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Tustin Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tustin Brewing CompanyTustin Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.56/5
Based on:
41 Beers
108 Reviews
Place Score: 84
Reviews: 32
Visits: 53
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

13011 Newport Avenue #100
Tustin, California, 92780
United States
phone: (714) 665-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Reviews: 32 | Visits: 53
Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%

I was in Orange County the other day and picked Tustin Brewing as my local destination from the BeerAdvocate list. I was not at all disappointed.

The brewery is situated in a rather out-of-place Bavarian-inspired strip mall. It fits the beer theme nicely, though. Inside the décor is nearly perfect for a brewpub, lots of wood and beer signs and lived-in hominess. The brewery equipment is located maybe six feet behind the bar, which provides wonderful brewing aromas and the opportunity to talk to the brewers as they work.

Service was a bit on the slow side, but I was there at a slow time and most of the staff were there brewing. I don't begrudge them this -- it's always great to watch a brewer at work.

I was only able to sample a couple of beers, but they were both quite drinkable (I had the flagship porter and a cream ale, so pretty benign styles). The next time I'm killing time in Tustin, I will definitely try to get here. (946 characters)

Photo of SoCalBreweryReviews
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Location

Tustin Brewing Company’s brewery and restaurant is the cornerstone tenant of Plaza LaFayette, located on Newport Avenue just north of Irvine Boulevard. For locals, this is a central shopping district for the area. Unfortunately, parking in the center is limited and the stalls are narrow. Plan ahead and carpool if you can.

Comfort & Decor

Tustin Brewery is a brewery, restaurant, locals’ bar, and sports bar all rolled into one. The high ceilings, brick walls, and lack of carpet or upholstery mean a high noise volume. There might have been music playing, but I couldn’t hear it over the din. Simple wooden tables and chairs can be rearranged to easily accommodate large parties. There is a bartop area with stools, but it tends to get crowded with libations-only patrons. Their patio is typically the smoking crowd in the evenings, but it offers space heaters, greenery screening from the street, and ample seating.

Brews

While they do rotate out taps of guest beers, most of Tustin Brewery’s patrons come for the local suds. Keeping with the theme and feel of a locals establishment, all of TBC’s home brews are named as local and historical tributes to the Tustin area. Here’s my two cents on their beers:

Lemon Heights Hefeweizen - 5% ABV Lightly bodied and served with a lemon wedge. It’s a traditional unfiltered wheat beer with citrus in the forefront. It gets it’s name from the wealthier Lemon Heights neighborhood of North Tustin.

American Pale Ale – 5.8% No creative naming here, but certainly a creative take on this standard brew. Fairly balanced with flavorful hops and a bitter back.

Red Hill Red - 7.3% Named after the area and street in Tustin, this is a surprisingly hoppy red. It’s fuller bodied, sweet and malty; don’t go into this thinking it’s an amber. While I enjoy this brew, I always forget how filling it is.

Old Town IPA – 7.4% Supporting Tustin’s Old Town downtown district, this beer is a balance of citrus and hops. Fuller bodied than the APA, the Old Town IPA is smooth on the back, allowing the hops to compliment the beer as a whole and not overwhelm it.

Blimp Hanger Porter – 5.8% ABV – Named for the visually iconic WWII era blimp hangers on the edge of Tustin, this porter has some seriously large shoes to fill. It’s got everything you want in a darker beer: toasted grains, rich dark chocolate adding bitterness and sweet, and a hint of smoke.

Staff

The serving staff is mostly women in their early twenties, but don’t misjudge them. Our server, Katherine, knew her suds. We had a nice chat about the extra hops in the Red Hill Red and their popular guest beer, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. She loves her job: “I work in a brewery; it’s the best thing ever.” Thanks, Katherine!

Marketing

The Mug Club is perhaps the most clever marketing endeavor they have developed. For $100.00, you get a lifetime membership to their Mug Club. Members receive a personalized 20 oz. mug with their member number and $1 off Tustin Brewery’s home brews. On Mondays, Mug Club members can partake of the home brews for just $2.50 a glass. Mug Club members still pay full price for a pint of guest beers, but receive a full 20 oz. mug worth. The mugs are 4 oz. larger than your standard pint glass, so it’s a great deal. I’m thinking this would make a wonderful Father’s Day or Christmas gift.

