Taps Fish House & Brewery

Not Rated.
Taps Fish House & BreweryTaps Fish House & Brewery
BEER AVG
3.79/5
Based on:
54 Beers
674 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:
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Update 2/9/10: No more Taps logos on glassware :-( I've tried more food, and it is great. The jambalaya is yummy, the seared tuna is great, and the calimari well worth trying. The waiters/waitresses are well trained to answer your beery questions as well.

A hybrid of seafood restaurant and brewery, Taps offers an oyster bar to go along with their beer bar. 32 beers are brewed throughout the year, however around 8 drafts are available on a given day, plus a cask, and the selection turns over frequently. Happy hour offers $4 pints, and there's is unique by starting earlier than other HH's, at 2pm! $5 pizzas are offered during that time too, and it makes for a good entreé.

You're greeted with brewing equipment as you walk in, and when you pass that, head to the right for the beer bar, don't head straight or end up at the oyster bar. Several banners hang from the ceiling with some of their beer than have won awards over the years. (Their Irish Red Ale had the most banners). The bartender was very knowledgable about the beers and tasting notes, and your beer is poured into sexy looking pint glass with the Taps logo on it.

This is my choice for top brewpub in Orange County.

Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I was meeting my mom for lunch at Lucilles BBQ down the street and i arrived a bit early so drove down to Taps for a pint, glad i did!

I've been here before and forgot how charming this place is. I was in right about the time the early lunch rush shows up so it wasnt crowded. As you walk in, you're greeted by the receptionist on the left and if you go to the right, you'll hit the bar. Behind the bar is the patio area. The bar was spacious and of dark wood, just the way i like them. There were some big screens to round out the bar, not overpower but complimenting. I had a pint of the oatmeal stout and it was fantastic. The bartender was friendly and quick on the service. There were about 8 beers on tap, hitting most of the styles. I sampled a few via the bartender giving me shot glass tastings... quite a cool dude.

While i didnt try the food, i've had it before. It's of the seafood/New Orleans variety... quite tasty if i recall correctly. The beers were reasonable on price but the food can get expensive. All in all, this is a very nice place to take a date and for a good meal in a cool environment that has great beers. Visit this place if you get the chance.

Photo of MiScusi
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went to this place for lunch today, a Saturday. We got there fairly early so there weren't too many people there. As we were leaving after we ate, we noticed the place (especially bar area = big) was filled up.

Our service was excellent, the food came very quickly, as did the beer. The food (trout/rice, burger/garlic fries) was very good, and the beer is well known by its patrons to be very good. On tap when I was there they had a California Ale (IPA), Oatmeal Stout, Pumpkin Ale, Winter Bock, an English Ale on cask, plus a few others (8 total on tap). You can always find out exactly what is being served that day by going to their website, which has a cool little feature showing all their different styles they brew, and which ones are on tap, and which is in a cask.

The place has a pretty cool atmosphere. A big projection screen and tv's placed by the bar as well let you watch plenty of sports. It's all dark wood, which gives it a real neat feel, especially right now as it's lined with garland and christmas lights.

The outside area has a bunch of heating lamps, no matter where you sit I don't think you will get cold. There is also huge brick fireplace built along the wall. The service in this outside area was very good when I've sat there.
___

Went again today (5/10/07) after an Angels game, this was my 3rd time there and for the 3rd straight time the service was impeccable. Our waitress (Amanda) was always making sure we were fine on drinks and food, and always with a smile. The food came fast and in great shape and the beer were brought promptly. I don't see how the service can get any better in my experiences.

Photo of amoebalink
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

place is a fish house and brewery in Brea, CA.
I've been to the place to eat the food, but recently visited the place just for the beer.
It has a good selection of beer available (a total of 6 plus a cask conditions variety).
reasonably priced at $4-5 per 12 oz of beer.
you can also get a growler for $12 and refills for $10 for all the beer except the cask conditioned variety.
That was a bummer, since it would be nict to be able to fill a growler of cask conditions ale for a beer tasting party so that non beer drinkers would know what a cast conditioned ale tastes like.
overall a nice beer place to visit.
the food is very decent and price is acceptable, though a bit pricy.
expect to spend about $40-50 a person if you want a nice 3 course dinner with a beer.

Photo of Rezzin
4.5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

First off I have to admit that I don't recall many of the beers at this brewpub - it's been over 4 months since I've last been. We plan on going at the end of this month so I'll be sure to edit my review after we do so (in regards to the beer).

