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Taps Fish House & Brewery

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Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 55
Beer Ratings: 621
Beer Avg: 3.76

Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
89
very good

28 Ratings
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.92%
$$$ - a bit pricey


[ Brewery, Eatery ]

101 East Imperial Highway
Brea, California, 92821
United States
phone: (714) 257-0101

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 27 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerEngineer
BeerEngineer

California

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Taps is a mainstay with the management team in the company I work for so I've been there a lot for meetings and other things. In fact, when I traveled out to CA for the first time for the interview with this company, they took me to dinner at Taps! I've been to Taps on numerous occasions, I average about one visit per month either for lunch or dinner. My wife and I even took several of our friends to Taps on New Year of this past year but more info on that will follow below.

Make not mistake, this is first and foremost a classy restaurant that serves excellent steaks and seafood. The brewery almost seems to me like an add on that they included after they had the menu for the restaurant set. When you walk in the doors you immediately notice the oyster bar directly in front. I'm not big on oysters so I normally walk right past that and go out on the patio behind the bar. The bar area itself is spacious and well appointed. The patio area is excellent with a covered area and open areas with heaters in the cooler months. There is a large fireplace on the patio also. My coworkers and I love this location because we can go out on the patio and smoke cigars after dinner, always a good time!

The beer is good, but nothing special. Their IPA is a good example of an IPA but again, it's not something that I really look forward to. Their other beers are pretty good also, they have a wide assortment of 12 to 14 beers but all of them are good. They don't have any beer that really stands out as a world class beer. That's not saying that the beers aren't good, they are very good, but it's nothing that is going to turn this restaurant into a beer geek Mecca.

The food is the main reason that my wife and I love this location. They have fantastic steaks and sides at Taps for a reasonable price. I may need to clarify when I say reasonable. I've been to very expensive steak houses like Maestro's or Carne Vino and they have great food but you are paying on average $50 a plate. At Taps you are getting a really fantastic steak for around $30 a plate. For me, that is actually a good deal because you are paying less than what I would expect for what you get. They also have a very extensive wine list which is a pleaser with the wife.

The service in general is very good but I only gave them a 4 because of one really bad incidents with the waitress on New Years. We went with a group of 7 and had a reservation for a month before hand. We were seated with a waitress who had 3 other tables (not 10 tables, only 3). Ordering drinks was silly, it took one of our group members 25 minutes to get a Jamison on the rocks. This was our first drink order mind you. Another ordered a bottle of wine for dinner, it came out 15 minutes after the meal was brought out! These were bad instances, but the worst by FAR was when the bill came out. We asked for the bill at 10:30 because we had other places to be for midnight. The waitress came back at 11:05 with one bill which we had asked originally to have split up. We told her again it needs to be split and she left. She returned at 11:30 and said "I wrote my orders down in a weird way, what did you guys order again?" This is where I lost it because it shouldn't take 25 minutes to realize that you don't have it written down properly. Now we were clearly going to miss our plans for midnight so we told her what we each ordered (which was amusing because IT WAS A FIXED MENU) and went to the bar area to welcome in the new year. Upon arriving back at the table at 12:05 or so, the tab STILL wasn't split up properly. I called over one of the managers and explained what happened while this unprofessional waitress is trying to talk over me telling her manager that it was our fault. Thankfully the manager knew that this was no fault of ours and took care of the entire alcohol bill, around $500. After thanking him repeatedly we went on our way, hoping that the waitress was fired that night. She was terrible. This was only one incident and it was handled properly by the manager. Every other time that I go there we have a great server. Last night we had Marshall who is a true beer guy. He helped me select good pairings for the steak and dessert that we ordered. Their GM is a guy named Chris who is great, he is what a manager of a quality restaurant should be.

All in all I love Taps, but I don't go there for the beer. I go there for the quality food and good atmosphere, the beer is just a nice add on. I recommend heading to Taps to try it if you are in the area, it is worth the cost.

