I’ve had my eye on Oxnard for a while. I see in the news that the weather is perfect there which makes me want to retire in the nard of the Ox. So when the Eichels invited us to the Oxnard Steampunk Fest I was more than eager to check out the town.
We got dressed up in our finest and paraded around Heritage Square for a couple
of hours and then, as per usual, spent more time at the bar than mixing with the crowd. We got dinner and went back to our room to drink Heinekens. All of a sudden, we had the whole night before us with no immediate plan. So we decided to hit the town.
I chose Red Tandem Brewery because they were the closest one to our hotel and we wanted to Uber since we had been drinking for most of the day. The brewery & tasting room is in a strip mall kind of area surrounded by nice beachy-type houses in the Oxnard Shores community. We arrived early in the evening when it was still light outside and snapped this picture of one of the houses all decorated up for Halloween. Getting in the spirit…I love it!
There is a bright red sign letting you know you are exactly where you want to be… minutes from the beach on a mildly temperate evening in October about to get drunk on “nanobrew.” Good times for the forecast!
The interior of @RedTandemBrews is on the small side but there is seating for at least 25 people. The menu is also on the small side but that’s not a bad thing when they advertise on their website as a “nanobrewery.” At least you know what to expect when you walk in. There are only 7 different brews but everyone in my group got something unique so the limited selection wasn’t an issue. The Old Man snapped this clear shot of the brew board.
I started off with my usual, a 6.4% IPA called C-Hag. The hop level was just about perfect. It has a measurement of 47 IBUs and was not shocking to my palette at all. It was so good that I stuck with the C-Hag for the rest of the night, which ended up being about 3 beers long. Sean got the Beach Blonde Ale with a high 5.9% ABV for a blonde. He loved it but he also experimented with the Island Fox Red Ale and some of that C-Hag. Everything we tried was a taste of perfection. You can tell that the brewery really cares about what it is producing and takes the time and attention to detail that is necessary.
Red Tandem has some art on the walls (possibly for sale?), a chess board,
and a barrel set up with games to play. We bought our own game of Timeline because we’re pretty good at this brewery thing; this wasn’t our first rodeo. We met a nice guy named AJ. He was just drinking and waiting for a friend so Ck asked him to join our game. He caught on right away and we all had a great time. I only won once but I’m glad about that one. Every time I play I try to remember one card from the whole night. Last month, I memorized the death of Billy the Kid as happening in 1881 and as fate would have it, I drew that card this time and stole the game!
As I was walking around the place taking pictures, the owner and brewer, Mark, asked if I wanted a tour. I said yes right away because I love seeing all the equipment of the whole brewing process. He was very friendly and quickly went over all the steps.
It was information overload during the tour and I don’t remember much of what Mark told me but he showed me the vats, the 55 lb bags of grain they use, the door to the temperature controlled fermenting room, and the refrigerated room where they keep the kegs and other ingredients. All the brewing is done on site in the back. It’s a small operation but extremely efficient.
I really liked Red Tandem Brewery. From the location to the brews, they are tops in my opinion. It’s too bad that I’m hardly ever in Oxnard because this is a place I would revisit again and again. Maybe someday I will make it back there. I hope Mark is behind the bar. And I hope I get a better Uber driver than the crazy lady who picked us up at the end of the night.