Eats

We went to try their $2.00 steak and chicken tacos. The chicken was bland while the steak was spicy, but they were decently sized and tasty. Their regular menu reminds me of your neighborhood family restaurant. Offerings from their mixed menu include build-your-own pizzas, hot wings with various sauces, award winning chilli, baked salmon, and Mediterranean lamb chops. Tustin Brewery understands that moms and dads love good beer too, so there is a kids’ menu with half-pint sized meals. I just learned that they do breakfast and am admittedly a little excited to try it out.

Entertainment & Events

Sports are on all the time on their eight 42″ and two 70″ flat screen televisions. Special games and broadcasts (such as the Olympics this past week) make it onto their dual projector screens. They often run specials during the various sports seasons and there is not a seat in the house without a view of the games. My favorite night is Monday trivia with Challenge Entertainment Live Trivia.

Recommendation

All in all, I feel like Tustin Brewery is the sportsbar option for beer lovers. I think it finds its niche with the locals and regulars, but gives parents a higher quality option for soccer team pizza nights. TBC is always busy, yet I’d never had to wait long for a table. This year marks the brewery’s 17th anniversary and I guarantee it’s not closing anytime soon. If you live nearby and enjoy discounted beer, then join the Mug Club and have at it. This is a great place for a meal and a mug. Cheers! (4,950 characters)

Photo of BirdmanJohn
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25

I went to the Tustin Brewing company on a Friday after work and it was packed. A pretty big place that obviously does a lot of food business. I got a table outside and order their IPA and some wings. Overall I had a great experience. The service I received was really good. Our waitress made great suggestions when needed and was there when we needed her despite having a full section. (385 characters)

Photo of warpdesign
4.2/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

This place is tucked away in an odd shopping center. Parking can be a huge pain and hard to find. I like that all their beers have an Orange County theme to them. The atmosphere can be nice if you get there early but during prime hours it turns into more of a sports bar with loud TVs and activity. It's very hard to carry on a conversation. They can have some good beers on tap. It's somewhat inconsistent what they are offering but the variety is also part of what makes it good. (481 characters)

Photo of Smitty1988
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Being From Arizona, I usually try to get out to a few local brew places in California. I found Tustin Brewery on BA and the reviews were average, but it was relatively close to my hotel and the online menu didn’t look bad. While I was online I browsed some of the beers that they Brew on site. Most of them looked pretty good and were at an average price.
 
When I got there the we were seated(my wife and I) in a large open room that has a few European style benches and long tables. The brewery is in the back left corner and it was very open and with a long bar running on the left side of the building, behind which are many barrels stamped with dates and names of their Brew.
 
I ordered the spicy burger, which was very good and was very happy to see that they had Pliny the Elder on tap. This is a very rare beer and hard to come by where I am from. I have only really had it in Northern California prior to this visit. It was appropriately priced at 7 dollars a pint. Pliny the Elder was actually the only beer that I ordered in a pint there. I spoke to the waitress and asked her how often they get that and if they keep it regularly stocked. She informed me that they get about 4 kegs every 3 months. She said they usually sell out of it in 2 weeks or less. I’m certainly glad that I found it and I took a Cask of it home for only $ 19.00. Overall a great place because of the Pliny. Everything was pretty average, after sampling several of their own beers, I stuck with Pliny.
 
Perhaps call ahead to see if they have the Pliny. I will certainly go back for that. (1,581 characters)

Photo of colonelforbin
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Pretty standard brewpub atmosphere. Long bar, many tables and numerous TVs throughout. Not terribly impressed with the beers, all fairly middling though one of the IPAs was a little better than average.

Service was OK, not too good really, but as it was my only visit, that didn't bother me too much, just chalked it up to the time of day/server that was there, etc.

It wasn't too crowded so we had most of the bar to ourselves, watched some of the Tour de France that was showing. Not sure how this place gets when it's crowded but they have ample space.

Hard to describe this place, basically about as average in almost every category as it gets. The atmosphere, beer quality, selection and service were all standard and didn't stand out in any way, good or bad.

