Claremont Craft Ales
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Active Beers: 16
Beer Ratings: 64
Beer Avg: 3.4
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 7 | Reviews: 3 | Show All Ratings:
4.03/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Hey, I recognize this area! It was in my college years, but I participated in a track meet at nearby Claremont McKenna College. At that time, I was a kid in the beer world, having fewer than 100 beers tried and even less knowledge of style diversity. What a change seven years later! Nearby is Claremont Craft Ales, which is housed just a block away from the campus.
It's smaller compared to nearby Sanctum Brewing, but surprisingly busy during the late afternoon. Most of the seats were taken, and there was a 5 minute queue at the bar during many parts of my visit. However, it didn't feel overcrowded. What also helped were multiple bartenders taking orders 2-3 at a time. Despite its proximity to Claremont McKenna, the crowd was a mix of younger beer drinkers and middle aged ones who brought their children along.
The beer menu is straightforward with the information it provides (style, ABV, serving size). With 14 beers pouring, choices were in no shortage, ranging from a hoppy "session" ale, a barrel aged imperial red, and a coffee IPA. Full pours stop around the 13-14 ounce range, although the $5 tag still makes it a reasonable buy. The quality was there too; the coffee IPA is one that I would drink again, and the "session" ale had potential to be great despite a minor defect.
Like Sanctum, Claremont Craft Ales is a worthy stop, and perhaps more so. Another reason to drive out to the area!
02-17-2014 04:56:04 | More by DoubleJ
3.66/5 rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
I recently stopped in at Claremont Craft Ales since I was in the area on business. It's a fairly small spot with the brewing equipment and tasting area in a garage type setting. They had 10 of their beers on tap with a few "premium" offerings that are priced separately. The quality of the beer was good with the beer served at a good temperature and in proper glassware. They offer tasters, full pours, and growlers for their beer. Prices were reasonable with most tasters at $1.50 or $2 depending on whether or not it is a special beer. Service was average, but they do give free pretzels and popcorn. Overall, this is definitely a brewery that shows promise but most of the beers were not all that special in my opinion.
06-30-2013 06:34:02 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.71/5 rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.25 | $$
Claremont Craft Ales is a small place located in an industrial district in Claremont. If you have never been there and are thinking of heading over, know that the front door IS NOT THE TASTING ROOM. This threw me off pretty bad the first time. In reality you need to drive around the building and to the back entrance where they have a garage door. The door is left open during business hours and there is a yellow plastic chain that dictates where alcohol can be brought.
There is one small bar and when I was there (a Saturday around 3:00 PM) there wasn't too many people there. There was no wait to get beer, the staff were two younger girls who seemed to know what they were talking about when I asked them a couple of beer questions. After ordering a beer and a sampler for the wife we went to a small sitting area against the wall to enjoy the brews. I do have to say that while there were only 3 people working, we didn't have empty glasses in front of us (even from the sampler) for more than 5 minutes. One of the girls kept coming around and picking up all the empty glass, good service for sure.
After a few minutes I noticed a guy behind the bar area and went over to chat with him. His name with Mike and he turned out to be the head brewer. We talked for 15 or 20 minutes about beer and different things. He was really down to earth and a great guy to just get to chat with. We started talking homebrew and when he found out that I brewed asked if I had entered one into his first ever homebrew competition. I told him that I hadn't but that didn't stop us talking about homebrew in general. Mike is a great guy, his place is a lot like if you went to a homebrewers garage (that's the best way I can explain it). There are very tall ceilings with about 9 beers on tap. The beers in general are OK, some are better than others. Interestingly, one of the best beers from CCA that I've had came from a local burger joint called Eureka Burger. I guess that they did a barrel aged Imperial Red specifically for the restaurant. I had the Imperial Red while I was at CCA and didn't find it all that interesting, aging for a couple of months in a whiskey barrel.... WOAH!!
Overall it's a really nice place for the size that the brewery is now. It's not overly done up with fancy finishes or anything like that. The beers are cold, it tasted like all the lines were regularly cleaned and the owner is a nice guy. The beers that I sampled and enjoyed were hit or miss. None were bad, that's for sure, but some weren't as good as I would have hoped.
The one downside is that there is no food. That's not that big of a deal because I've been to plenty of places that don't have food. Most however would have a food truck outside so you can order what you want to. Unfortunately, nothing at CCA. They do have the numbers for a pizza delivery place and delivery sushi (I though that was odd) on the wall. You could order whatever you wanted to if the mood struck you I guess and have it delivered to the brewery.
Overall a really nice place to go if you are a true beer guy/girl. I wouldn't take a first time date to this place (unless the laid back atmosphere is what you are going for) but otherwise it's a nice time. I'll be back again for sure because the costs are reasonable and the people who work there are very good people. I love supporting local businesses and this is one that I'll be supporting for a while I can see already! Overall a good afternoon enjoying beers at Claremont Craft Ale!
06-16-2013 03:35:03 | More by BeerEngineer
Claremont Craft Ales in Claremont, CA
- out of 100 based on 7 ratings.