04-09-2013 17:45:32 | More by BeerEngineer
Photo of GrumpyJunglist
GrumpyJunglist

California

3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$

If i had to grade this place strictly on beer I would give it a 2.5/5, and only on food 4.5/5.

what sucks is they make some good beers, as obviously displayed on their walls with some of their barrel aged beers. Sadly when do they ever make an appearance at their restaurants? I see them once in a while at beer festivals though, but that's it.

the beer they do have on tap regularly is very mediocre. For the most part the people who drink these beers love them, which is okay i guess. It does beat drinking bud, coors, or miller. However they are kind of sneaky for having only 1 guest tap, so your options are kind of limited. Whenever the neo-colonial goes on tap I highly suggest getting that, or the Thomas Jefferson.

now if you are in here for some grub, make sure to go crazy witht he oysters. Or if you can, come on a sunday for their brunch, its amazing!

02-15-2012 00:43:44 | More by GrumpyJunglist
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.38/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

8/28/2011

Had numerous flights, a few pints, and a couple appetizers. Encountered an unfriendly male bartender and a friendly female bartender. Beer was decent and the food was good but overpriced. The male bartender was annoyed when I found an error on my bill and seemed confused by addition, remarking that he'd rather "pay the few dollars than talk about it." I guess bartending pays well enough where you can close your eyes and sign away regardless of pricing errors. I found him rude, slow, ill informed, and derisive. I probably will not come here again. Service was bad.

08-29-2011 02:26:43 | More by HopHead84
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$

Went here on a recent trip to Cali. Plenty of parking in a backlot behind the brewpub. Upon walking in the place looked really nice with a large dining area to your left and bar/high top table area to your right. My company and I took a seat at a high top table near the bar. There seemed to be a pretty good selection of brews on tap at the time we were there. They also had a few limited on-site comsumption only bottles as well (these are what we call came for). I did not get a chance to look over the food menu as we had already eaten and no one in the group ordered food, so I cannot attest to its quality. Service was good as well. She thought it was 'cute' that we all were taking notes on the beers we were having... Overall this was a pretty nice spot to hang out and have a brew. I would probably go back to sample some of their on-tap offerings if I make my way back over there.

01-11-2011 17:17:51 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

4/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

I've been to taps a number of times now and have to say it has a pretty cool vibe with the servers always friendly and willing to help out on information about the food and beer. The quality of the food is above average with a variety of oysters that can ordered at your table or you can take it the designated oyster bar. Another great thing about taps is that the have a variety of fishes to choose from since they are considered a fish house but they also have a great selection of hot sauces that can be found at both ends of the oyster bar. The selection of brews of brews are pretty well rounded and not just focused on the traditional brewing such as IPA's and stouts. Overall it is a great place for beer and seafood if your ever in brea Ca but it is a little pricey for food.

07-24-2010 22:55:16 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of schoolcb
schoolcb

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$

Was in town on business and looking for a local brewpub, and TAPS (I thought this was the name of a bunch of ghost hunters...any relation?) was close to the office. Visited on a Thursday night and even with a party of 5 we were seated almost immediately. Parking situation sucks. Save yourself the grief of trying to find a spot in that overcrowded and cramped parking lot and use the valet, it is only $5. Atmosphere is upscale, the building and decor is very nice and has the air of an expensive place. Beer selection included a Cream Ale, Irish Red Ale, Schwarzbier, Kolsh, Scotch Ale (I am doing this from memory and may have missed one or two). Most of my party are not "beer" drinkers but I was asked to order for the table and settled on the Kolsh and Schwarzbier which were both very good. Our server was ok, not bad, but not great. Learned one lesson, if you see something on the menu get it, he steered a couple of us away from the seared Ahi, and one of our party ordered it anyway and it was much better than the Mahi Mahi and the Swordfish. Prices a little high, but overall the food and beer were good.