Not going to go out of my way to recommend this place, but there may be a tasty brew or two on tap if and when you visit. (894 characters)

Photo of Hershdawg
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This brewpub is a few miles from Highway 5. The outside decor is that of a small windmill of the type you'd find around Solvang. The first thing you notice when you walk in is barrels. Behind the bar they have their brewing equipment. I found this nice because its cool to have a pint and have the fermenter it came from right behind it.

The service was good. The bartender didn't charge me for the tasters I got. She gave some suggestions for food and the sandwich she recommended was great.

The beers on tap range from the house brews to 2 Russian River taps. They also carry hard cider on tap if you want a change of pace. They have a full bar so if a cocktail is what you desire it can be made.

The food runs in the $10 range. They have some pub fare and some burgers. They are a few oddities in the menu such as a pasta dish. The burgers are 1/2 lb patties and tend to be very large.

Its a good brewpub to check out. Can't wait for the sour to be released... (967 characters)

Photo of dcgunman
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Yesterday was my second visit in a week to TBC. Both times was in the area for an appointment. So I decided to stop in. I've been wanting to for over a year now.

Last week stopped in for lunch and a couple of guest beers. Since it was a Tuesday they had Tuesday tacos for only $2. So I went with 2 steak and 1 chicken. Chicken was dry while the steak was good. So I had to pour on the salsa for the chicken. But probably the main reason for going in was that they had Cismontane's Dos Con Es DIPA (11.5%ABV) on tap and I heard good things about it. Also that Cismontane Brewery made its first and only batch of the Dos Con Es. It was a little slow at eleven when they first opened the door, but soon changed when we left it was busy. The regular lunch being served looked good on the visual. The house beers they had were probably around six or seven. No IPA was on the board, so I ended up getting a Sculpin for my second glass. Prices overall for house and guest beers I thought was very resonable. The Dos Con Es was served in what looked like a 8 oz snifter. And priced at $4. Regular 16oz pints were around $6. I think the house beers are $5. Service was exceptional.

My second visit yesterday I went in around noon. So it was a bit busier with alot of local customers there for lunch. This time I had a regular lunch (sandwich with chili). Chili was very good. Paired well with the pint of Mongo and later with a pint of Firestone Union Jack. They did have the house IPA which I did not get to try again. But they were advertising their 3rd anniversary triple IPA which will be released this Thursday. I will be back in a couple of weeks when I have to make another appointment in the area. I hope to try their triple ipa and ipa then. And some more food too.

TBC is a good stop in once in awhile when your in the neighborhood. NOt a large selection of guest beers but a decent one. (1,894 characters)

Photo of pollox87
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

This place is pretty close to my home.

The atmosphere is fine, pretty much your average brew pub. The outdoor seating is nice, but don't expect good service out there.

TBC's beers are very average. Don't expect to be blown away, but you will not need to dump anything out. They also generally serve in appropriate glassware for the style, although I did not appreciate the chilled glasses.

The service is usually okay, I have had some servers who know little of beer and some who know a lot, no one was really rude, but they also were not above average.

The selection is always good, the usually have guest beers that are what I really come here for. Russian River beers can often be found here including Elder. Just call ahead and check to see what they have.

The food here is not good, and very overpriced. Skip it, there are plenty of good eats in the area, just check yelp. (882 characters)

Photo of harsley
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I recently tried this place on a visit to the area and was happy enough with it. I only tried the IPA but it was quite good and solved my need for a fresh West Coast IPA. I did go here because about 2 weeks early they had Pliny and Pig on tap but they were off by the time I got there. They had around 5 guest taps. The food was good. As per a lot of brewpubs the pizza was nicely done and I think everyone at the table left happy with their meal. It was crowded even on a weeknight but we got a table for 4 right away. Service wasn't the best but was certainly not bad. I will go back when I'm in the area. (607 characters)

Photo of Amdy
4.14/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I live right down the street form the Tustin Brewery, but ive only been there maybe 5 or 6 times. I live to go here for pliny and pig when Hollingshead doesn't have it tapped. Good bottle list, they just recently sold the last bottles of stone Kona coffee porter. Im a fan of their porter, I haven't really had too much of their other stuff, Im usually drinking here because of what they have on tap from other breweries. Growler fills are available here, but only of their own beer(Dont come in asking for a growler fill of pliny because they will not do it, Ive seen people actually try this, lolz) (600 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited at least half a dozen times over the last couple years now. I thought I had a review of this place already, maybe it was flagged (?)