The atmosphere is upscale yet somewhat casual. I wouldn't come in jeans and beat up tshirt but they won't kick you out. The help is good to above average but make sure to make a reservation if you go for dinner. Projection TV, large bar area, oyster bar, heated patio area - you won't be dissapointed with this place.

The food is absolutely outstanding. My wife loves to come here for the cajun crab cakes alone. I normally stick to the fresh catch menu and almost always start with a 1/2 dozen oysters.

Be prepared to drop ~$100 for a nice dinner for 2. Appetizer, main course, alcohol, desert and tip. Pricey but money well spent. If you're looking to impress your girl - you can't go wrong here. One of my favorite restaurants in North OC. So without the beer review - I give a solid 4.5.

Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

wow. taps huh? looks big from the outside, is big on the inside. went to the bar area to the right from the entrance and through the dining area. sat at one of the booths, very comfy. bar could probably seat a dozen, with enough tables and booths for another couple dozen. and thats just the bar!

atmosphere is laid back, casual (but not too casual), and friendly. pretty upscale, but not so much to put you off just going on for a beer. the big projection screen had espn on, as did the flat screen we could see from our booth. place was probably less than a third full on a weekday lunch.

quality is up there. from the look of the place, to how they serve the beer. i had the sampler which came on a prepared paper place mat with a space designated for each beer. nice touch. each one came in a small shot glass as well as another sheet of paper to describe each beer style.

service was prompt and friendly. nothing spectacular, but certainly not lacking.

selection is pretty wide ranging. dopplebock, belgian strong, cream ale, pale, hefe, alt which was also served on cask! interesting selection for a cask i thought, but still, they had cask. only had the sampler, but each seemed at least above average and had some nice qualities to them. good banana and clove in the hefe for instance.

i didnt rate the food as my wife and i only shared a seafood salad, but damn, it was good! and big. together we still couldnt finish it. lots of shrimp and crab meat. and they brought over some bread before we even had a chance to ask for it.

value, well. you get what you pay for. really, the beer was $4.50 a pint, not bad, but the food was pretty pricey. $20 for the salad.

overall, a very nice place if you want to impress some people while you sip away at some good beer.

Photo of PuckLSHS
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Taps is my home away from home....well, except Naja's in Redondo.

Taps is one of the greatest finds in the Southern California (LA/Orange County) area. Their seasonal's are excellent and the brewer there comes up with some pretty amazing stuff. My favorite brews are the Alt, 90-Shilling Scotch Ale, Thomas Jefferson and the Oktoberfest. They generally sell out of most of the seasonals pretty fast, but they rotate quickly and they are never without a wide selection.

The food here is phenomenal. I would definitely suggest the nachos (I ask for shrimp nachos and they are happy to help me out with that one)...the oysters and the seafood here is top-notch. You really can't go wrong with any of the menu items as the quality of the food is excellent.

The service is hit or miss sometimes. The wait staff is fairly slow in their service, but they are quite attractive which makes up for it at times. The bar staff doesn't know a lot about the beers so don't ask them any specifics...just roll out a few tasters and decide for yourself.

Hit up taps if you want to find a great place to chill and watch the game on a saturday or take the date to a fancy dinner on Friday night. You won't be sorry.

Photo of BrewMaster
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

The great thing about Taps is the food and the waitresses. Their beers are average at best and disappointing for the most part. On tap they usually have 7 of their own beers plus a cask-conditioned beer of theirs. The waitresses at this palce are surprisingly attractive which just added to the evening. The food is truly exceptional, but not cheap. The medium-rare filet mignon was absolutely perfect but the lobster tail had been sitting under a heat lamp I think. We were there for a company event with about 10 of us and the service was great. I would go back to Taps for a good meal, but I couldn't care less about their mediocre beers.

Photo of ALECOHOLIC
3.53/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My perception of Taps has been declining steadily. Great brews with an interesting rotation are their strongest assets. My poor marks for service are misdirected. The service is good but management policys and decisions suck. I attended their beer dinners last fall '03 and spring '04, both were wonderful. I get a heads up from the brewer last August that the next dinner would be in October. So I try to stay tuned (call and ask, watch the website, etc.) as they fill quickly. The OC Register runs a story a week or so before the event (I missed the article) and the dinner books up immediately. My patronage (and others I know) to the previous events that have grown in popularity is in mgmts rear view mirror. Next bad experience: I pick up a growler of pumpkin ale for Thanksgiving with the anticipation of returning on Tuesday 1/2 price refill night advertised on the board behind the bar. I loved the pumpkin ale. I finally get around to returning with my growler on a tuesday and get short shrift about the offer being cancelled as of late. The bartender says that some people were abusing the offer. Instead of taking a tough stance and punishing (saying no) to the abusers, management shuts it down on everyone. I felt like I was in 3rd grade all over again. Managers are paid to be the bad guy now and again and they need to stand up to customers that get out of line. I'll return again for a beer or for Sunday brunch (and a beer) but I will no longer frequent the joint.

