Beers I drink, Breweries

Cismontane Brewing Co. Date Night

When a local brewery, like Cismontane, gets together with a discount site, like Groupon, it’s like magic.  For the tidy sum of $20, the Old Man and I went out on a date and tried some really delicious beers in Santa Ana, CA.  I’m not sure how long Groupon will have this sale going on in cahoots with Cismontane Brewing Company so you better get your ass in gear and buy in.  There are several options to choose from depending on whether you have 2 or 4 folks in your party.  Honestly though, it doesn’t matter if you are 2 people and you buy the Groupon for 4.  That’s what I did and I didn’t get sent to hell.  It just makes better sense financially to buy in bulk, right?


DSC09469 (2)     It was a Tuesday night, aka “Cask Night,” at @Cisbrewco and SoHo Tacos food truck was there serving up the eats.  It was expectantly crowded when we walked in, almost all the tables were taken and most of the seats along the bar.

I mozied on up to the brewtender and showed her my Groupon.  She marked it as redeemed and gave me 2 slips of paper to write what brews we wanted in the 2 flights and then she handed over 4 wooden tokens to use when we wanted to get down to pint-guzzling.  DSC09459   I like that method a lot.  When I go wine tasting, I am always worried about how the host will remember what wine I had last.  I’m afraid she’ll forget one of the wines and I’ll get gyped.  But this way, you have physical tokens you are holding in your hands to turn in when you want.  The brewtender even told us we didn’t have to use all 4 of the tokens that night, we could use them another time if we wanted.  Super efficient!  I love it!

So here is a pic of the menu board.  There are a lot of choices.  At Cismontane, a flight consists of 5 4-oz. pours so you can try quite a few.

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In honor of Cask Night at Cismontane, I tried the Black & Blue for my first flight choice.  Black & Blue is an 8% Imperial Stout made with blueberries that is mild and pleasant tasting.  The blueberries were hard to discern on my palette but there was a slight sweetness to it that I know was because of the addition of fruit.  Next, I went with a Citizen lager.  How could I resist Beavis & Butthead?  The Citizen was a 6% lager trying to be an IPA with an IBU measurement of 45.  I liked it.  I was expecting something light but the hops were very prevalent.

My last three choices were all IPAs; starting with a Back That Thing Up, then a Hop Dumpster, and finishing with a Pretty Fly For A Light Guy.  The stats on the first two are impressive.  The Back That Thing Up was a floral, tasty IPA with an ABV of 8.3% and an IBU rating of 90.  The Hop Dumpster was an extremely palatable and smooth double IPA that comes in at 100 on the IBU scale and a solid 8% ABV.  I loved them both but I really loved Hop Dumpster.  I ended my flight with a Pretty Fly For A Light Guy.  It was only a 4.1% session IPA but I got it because of the connection to Offspring, a lil’ ol’ OC band that made it to the big time.  The IBU was 52 and the hoppy bitterness was there but just not enough for my tastes.  It’s a light brew and named appropriately.

The Old Man’s flight was pretty similar to mine but with 2 differences.  The Coulter IPA, with a 7.2% ABV and 60 IBUs, was extraordinairy.  The Strawberry Letter 23 tasted like candy it was so good.  It’s a strawberry blonde with a decent ABV of 5.5%.  Just a taste of the Letter 23 was all I needed, it is sweet and fruity.

We finished our flights and got ready to redeem some tokens.  For the first round, we both revisited the Hop Dumpster.  It’s an incredible beer and I would drink it again for sure.

The brewtender called “Last Call!” so we downed those Hop Dumpsters and ordered our second and last round of the night.  We both got the Coulter IPA and sat around drinking those and chatting with this guy about random stuff related to sound engineering until the brewtender was done cleaning.  Look at how spotless that bar is!DSC09463 (2)

Cismontane had a good selection of merch, like shirts and hats, but it runs on the pricey side.



There was only one complaint I had about my date night.  The temperature inside Cismontane was practically unbearable.  It was just another hot-as-fuck night in So Cal and there was only one industrial-sized, stationary fan blowing towards the bar.  The door was open which only let the heat get in instead of providing a way for a breeze to blow through the building.  Fan?  No help.  DSC09456_LI (2) Open door?  No help.  Christ!  Does someone have to die of heat stroke before they air condition that place?





This sticker of our President as the Devil seemed like a good theme pic for the night since it was hot as Hell.



Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Cismontane Brewing: Santa Ana Edition

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!