Men are from MÄRZEN, Women are from PUMPKIN BEERS

While your grocer, fast food, or coffee joint may be saying “PUT PUMPKIN SPICE IN ALL THE THINGS”, I personally don’t care for pumpkin flavored anything. This time of year, I reach for a nice crisp Märzen style beer, ripe for Oktoberfest, which fuels my inner desire to do the chicken dance with sweaty old people with silly hats.

The Chicken Dance song is proof that German mind control techniques still work! Within seconds of hearing that festively annoying song, my hands pop up making two chicken beaks, then my wings spread, only to shake my ass like I’m in Sir Mix-a-Lot video. Oh, my, God, Becky. After a few fest biers, I switch from clapping my hands to slappin’ drunk Oktoberfest ass! Protip: It’s a great way to wipe the bratwurst juice off your hands…don’t judge! I rock Oktoberfest proper.

Kevin Kidney Designed.

Label art by local artist Kevin Kidney, inpspired by a recent trip to Munich.

For review, I have a fresh Anaheim Brewery Oktoberfest Lager poured from the bottle into an Anaheim Brewery pint glass. Its rosy copper hue is topped with a lasting Alpen snowcap of head that lasts all Winter. Although not as malty sweet as Bavarian-brewed versions, this beer is crisp with a medium body at 6.5% ABV. Hints of Munich malt tingle the nose ever so slightly like a mountain climber stuck in a cave, yodeling until being eaten by the abominable snowman. This snowman loves beer though, and continues on a mad beer-hunt to wash down his epic climber meal. This beer’s flavor is simple, clean and delicious! Notes of blackberry bread are quickly washed away by a very dry finish. It’s such an easy drinking beer, I manage to down it halfway through this paragraph. Damn. I wish I had two, with a pretzel and mustard. Yodelay-he-hoo!

The story behind the beer is equally refreshing. From a Brewery rich with history, so is the beer’s recipe. From Anaheim Brewery’s blog:

We learned our Oktoberfest recipe from Greg’s first boss, Chris, who trained at the Paulaner Brewery, in Munich.  As an apprentice, Chris had to keep a journal and write an entry every work day.  One day, Chris was exploring the tunnels and basements of the Hacker brewery, which Paulaner owned.  He came across a room full of very old wooden beer barrels.  On top of one barrel was a dusty leather notebook full of hand-written recipes.  Chris took the book to the brewery historian, who pronounced the notebook “about 100 years old.”  Chris copied out the recipe for Oktoberfest Märzen from the leather notebook as his journal entry.

Anaheim’s Oktoberfest is a modern brewery adaptation of that 100 year old recipe! Brewed with their super clean house Lager yeast, Owners/Brewers Greg and Barbara Gerovak know it well. This proprietary yeast is used with their recent Pilsner release as well as their flagship 1888 California Common. The Pilsner can still be found at nearby Anaheim Gypsy Den, whereas 1888 is available in the brewery and many accounts around Orange County.

Anaheim Brewery will celebrate their 2nd Oktoberfest in their biergarten located at the brewery on 10/13. Look for details soon!


Disneyland California Craft Beer Adventure!


Tower of Terror? Nah, Tower of great food and local craft beer!

As summer is once again upon us, visiting a theme park is probably in your plans. Living a mile from Disneyland, I usually direct out-of-towners to nearby breweries and craft beer friendly gastropubs (read a piece I was featured in All About Beer Magazine May 2012 issue about the subject page 1 / page 2). As Disneyland California Adventure (DCA) re-opened with new rides and food options, a true imagineer had the forethought to add fresh local beer to the menu, some of which is brewed a mile away!

Upon entering DCA, you now enter Buena Vista street, a classy throwback to an era when Walt first arrived in California. Street cars ding-ding, newspapers sit on a newsstand, and cast members taunt about with 20’s style costumes. At the end of the street becons the Carthay Theatre, which is actually a lounge and restaurant. The lounge offers moderately priced tapas style snacks and a modest local craft beer selection. Upon opening, here what was available:

Salted Nuts in a flight of Anaheim Gold, Hefeweizen, and 1888.

On Draft: A flight of Anaheim Brewery – Gold, Hefeweizen, and 1888 (California Common) / Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and Karl Strauss Red Trolly Ale.

