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Taps Fish House & Brewery

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BA SCORE
89
very good

34 Ratings
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.39%
Active Beers: 63
Beer Ratings: 691
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
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:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MiScusi
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%

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.

MiScusi, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of jsunj
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

jsunj, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of Rezzin
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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.

Rezzin, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of PuckLSHS
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%

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.

PuckLSHS, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of DoubleJ
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%

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.

DoubleJ, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of BeerEngineer
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

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.

BeerEngineer, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

joecast, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of OlieIPA
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%

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.

OlieIPA, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of koolchas
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%

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!

koolchas, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of Floydster
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%

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

Floydster, Jan 18, 2009
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Taps Fish House & Brewery in Brea, CA
89 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.