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Native Son Alehouse

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Awaiting 10 Reviews
Reviews: 4
Visits: 8
Avg: 4.32
pDev: n/a
Taps: 27
Bottles: 30
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

305 E 4th St
Ste 200
Santa Ana, California, 92701-4611
United States
phone: (714) 204-0337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @nativesonale

Place added by: jonbonfon on 08-12-2014

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 4 | Visits: 8
Photo of Tdizzle
3.65/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A supposedly beer savvy establishment that misses the mark.
Arrived at 1:00pm on Labor Day. There was one party in front of us in line to order beer, but it took ten minutes for our turn to order because this party was continuously being informed that many of the beers they wished to order on the chalkboard were no longer available. Native Son had already been open for two hours upon our arrival, which begs the question "Why didn't they update their chalkboard before customers arrived on a holiday weekend??" I then overheard the bartender explaining that they had just cleaned the tap lines. This made me happy, until I tasted my beer.
I ordered a Modern Times Mega Blazing World, and it tasted like someone poured cleaning solution in it. I love hop-forward beers, so I was prepared for intense bitterness, but this just tasted like chemicals. I then ordered an Ommegang Tripel, and it also tasted as if I could clean my kitchen counter with it. The fact that a somewhat established "beer bar" can't dial in their tap line cleaning regiment is unacceptable, especially given the fact that both pours were almost $9. Furthermore, the bartender poured the beers improperly. I watched as he filled, and then dumped, my beer about five times. He then handed me a glass filled to the brim and dripping with beer, both times. It really isn't that difficult to tilt a beer glass and gradually angle it upright in order to create a nice cap of foam without having to dump the beer out multiple times (which is a tremendous waste of expensive beer) or hand a customer a sticky glass that's drenched in beer. The bartender informed us that they were out of many food items on their already small menu. Fine; we ordered the fried chicken sandwich. It turned out to be the only redeeming quality of Native Son, as it was very tasty. However, this is a "beer bar" that can't thoroughly clean their tap lines or update their chalkboard?? I will not be returning, as there are several better options for excellent, non-comprimised beer in the surrounding area. Very disappointed.
Regarding the vibe and tap selection, Native Son is good. A cool spot in Downtown Santa Ana, and am extensive draft list.

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Photo of domdomdomdom
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Brussel Sprout chips and Onion Rings are killer. The beer and rooftop vibes are so bad either though! They've had a couple of cool events recently as well, and if that goes on into the future I'll definitely be a long time regular!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.06/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

When did downtown Santa Ana become hipster? Santa Ana has been the center for Orange County justice and Mexican eateries, but not for craft beer and record albums (sorry, vinyl). There has been a charge in recent years to make downtown fun, and Native Son Alehouse attempts to tap in on that craft beer market.

Sitting above a Mexican eatery on the second floor lays this alehouse. The interior is actually quite boring to look at, rather drab with a few decorations. But it's clean. The bar is the heart of the place, not only large but available with seating inside and outside. Speaking of outside, that patio view is more than agreeable(especially when the sun is out).

Behind the bar sticks the taplist. 27 beers flowing from the taps, although my visit saw two of them out. The irony is there is a printed taplist as well, however a number of options had changed out (the printed taplist was much different from written taplist behind the bar). The written list does well to describe the brewer, the beer/style, size of pour, and price. I would have liked to see alcohol as well, but that can be referenced to the printed taplist assuming said beer was on that list. The local scene is represented well, as beers from Bottle Logic, El Segundo, Ritual, Valiant, Good Beer Co., Monkish were spotted, as well as those from elsewhere (Liefmans, Ballast Point, Oskar Blues, Almanac). Sizes of pours depended on the beer, in 30 cl, 40 cl, and 50 cl servings, plus pitchers available for a selected few. Most pours hit the $6-8 range, so be prepared.

Service was a mixed bag from a neutral perspective. Both bartenders were friendly and had a strong grasp of the beers they were pouring. On the downside, I witnessed two food orders not finding their tables, which resulted in open admission to those who wanted to eat those abandoned orders (I have to say, those onion rings and fried Brussel Sprouts were fine pub grub). Perhaps it was a fluke, though I'd hate to see that in a packed house. And food.....just a few food items, simple and tasty pub grub that's fresh.

Native Son has a unique beat in the Orange County scene, which means it's worth a visit.

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Photo of anthony-martinez
5/5  rDev +15.7%

my cousin and I rode our bike around Santa Ana downtown until we spot a bar on 2nd floor. we decided to go there ..once we go in, huge opening floor plan adjunct into outdoor patio which gives you a whole view skyline of Santa Ana. their menu of brews were excellent. the bartender and Owner wwere friendly...especially the bartender. of course, deaf friendly also.

 365 characters

Native Son Alehouse in Santa Ana, CA
- out of 100 based on 4 ratings.