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This brewpub is the epitomy of the saying, "Beauty is only skin deep". How can such a great looking place have such poor-tasting beers? What a crying shame. It's located in the downtown area of Brea, CA. Plenty of parking around back. When you walk in, you almost don't feel like you're in a brewpub. This place is very elegant with fine linen tablecloths and well-dressed bartenders and waitresses. There is a lot of mohogany panels throughout the eating area, and much of the bar area is done in mohogany. Very classy and very elegant looking. Now the bad news. We ordered a sampler and did not care for any of the beers. I hate to give them low marks for not having any American hops or malt in their beer recipes, but they lacked any character. It was hard to tell some of the lighter ales apart. I was expecting a robust porter or stout and was very disappointed. Following the sampler we each ordered a pint of their IPA but walked out leaving our glass half full.

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Located in a huge old brick building, located in what seemed like the heart of downtown Brea. Enormous by brewpub standards has high ceilings, a pretty cool oyster bar, a big bar and some really nice patio seating. A few large TV's dominat the bar area. Six to eight beers were on the night I was there, including one cask. I ate at the bar and a really nice conversation with a guy who alone and traveling like me. Bartenders were friendly but only one really knew anything about beer. Had some really good info/pamphlets on the bar explaing their philosophy on food and beer Food was really good to excellent and as indicated is dominated by seafood. Beer was good to above average. Overall, I'd go back for the food alone but the combo of unique beer and great food would make this a good stop.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

7-12-2005 Update: Unfortunately, Taps has seen a bit of a decline over the past few months. No more half price growler refills on Tuesday nights and a slipping quality to their beers has made me adjust my marks accordingly. The food is still superb but the beers are not what they once were. Their hefeweizen, which I once loved, is now simply decent, having taken on a wateriness that's disappointing. The service is still quite good but overall Taps has slipped a bit.
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Taps Fish House & Brewery is a large brewpub located on the corner of Imperial Hwy and Brea Blvd in Brea, CA. Valet parking is available and free with validation.
Taps has an old brick building theme. The high ceilings have exposed beams and air ducts and strategically placed lights. Taps is divided into three sections: a dining area to the left, a large oyster bar in the center, and the bar to the right. The bar has several small high tables and a couple large TV's for watching sports. Behind the bar is a large chalkboard listing the current beers and upcoming brews. Seven beers were available: one (the Irish Red) was available on tap and casked. One beer (the Cream Ale) was out. The Cream Ale and Hefeweizen are year-round offerings, all others are on a rotating basis. The list changes frequently. Growlers are $10.95; refills are $8.95.
My wife and I ate in the dining area. To start, we had a beer taster -2oz samples of the available beers (German Pils, IPA, Burton Ale, Imperial Russian Stout, Hefeweizen, and on tap and casked Irish Red).
Service was superb. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the house beers and beer in general. He explained each beer as he presented the sampler set and gave examples of common brews it could be comparable to (Burton Ale similar to Bass, etc). I asked him for some further info on the beers and he was happy to oblige. When he brought out a growler I ordered, he told me the best time for refills is Tuesday nights when refills are only $4.95.
The food was delicious and well prepared. We had a 5oz. filet mignon, shrimp scampi, garlic mashed potatoes and baby vegetables for $28.95 each. Maybe a little pricey but very good considering the quality service we received. The menu mainly consists of seafood (Fish House, duh!) and steaks. The desserts are wonderful. My wife and I had a warm peach crisp which was "on the house" to celebrate our anniversary. They also offer a Sunday champagne brunch which I've had in the past and is top-notch.
I had the Imperial Russian Stout and the Hefeweizen during the course of my dinner. Both beers were the best of the samplers and the hefeweizen was especially noteworthy. This beer rivals my favorite hefe (Weihenstephaner). Taps hefe has a bigger, bolder, fresher taste and a unbelievably light feel. Taps' brewmaster, Victor Novak, has brewed these beers with the European traditions and tastes in mind. The Imperial Russian Stout won a silver medal at the CA State Fair in 2002.

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