Thursday, April 18, 2013

Taste of Brews IE Road Trip Part I

The Taste of Brews crew headed out to the Inland Empire recently in order to visit several of our outstanding participating breweries.  Ostensibly, the intent was to deliver posters, counter cards and other promo materials in order to hype our upcoming event on May 25 at White Park, but what red-blooded American could pass up the opportunity to sample amazing craft beer along the way?

Our first stop was at I & I Brewing in Chino.  Closing in on their one year anniversary, I & I has already outgrown their current space and is moving across the street into a much larger location.  I & I draws its name from Rasta and homages to Bob Marley are apparent in posters and on T-Shirts.  We ponied up to the bar right at 4pm sharp and were joined by a construction worker who proclaimed that he’d been working next door all week and was glad he didn’t find out about the brewery until the job was over!  We sampled their Peach Wheat Ale and Honey Cream Ale (both were tremendous) before discovering something called “Ginger Small Ale”, a 5.1% alcoholic version of ginger ale.  Legend has it that Ginger Beer heals the soul and cures your ailments.  We loved it, and since we there is so much soul healing needed among our team, we ordered up a Growler from Eric and hit the road.

Next was Main Street Brewing in Corona.  Tucked inside of a Lamppost Pizza, Main Street Brewing was the first micro-brewery in Corona.  The brewery is fully stocked with at least eight hand-crafted "custom" brews served up chilled on tap. These exciting brews vary from the lightest of tastes to those of robust English creations. The brewery itself is tastefully appointed with a "Cheers" style wraparound oak bar, elegant wood paneling and filled with great conversation, games, and sports on several television monitors.  We sampled their famous Hop Daddy IPA and a delicious Honey Blonde.  The smell of the freshly oven-baked pizza was hard to overcome and we finally succumbed and ordered the “Linebacker” which featured every type of meat under the sun.  After polishing off that beast, we hung a few posters, handed out some rave cards and waddled to the car to prep for the next leg of our journey.

With all the new breweries opening up and expansion taking place among the existing group, it that took us almost 20 hours over two full days to visit more than a dozen breweries and several of our “sampling” restaurants.  Check back soon for our next chapter in this amazing saga!

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