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 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 aoampm
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

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

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 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 AlexM
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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 Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JackNip
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

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 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 fthegiants
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

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 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 jenray
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

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 belgbeerdrinker
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

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 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 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.
---

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.

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 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 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 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.

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