When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – or – when mixed-culture fermentation contaminates your clean beer, build a beautiful new tasting room.
Walking around the brand new Bruery Terreux tasting room – which opens today – its strikes me that this beautiful space, accented with herringbone wood and barrels stacked to the rafters, only exists because of a serious crisis moment for The Bruery. Back in 2013/2014, the Bruery was forced to recall and refund a number of their ‘clean’ releases due to bacterial contamination that was souring the product. It must have been a stressful time at the brewery but they handled it with humility and transparency, ultimately deciding to separate their facilities and create a new brand for their wild and sour releases: Bruery Terreux.
Bruery Terreux bottles have been on shelves for about a year now but the opening of the tasting room will allow beer geeks of Southern California to get first hand glimpse at what’s going into these beers. The public tasting room sits in full view of the barrel room; home to over 1700 barrels of beer. Production Supervisor Jeremy Grinkey insists that the space should really only fit 1500 barrels but he’s creative in finding ways to cram as much in the space as possible.
Most of these barrels are full of beers you are familiar with – 80% of their capacity is dedicated core brands like Oude Tart, Tart of Darkness and a sour blonde that tends to get blended into a lot of other releases (including Rueuze). The rest of the capacity is experimental projects like their current collaboration with Portland’s Cascade Brewing. When asked what the Cascade collaboration would be, Grinkley shrugged his shoulders. The beer that went into the barrels was a Belgian Tripel, but the barrels will tell them what it ends up being upon release.
Its that spirit that seems to have attracted Grinkley to Bruery Terreux in the first place and he’s hesitant to make any declarative statements about any of the beers on hand. His focus is on quality, and while most craft brewers will brew 80 bbls of a beer and then package as much of it as they possibly can, Grinkley intends to only package what he considers the best blend of barrels. This means that while there might be 30 bbls of a particular beer on hand, if the best blend results in only 15 bbls total, that’s what will be packaged for release.
Aside from barrels & puncheons, Bruery Terreux is also home to several large oak foudres used to ferment Frucht, their series of fruited berliner weisse’s. On hand at the tasting room were three versions of Frucht: Cherry & Lemon, Cherry & Orange and Apricot. For my palate the Cherry & Lemon was my favorite, with the lemon adding a bright zesty finish to the rich cherry character.
The real highlight of the Bruery Terreux though might actually be the patio – an often overlooked feature of tasting rooms in Southern California. Bruery Terreux’s patio almost doubles the size of the tasting room and features an outdoor order window that should cut down lines inside. Its a major selling feature for a place pumping out mid-alcohol, tart & refreshing beers and it sure to attract some major crowds.
Bruery Terreux opens today – Friday July 7th – make it a destination on your next trip down to Anaheim.
1174 N. Grove St., Anaheim, CA
12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.