available at BevMo (Corona, Mira Loma, Rancho Cucamonga & Redlands) as well as Total Wine (Rancho Cucamonga).
Tickets are still available online, but probably not for long. Trying to fit all of the Bootlegger’s afficionados into one session is not possible, so you’ll need to choose between Session #1, from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., or Session 2, from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Though Bootlegger’s may be among the most popular in Orange County, they are quite appreciative of their neighbors, also quite successful: The Bruery, also in Fullerton, and Newport Beach Brewing Company.