03-27-2010 13:12:53 | More by schoolcb
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.85/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Went here tonight for a friend's birthday dinner. I had heard some good things about this place, so I was looking forward to it.

The restaurant itself is a fairly upscale fish restaurant and chop house located in downtown Brea. We sat in a small room off to the side of the restaurant as we had a large party, but the decor is quite nice.

They offer eight different beers which you can order tasters of (individually or a full tasting flight) or a full pour, of course. The beers that were available: Hefeweizen, Alt, American Pale, Irish Red, Cream, Keller Weiss, Barleywine, and Gold (IPA). These ranged from fairly good (Barleywine) to pretty bad (Red).

The food is really very good, but it is expensive. The cheapest entree on the menu is a burger at $13, but the average dish is anywhere from $17 to $26, so be prepared to spend at least $30 a person with drinks.

The service was a bit of a special case since we did have such a large party. But, it still could have been a lot better. In fact, we had two waiters for our table, one was quite good, but the other was slow and forgetful (he never brought an additional order to the table).

Overall the experience was quite good. I enjoyed the food a lot and the beer was good enough (especially the IPA and the barleywine), but the price kind of prohibits this from being a regular destination.

01-31-2010 06:28:36 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

I went here last Sunday for the first time after being to the Corona location several times, cool to see this one because it is the original, located in a cool part of Brea near a mall and the Improv where I had to drop my sister off at earlier that night, the atmosphere is very clean and modern, it is nice inside like the upscale fish restaurant that it is, big and open with TVs at the huge bar that sits at least twenty people, cannot complain about the quality earlier as everything is in tip top shape, nothing was dirty, glasses were nicely organized, service was quite good, especially considering there was only one bartender on a busy weekend evening, he got my order almost immediately after I sat down, he even offered some samples, did not ask for them while I was there, selection is all TAPS beer, I think about eight in all including a stout, porter, cream ale, pale ale, red ale, hefeweizen, and a few others, so do not expect anything else on draft, this is not a bad thing though because they are a solid brewery and have some great seasonal brews, one of them being the barleywine which I had on cask while I was there, I have heard from a few people now that their imperial stout is quite good as well, I also took home a growler of their dopplebock which was only for fourteen dollars for the glass jug and beer inside, glasses are fairly priced too at five to six dollars each, food is good and has been each time I have gone, mahi mahi blackened is the way to go, their bread and its dipping sauce is awesome, some of the best I have had to this day, I will be going back here when I happen to be in the area, well worth the trip, you need to check this place out if you are relatively close to it, nice fancy place to have great beer

01-18-2009 04:15:10 | More by Floydster
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

3.93/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$

Stopped by here with a buddy after a fairly wretched morning...

The atmosphere is top notch. Can't wait to bring my high class broad here. Beautiful place. Fairly small selection of thier own brews, but I liked that. We had the IPA which was quite good.

Dude at the bar was real cool, gave us a few tasters while I decided on some growlers to go. I ended up with the APA and the Hef in a growler without even tasting them and my buddy took the porter.

Didn't order any food but looked at the menu. They had all the right stuff for what seemed to be the usual price (filet mignon was $29 which is what I would expect). I'm sure the food would be great and, God willing, my wife and I will stop in some time (two hours from my house). And of course they had all the top shelf liquor that daddy likes.

Overall: very nice, would definitely come again.

08-10-2008 17:18:25 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$

I actually live down the street from this place and have ventured over here from time to time. Its definitely an upscale place with pretty good food. But lets get to the good stuff...the beer! The bar area is pretty nice and they usually have about 10 of their beers on tap (no pun intended) at a time. The quality and taste of the beers is very good and the price is typical of any restaurant/brewery. And if your curious, they have growlers to go and a pretty descent price. Overall, this a good place to get a beer...but be prepared to dress up just a little bit. This isn't a short and sandals place.

08-07-2008 00:34:38 | More by OlieIPA
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Taps Fish House & Brewery in Brea, CA
89 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.