Who is to blame when a Groupon goes wrong? The merchant? Groupon themselves? God? Lets find out together.
It’s no secret that I’m cheap. I learned it from the head cheap-o himself, The Old Man. Together, we love a bargain. Keep that in mind as you read my review. So there was a Groupon for Black Cock Brewing Company in Orange, California and of course we pounced on it. Black Cock used to be the Old Orange Brewing Company. (Click the link to check out my previous review.) OOB was not that great of a place to begin with. Then, for reasons unknown to myself, they changed to Black Cock Brewing Co. I was anxious to get to the newly named brewery and see what changes had come.
With the Groupon in hand and my best drinking buddies behind me, we ventured into the Black Cock one Sunday. Immediately, we found out we couldn’t use our Groupon that day. In the small print, which I had neglected to read (my bad), the terms were that you needed to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. There was a sign too with the bad news. I was bummed.
I got a shot of the menu board…
As I checked out the menu, I kinda smiled to myself at the name of one of the beers: Dumb Bitch Denise. What else would you expect from a brewery named Black Cock? I decided to have the Dumb Bitch pale ale with a 6.6% ABV. When I went to order it, I found myself having a hard time saying “dumb bitch” to the female brewtender. Normally, “bitch” will come out of my mouth for the littlest reason, it’s one of my favorite words in fact and I love using it….around people who know me. I didn’t know this lady and here I am asking her for a “Dumb Bitch Denise” and just hoping that she wasn’t Denise. I found the name of the beer a little insensitive to say the least but the Old Man thought it was downright misogynist. I know that it is probably coming across as too PC, I’m sure Black Cock’s patrons love the flippant manner and I just have a stick up my ass. Whatever.
So the Dumb Bitch Denise was really tasty. It was just a bit hoppy but not overwhelming. When I was finished with my first pint, I tried a Kemeron which is a 7.2% American Pale Ale. It was so delicious, the first sip was like drinking a Sprite. The key lime is very prevalent but again, not overwhelming. It wasn’t too citrusy, just crisp and refreshing.
Remember when I said I was cheap? Well, here it comes. Beers at Black Cock are $8.00 a pint. That is way overpriced. I went to Karl Strauss later in the day and paid $6.50 for beers that were better tasting with higher ABV’s. I realize small breweries are the latest thing but that’s no reason to bend me over the barrel on the cost of a pint.
We hung around and drank pints for a couple of hours. Black Cock has lots of games to play like Jenga, shuffleboard, and board games in a corner.
They even have a popcorn machine that is always full of hot buttery popcorn. So good for my low sodium diet!
And a giant Connect Four game.
There is definitely no shortage of things to do at Black Cock.
And they offer something no other brewery does: the option to add 200 mgs of cannabis oil to your beer. It’s an expensive treat at an additional $15 per “Splash” and $30 per pint but some people are really into the whole CBD thing so it could be worth it just for that option. Me? I prefer to go around the corner and toke a preroll. It’s cheaper and I like THC more than CBD’s.
Black Cock also offers 32 ounce versions of their beers all “Super Size Me!” style. I didn’t see it on the menu but my friend visiting from North Carolina got one. He’d be pissed if I used his name so lets just call him “Brian.”
We had a good time that Sunday despite not being able to use the Groupon. We scored some cool gifts from the Eichels who had just returned from their vacation in Maui. The Old Man wanted to eat and continue drinking so we headed over to Karl Strauss in Anaheim near the Angels Stadium. Totally different experience. Cheaper beers, good tofu appetizer…. Karl Strauss has it all. I even took a couple of shots to commemorate the difference.
Flash forward one week later after we had made our reservations…
The brewtender remembered us and so did the guy I assume is the owner and/or manager of Black Cock Brewing Company. They explained that because of unseasonal weather, some of their beers weren’t available. They only had numbers 4 through 8 on the menu board. This was back when I still thought we would get to choose what beers we wanted for our 4 bombers that were included in the Groupon. They said if we wanted to come back when they had more beer selection to redeem our Groupon, that would be okay.
We were kinda annoyed at that news. We didn’t feel like hanging out again with the limited selection of brews. The guy behind the bar said if we stayed he would give us official Black Cock undies for girls and boys. Tempting but it wasn’t enough to keep us there and we ended up going to Chapman Crafted Brewery in Orange, just down the street a couple miles.
The next Sunday after that we went camping so we skipped that weekend. We came back the Sunday after camping and were happy to hear that all the brews were available. Ck & Carie got their 2 flights and we got the first 2 of the 4 flights coming to us. The flights consist of 4 beers at 4 (maybe 5) oz. each. There are 8 beers on the menu and we tried one of each.
I liked the selection and every beer was tasty. Some I had tried 3 weekends before and I got to try others that I normally wouldn’t have. The top 2 beers that stood out were the Chocolate Persuasion and one that wasn’t on the menu last time called Cock-a-something. The picture I took on the third visit turned out blurry so I don’t know the full name. The Cock-a-whatever was brewed with a chile pepper and had a spicy taste. The Chocolate Persuasion was a 7.2% ale with a distinct yet mellow chocolate taste with some creaminess.
The Old Man and I traded our final 2 flights in for pints. Being creatures of habit, we had the Dumb Bitch Denise. When we finished those, we had two more pints, I went with the Kemeron since I had liked it so much before and Sean had the Cock-a-something beer. We talked about what beers we wanted for our bombers and came up with a list of 4 starting with the highest percentages.
But when it came time to get our bombers and go, we found out that they were prefilled 22 oz bottles of Back Door Blonde. We were like, “Wha?” Back Door Blonde would’ve been my last choice for what I wanted to take home because it is only a 4.0% ABV. The tender didn’t even tell us what beer it was. She told Carie a few minutes before when she picked up their 2 bottles. Plus the bombers had Cannonball Imperial IPA labels and upon closer inspection were revealed to be left-over stock from the Old Orange Brewing Company. We felt like we had been scammed. So that happened.
I posed the question in the beginning, who is to blame? I put all the confusing small print, deceptive take-home bombers, and the annoyance of having to come back 3 times square in the lap of Black Cock. And a little bit of God’s fault because the weather was not hot enough to put the beers in the bright tank or whatever.
I went there to check it out and I did. I liked Old Orange better because they didn’t have names that were offensive to this stuck-up old biddie.
Their beers are pretty good, if not great, tasting but I noticed as I was going through the flights that there was an underlying similarity to all the brews. Like you could just tell they were all from the same brewery. But I really don’t care about those things because I’m not going back to Black Cock. My whole experience with this brewery should’ve happened in one day. Instead it took 3 weeks to finally get to redeem the Groupon. And then, the 22 ouncers sucked.
The best part about Black Cock, the one thing that would make me reconsider returning, is the friendly, helpful attitude of the brewtender behind the bar. Every time we were there, she had a smile and bought drinks to our table and made our experience a little better. I feel really bad about trash-talking Black Cock because of her. The guy I assume is the owner was nice also but he is probably the “brains” behind the Groupon scam so I will leave it at that.