In Bottes: The Bruery Loakal Red and Saison Rue  / Stone Brewing Co. Smoked Porter / Lagunitas Pils and Censored Ale (shocked Disney let that one in) / Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout / Firestone Walker DBA / North Coast Red Seal, Pranqster, Brother Thelonious, and Acme Pale Ale.

Although it’s great to have all California brewed options and a good variety of styles, the North Coast beers are head scratchers. I don’t necessarily dislike that brand, but more love could have been given to SoCal. I would have put Noble Ale Works Alpha Red instead of Red Seal, Bootleggers Golden Chaos instead of Pranqster, A Lost Abbey beer in place of Brother Thelonious, and Hangar 24 Orange Wheat or Stone Pale Ale instead of Acme Pale Ale. Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout I would have tossed in Green Flash Double Stout. The Bruery Loakal Red is a nice addition as it’s only available in Orange County. This may sound like I’m complaining, and I’m not, it’s just that out of towners may prefer actual local beer, and I don’t consider northern California as part of that. Firestone Walker is my cut off point. Shitty light-American lager IS available, but not advertised or displayed anywhere. I love that they bootlegged the macro in the back…well done, Walt. The prices were similar to an average bar, shockingly not theme park high. ($7ish)

Inside the Carthay Lounge

The Carthay Lounge itself is a classy bar. Along with the CA Craft beer, custom mixed cocktails and various n/a crafted beverages are available for the wee ones. Sitting in there enjoying a flight I didn’t feel like I was sitting inside of Disneyland.

Elsewhere in the park, Craft beer is still available at the Karl Strauss Beer Truck, which serves 5 drafts. Red Trolly, Windansea Hef, Tower 10 IPA, Endless Summer Light, and a Seasonal. Currently Pintail Pale Ale is the seasonal.

Bayside Brews (Previous blog post here) has a couple Karl options as well as Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Ariels Grotto has the Cove Bar with a few Samuel Adams, Widmer, and Guinness type options.

If you happen to be coming in from out of town, I still would be happy to give recommendations!

Other Photos:


Not Your Pep-Pep’s Historic Home Tour!

by Keith Oleson


It’s official–On May 26 and 27, the Anaheim Neighborhood Association is presenting their Historic Home, Garden, and Brewery Tour.

And this is not your grandmother’s house tour.

If there’s one thing that those of us lucky (crazy) enough to live in the historic areas of downtown Anaheim know it’s that these historic houses are more than just historic houses. They’re homes. They aren’t relics frozen in time to be looked at like artifacts in a museum. They are unique homes with unique owners, and individually and as a community they have unique stories to tell.

ANA’s Historic Home, Garden And Brewery Tour is about more than just the date a house was built, what kind of siding was used and what light fixtures are original. All that is important, but it’s also about these historic homes creating a living community, an ever-growing group of people who love these old homes and their beautiful gardens and the community they create and who want to share their homes, their gardens, and their stories. And, yes, some of those homes, gardens and stories include a love of home brewing! This tour is a chance to really explore the homes and gardens of the Anaheim Colony Historic District from a refreshing perspective.

The tour will feature homes of a variety of architectural styles scattered throughout the Colony. Trolleys will be provided if you prefer to sit back and enjoy the view while your tour the homes and the neighborhood. What a perfect opportunity to look around, see the neighborhoods, and talk to people who share an interest in historic homes and gardens, check out some home breweries, and end the tour at the Anaheim Brewery. Sounds like a perfect way to spend the day.

The tour is about historic homes, the people who love them, and the unique community that is the result.

Check it out at

More information will be posted between now and May 26, but mark the date. This is part of the history of the Anaheim Colony and promises to be a great event.

Keith Oleson is a friend, neighbor, and beer drinker of OCBeerBlog


There was a torrent of fermented goodness, as well as ten dollar Umami Burger, one dollar Lindo Michoacan tacos, moderately priced Punjabi Tandoori Indian food and some five dollar cookie iced cream sandwiches. I noted the 1888 (California Common) mellowed considerably since the initial first opening. The service was incredible for such a packed tasting room. Servers actually recognized me…a sign of a great beer joint. Nicely done. I got a sip and whiff of the new Tavern Ale served from the cask. It had a nice hop aroma, but wasn’t conditioned long enough rendering it as flat as Keira Knightley getting ran over by a steam roller during Carmageddon.

