Located in a repurposed Santa Fe railroad station, Pacific Wine Merchants pours a rotating selection of 24 wines and purveys a stock of delicious cigars. Grape enthusiasts looking for a wine tasting ($16–$22) can sample the bar's current lineup by the ounce. Servings are dispensed via an automated Enomatic system, which is designed to prevent waste, preserve freshness, and fill corkscrews with feelings of inadequacy. Recent offerings from the tasting rotation have included a Rombauer merlot, a cabernet sauvignon from Jam Cellars, and a Rusack syrah. While sipping reds and whites, patrons can nibble cheeses, cold cuts, and garlic bread, which are included with the tasting price. Microbrews ($4.50) from local beer factories are also on tap, standing by to ensure that thirst is extinguished faster than a fire at Sea World.
Inland Empire Brewing Company formed in 2007 when three good friends—all home brewers at the time—happened upon a deal for used brewing equipment. Not willing to let the chance pass, they decided to seize the opportunity, and two years later, officially opened their doors for business. Today, the Inland Empire Brewing Company supplies suds at more than 40 locations. Its Victoria American strong ale—named after the avenue where its hand-zested oranges reside in Riverside—has garnered award-winning attention.
The combination of homemade thin-crust dough, house-made sauce, and eclectic ingredients helped net Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Co. a gig as the official pizza for the Anaheim Ducks. At the chain's more than 15 locations, much more than pizza is served: the extensive menu brims with crisp salads, pastas, burgers, sandwiches, and wings. Additionally, Oggi’s brews its own beer, serving libations as fresh as laps from the vat and winning the title of Champion Small Brewing Company at the World Beer Cup in 2004. In between swigs of beer, patrons can catch sports games or competitive news broadcasts on one of the eatery's flat-screen TVs.
While Alcatraz Brewing Company doesn't require incarceration for a visit, fans of beer may be fine with someone locking them in and throwing away the key. Dave Moody, the award-winning head brewmaster, crafts signature and seasonal beers, such as Court Order Porter, Boneyard India Pale Ale, and Pop's Blue Ribbon, an American-style light lager. From the brewery's kitchen, chefs top burgers with garlic puree or roasted jalapenos, smoke pork with dark ale, and hand-toss thin-crust pizza. Waitstaff ferry plates and beer flights to Alcatraz's patio and around the San Francisco-themed dining room, which includes a to-scale replica of the Golden Gate Bridge and a stray wisp of ever-lingering fog.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist’s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
On the roof of Bonaventure Brewing Co. sits a verdant, manicured square of lawn and a little copse of trees. Carved into that is the circle of a heated outdoor patio that expands into panoramic views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline. Perched atop the fourth floor pool deck, the patio shares the restaurant's 9,000 total square feet with a wood-paneled dining room and an in-house brewery. Here, head brewer David Blackwell creates a trio of award winning beers: pale ale, strawberry blonde, and the Marathon.
Blackwell's ales and a handful of guest beers complement the kitchen's approach to pub food, which ranges from classic bar bites to more upscale, steakhouse-style entrees. The traditional end of the spectrum includes calamari tempura-battered in the brewery's blonde ale, as well as Angus burgers coated in blackened spices and topped with bleu cheese and chipotle aioli. The brewery end features dishes such as macadamia-crusted Mahi-Mahi and bacon-wrapped filet mignon.