Taps Fish House & Brewery

Not Rated.
Taps Fish House & BreweryTaps Fish House & Brewery
BEER AVG
3.79/5
Based on:
54 Beers
675 Ratings
Place Score: 88
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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

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3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

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3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BeerEngineer
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of GrumpyJunglist
3.18/5  rDev -18%
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!

Photo of HopHead84
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of schoolcb
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of PatronWizard
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of OlieIPA
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of kbm
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

If you have to drink beer in Brea, you can't do much better than Taps.

Taps is foremost an upscale restaurant and you may feel a little out of place in shorts and T-Shirt. I typically opt to sit in the bar area if I can find a seat.

First of all, they have a cask but it's hidden and you have to ask for it, I don't think they advertise it. I have been there half a dozen times when they have a cask offering; each time I start out with a cask and am usually disappointed and move on: it's always sour.

Their other brews are not bad, but in my opinion, not great. A few I have enjoyed more than others: Pale Ale, Porter and Cream Ale.

The food is not cheap: $25-35 an entrée but it's top notch and worth the extra dough. If you sit in the bar, they also have a much more reasonable bar menu.

Parking is a zoo. If you are going to Taps you will probably spend 40+ a person, so opt for the $6 valet, it will save you a headache.

Also, if you drink too much, fear not, Edwards movie theater is across the street.

Photo of charlzm
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited about 7:30pm, Thursday, 03/06/08.

The first thing I noticed before entering was the valet parking doing a brisk business with Audis and BMWs. I opted to self park and walk 50 yards.

The building is large and the decor is primarily wood. Wood is everywhere. There is an oyster bar, a dining area, a bar and a large outdoor patio. Amenities include a humidor (they are cigar friendly on the patio).

In the bar area, where I sat, there's a large, lit fireplace which you can watch if you prefer to ignore the many flatscreen TVs all tuned to the same soccer match.

Brewery visible through window near bar as well. Illustrated placemats on the table helpfully explain the brewing process for anyone who cares.

The scene: women in their late 20's and early 30's in business attire and hoop earrings, wandering around clutching aluminum Bud Light bottles. Oh, and the men who are interested in them. People are either well-heeled or trying to look the part. Either way, they're not here for the beer. It's a noisy place, conversation all but dorwning out the piped-in 80's rock.

Wait staff and hostesses were uniformly attractive, friendly women. Service was reasonably prompt and accurate.

The food: I had a swampfire pizza (a California Pizza Kitchen style pie: a flat, dense crust topped with with chicken chunks, feta cheese and tabasco-laced sauce). It was good but a bit much of the same thing by the last slice. The prices are not unreasonable, but this is not a neighborhood bar with fish and chips. Sticker shock can be avoided by paying careful attention to the menu.

Their beers are well-executed and there are some interesting variants on style, but this is basically a restaurant that just happens to house a brewery. If you're looking for an inexpensive place to kick back a few quality beers, maybe have a cigar and enjoy an afternoon or evening, try the patio. A large party can be fun if you've got some other beer geeks with you. Otherwise, you may want to steer clear.

Photo of t0rin0
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here on the way home from Hi Time in Costa Mesa. I was impressed with how much they had (currently 8 beers and theres lots more through out the year). The pumpkin beer as well as the APA and IPA were quite good.

The atmosphere was busy and noisy and all the tables were pretty close together but it was friendly. Didn't try the food as I made sure to stuff myself with Wendys from down the street so I wouldn't be tempted to spend more money. The food did look good though. The bartender was nice and helpful but the waitresses didn't listen to a damn thing I said, they just kept asking me where people from the table had gone thinking that they were skipping out on the tab. I don't know if the service would have been better if I had been spending more money but I was there to try the beer and not to enjoy a good meal.

I fully intend to go back through out the year to try the other 20 or so beers that these guys make.

Photo of koolchas
4.15/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

finally made it taps on a friday for happy hour. arrived around 3:45pm and the bar area was already full! my wife and i got basically one of the last seats in the bar area.

if into winter seasonals this is the time to go. was able to have a pint of pumpkin and ocktoberfest as well as the year round hefe. the pumpkin was the best pumpkin brew i've had so far. so good that i got a growler to go. all the beers we had were very tasty and cost $3.25 during happy hour. i am just hitting myself over the head for waiting so long to go. taps also offers several non-beer alcoholic drinks for happy hour too.

the happy hour appetizers are an excellent deal. all appetizers are $5.00. this is a bargain given that most of the appetizers are more than double the price on the normal lunch/dinner menu. we were also provided from some fresh hot bread free of charge. so, my $$ value rating is ONLY for happy hour. if not happy hour, this can easily become a $$$$ place.

atmosphere was nice. seems like the place attracts a regular crowd given how full it was so early in the afternoon on a friday. taps is somewhat upscale but, casual. during happy hour, i felt my jeans and button down shirt was very appropriate attire. some people were dressed up and some dressed down (a few even in shorts). but, seems like the normal dress code outside of happy hour is more business, business casual, or professional.

service was a bit slow at first. it took some time before we got our first round of brews but, after that it was it was above par.

the parking lot on the side of taps can get full fast. a good portion is blocked off for valet parking at a cost of $6.00. when we arrived, luckily there were a couple spots in the open parking area to left of the valet section. also if the lot is full and you don't want to valet, i noticed a side neighborhood street right before you get to taps. it could be possible to park there as an option given there are not restrictive street parking signs on that street.

overall, i was very impressed with taps. the quality of food for happy hour is excellent and their brews are probably some of the best when it comes to brewpubs/brewery-restaurants.

you can't go wrong with happy hour given the prices and their happy hour is generous in time ... ~2:30pm to ~6:30pm or so. but, seems like the key is to get there early as it fills up quick. if not in the area, this is something you want to plan out (maybe leave work a hour or two early).

we'll be back for sure. we did stop by about a month ago on a sunday but, they had brunch going on and were not seating anymore. they did allow me to look around and i will say the brunch looked very tasty! i know my wife wants to go it for sure ... price is something like ~$31-32 per person. if eating lunch or dinner, think $30 (if not drinking) - $50 (if drinking) per person.

if getting a growler, make sure you ask for the growler card. the 6th fill is $1.00.

cheers!

Photo of 86sportster883
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped in Taps Fish House for dinner and beers on a weekday night while on travel for work. When I first drove up, the valet parking ($6), and the suit jacket wearing clientel that were walking in, almost convinced me to keep on going. But, I decided to at least poke my head in and see what was up. The inside was a lot more inviting, and my colleague Tom and I found a comfortable spot at the bar.

The place is very impressive on the inside and you can tell that someone dropped a small fortune putting this place together. The big bar, high ceilings, ESPN HD (with the Ducks game), oyster bar, fireplaces, booths and tables all seemed to blend nicely into an atmosphere that easily could accomodate a wide variety of tastes. Think of it as the perfect place to invite your future in-laws, when trying to make a positive impression, while still remaining true to your own preferences.

I started the evening with the IPA on cask which was a nice hoppy West Coast style American IPA that went perfectly with the raw oysters that we ordered as an appetizer. This I followed with a swordfish entrée and Taps' award winning Irish Red, both of which were quite good. They had a decent selection of 8 or 9 of their own beers on tap and one beer (the IPA) on cask. The service was quick and professional, and the music was mostly classic 60s, 70s, early 80s rock.

My first impression was that this was mostly a good seafood restaurant that just happened to also make decent beer. But, the beers are generally better than that description might imply. That said, I would avoid their rye beer, which I found to be a poor representation of the style.

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Taps Fish House & Brewery in Brea, CA
88 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.