If you watched the video, I’m not sure if Greg from Anaheim Brewery is referencing my earlier blog post about zombies. I got a kick out of it nonetheless.

Anaheim Councilmember Gail Eastman on the rampage for some Brains. I sent her to the taco truck.

As the Mayor said, it’s a good day to open a new business into Anaheim, it’s a great day to open a brewery! Brains!!

Prohibition almost killed the Anaheim Brewery…almost

This weekend marks the official Grand Re-opening of Anaheim Brewery after taking a nice 90 year dirt nap courtesy of prohibition! Way to go, America! Owners and Brewers Greg and Barbara Gerovak marched down to the Anaheim Cemetery and performed a seance over the grave of Friedrich Conrad to conjure up his original beer recipes. By their surprise, his zombie corpse rose from the grave and converted the old Packard building into a modern day working brewery! Zombie labor is cheap these days, and also keeps the local city hall population in check. Okay okay…none of that happened. Zombies like brains, and luckily there are cabeza tacos nearby.

Anaheim Gold Taster with Wooden Refill Tokens

I am actually very giddy about Anaheim Brewery opening up for a number of reasons:

  • I like beer…but you knew that.
  • I live in a historic house in Anaheim within stumbling distance to the brewery.
  • I have German in my blood that pumps like wurst through casing, which actually sounds gross.
  • On their opening day, I was like the second guy that walked in at 12:01PM on Fathers day. The first guy was related to them I think, which doesn’t count.
  • Other historic homeowners in the area are a tight-knit bunch that regularly get together for potlucks. The Anaheim Brewery Tasting room is an extension of that. I love seeing people I know at a bar! I’ve even talked to total strangers there…imagine that! Reminded me of my trip to Ireland last year where everyone is chatty and in a good mood drinking beer.

Beer serving tray from the original Anaheim Brewery.

Here’s the Beer lineup:

  • Anaheim 1888 – a traditional California Common (aka Steam Beer…thanks Anchor for trademarking the term Steam Beer, buttholes. Instead of California Common it should have been California Stream beer, just to fuck with Anchor)
  • Anaheim Red – Beautiful ruby red in this grainy malty brew. This is my favorite of the bunch.
  • Anaheim Gold – I just had a small taster of this. Very similar in body as the Red, but it’s gold!
  • Anaheim Hefeweizen – Very traditional Bavarian unfiltered wheat with banana hints.
  • Chocolate Stout – In honor of the Muzeo’s Chocolate show down the street. Who knew beer makes great cross-promotion! Can’t wait to try this one.
  • Tavern Ale – A hoppy option only available in the tasting room.

Anaheim 1888 and Red.

Overall their beers are hearty, refreshing, and unique. Their recipes easily transport me to my historic German neighborly roots a century ago. After a hard day of working in the Orange packing plant, I’d hit the tobacco store then hoof it to the Anaheim Brewery for a few pints. I’d probably get in a fight because I smelled like oranges. Screw those guys, at least I didn’t get scurvy! Assholes probably wore aviator glasses and smelled like brill cream and clams. Screw this, I’m going to chat with my woman up north on the telegraph!

Anaheim Brewery doesn’t mimic the popular Socal “OMG HOPGASM” culture that is happening right now, which is sort of a breath of fresh air. I’m sure they won’t have issues fighting huge breweries for hops like other local breweries do. I like the diversity… let’s leave it at that. I loves me some hops though, don’t get me wrong. I’m eager to try their Tavern Ale.

Owners and Brewers Barbara and Greg Gerovak are also local neighbors that walk to work every day. Damn. I’m green with envy. They’re green with the environment! I know running a business and a brewery is very hard work, but damn that’s tight. It took me an hour and a half to drive to Irvine from Anaheim this morning and almost died twice.

The Grand Opening is Saturday, July 16 from 12-6. Umami Burger which plans on inhabiting the front part of the brewery will be on tap to cook up some burgers. I hear there’s also a taco dude and entertainment. Blues artist Brother Yusef will be sliding his fingers up and down the neck of a guitar. Parking is going to be an issue I’m sure. Follow signs, and see you there!

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