So we were cruising at 75 mph down the 55 freeway when all of a sudden, BAM! Traffic, Southern California style. Jerks and the blissfully unaware ones swerved in and out of their lanes, cutting us off one too many times.
We were close to the MacArthur exit so we shimmied our way over to the right and got off. We knew where we wanted to be and that was off the freeway. It was just a matter of taking a round-a-bout way to get to where we were going.
And that was the Cismontane Brewing Company, located at 1409 Warner Ave. in Santa Ana. It’s a little spot, hard to find unless you know what you are looking for. There’s a PepBoys in front. Grand is the major cross-street. Cismontane is located in the same building as PepBoys, just on the other side. You can enter through one driveway and go around the back or through the other and you’ll find parking on the left and Cismontane on the right.
There’s a sign outside to clear up any doubts though. “Ya We Make Beer” pretty much spells it out. This is the Santa Ana tasting room, not to be confused with the original Rancho Santa Margarita tasting room.
When you first walk in, you enter into cozy surroundings. It is well lit and the sun setting in the west outside their front windows brightens the mood up a lot. The bar and menu board are the first things you would notice.
It took a minute but we decided on two pints of The Citizen, which comes in at a pleasing 6%. Not too strong and definitely not bland, it hit the spot. It was exactly what we needed; a brief respite from the snarled traffic parking lot that the 55 had become.
There were 15 different beers we could’ve chosen. Here’s a snapshot of their menu board.
As you can see, the full gamut is represented. There’s an IPA, a Sour, a Stout, and more. But we were happy with our Citizens and probably wouldn’t venture out to try too many other kinds. You know how you just pick a favorite.
They used to have a brew named after Holy Jim of the Canyons. Maybe it was Silverado or maybe it was Black Star. Who can remember? Not me, but the brewtender apparently could. And when questioned by a drunk me, he quickly responded with the correct answers. That’s the kind of memory you can’t even buy.
They sell Cismontane merchandise, well, tee shirts to be exact.
There are tables to sit at as well as seating at the bar. A selection of board games is piled up off to the side to encourage you to stay and play.
Cismontane is a wonderful brewery. This was only my second time coming and I will be back in the future with my friends who live in Tustin. They are used to driving to #Anaheim for breweries when Cismontane is practically in their backyard.
We ended up wasting about a half an hour at Cismontane and it was 7:00 by the time we left. The 55 was cleared up, as well as the 22 and the 57. It may be a long way from home, but it’s worth the drive!
Especially when an 18-pack of America beers is waiting!