I first visited Barley Forge Brewing Co., a relatively new Costa Mesa-based brewery, over the New Years holiday. And due to some poor customer service, I didn’t have a great experience. I wanted to write the place off.
However, I’m always one to give companies a second chance if they acknowledge mistakes and truly want to make things right.
Barley Forge wanted to make things right. So I made the trek back up the coast and gave it another shot. Turns out, it was a really good decision to do so.
Beers + popcorn? I’m a happy camper.
One of my favorite things about the brewery is the decor. Though Barley Forge is in a business park, once you walk through the doors you definitely don’t feel like you’re in suburban Orange County. They’ve done a great job with their branding and artwork.
With a range of German- and Belgian-style beers plus a few IPAs, an amber, and a stout, there’s something here for everyone. They also have sarsaparilla, which I’m bummed I didn’t try on either visit. Too busy trying all the beers, I suppose…
My top choice at Barley Forge is the Patsy, a coconut rye stout (get it on nitro if you can!). Some coconut stouts are too strong for me because I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but the chocolate/coconut combination in the Patsy was really delicious.
They also had a mango hefeweizen on tap which would be a good choice for someone just stepping into the world of craft beer.
Barley Forge also has a kitchen with a variety of different options. I opted for the pulled pork sliders, and my boyfriend got an amazing grilled cheese with avocado.
All in all, I’d edit my former list of top Orange County breweries and add Barley Forge. It’s a graphic designer’s dream, and its owners truly care about the quality of their beer and customers’ experiences. If I lived in Orange County, I’d be a frequent visitor.