The place is large on the inside and there is always a place to sit, even if it's at the counter that seperates the bar from the dining area. I've never had an issue getting a seat outside on the patio either. Parking can be a bitch though. Inside can get loud and there are a number of tv's playing various sports channels. The radio is on most of the time.

Quality, selection, and the food are all about equal in the sense that there is enough to pick from that you'll find something you like. The plate of fries seems to be the best deal for snacks/appetizers in terms of quantity of food and quality of food. The nachos were pretty crummy last time.

Service, hmm, what to say. There used to be this girl that happened to be bar tending every time I went in. She was fine with serving samples. I didnt bother her and she didnt bother me. It's not like I was taking up her time with conversations and lots of questions. It worked out well. Nowadays I seem to get this guy that is slow as hell. 10-15 minutes to even acknowledge that I'm there, another 5-10 minutes to actually pour the beer I order, and 20-30 minutes to get food. The second to last time I was there (with womencantsail) I ordered a glass of beer and he ordered a soda while waiting for a plate of nachos. The nachos arrived about 30 minutes after being ordered, at which time the soda and beer were poured, just as we were getting up to leave.

The last time I was there (Friday 2/18/2011) the service was a little faster, so only 10 minutes to get his attention and only 5 minutes to actually pour the beer, but then the bill came. OK, so there is no price listed anywhere for samples but why were they $1.50 a week ago and now $2.50? That and there were too many on the bill as well. So when I asked about it a manager was sent over. I tried to politely ask about why the price of the samples had gone up but got a very defensive and agitated response about how if you go anywhere else it's $2 for 2oz and they're giving me 3oz for $2.50. That's not what I asked. So after telling him that he changes his story to "well you ordered the guest beers." 2 of the 3 samples were Tustin beers. Then it becomes "well you ordered the high abv beers." OK, the 3rd Nipple Tripel is 9% granted but the Pom Bomb is 4.5%. And the 3rd beer, which was a guest beer, was 8.8% (Stone collab Scotch Ale). So that excuse is the most believable but still, it took 3 lies before he came up with something plausible. And even then that comes out to $10 per 12oz beer at that rate.

0% tip. Actually we debated walking out on the bill when we saw the extra samples added in there and at the jacked up rate.

Not writing the place off entirely but they can expect not to receive a single penny in tip until they get their act together. And even as tickers it's not like we're taking up a lot of their time or resources. If they served us promptly we'd be in and out in 20 minutes or less. On top of that we usually order 3-4 samples and a pint. Between 2 people that's 2 beers.

Still better than Toronado SF (for service) but then I guess any place where they don't actually hold you up at gun point is better than that, so that isn't much of a compliment to Tustin.

I will add that the crappy service has only been in recent months and only at the bar. When eating and sitting at a table the service has been just fine. (3,520 characters)

Photo of HaggisIBM
4.63/5  rDev +27.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to TBC since almost the beginning (1997). The beer was average at its best. A visit once a year was enough to see if there were any changes for the better.

I moved to the Irvine area in 2005. The place/beer was still average.

Finally, about 3 years ago, the powers to be at TBC saw the light and started to produce really good beer. Their current brewer, J.Porter, is producing some great beers. There is even a cask ale on a regular basis, mmm, cask ale, mmm!

There are always at least 7 house beers on tap and maybe an experimental ale on as well. Plus, there are 5 or so guest beers on as well.

The food is top notch too. The Cajun Lamb chops are my favorite.

TBC is sports bar, so on Saturdays and Sundays, parking can be difficult.

Tustin Brewing Company is the best brewpub in the area: Tustin, Irvine, Anaheim, Newport. (853 characters)

Photo of SherwoodRN
4.63/5  rDev +27.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been enjoying Tustin Brewing Company since it opened. In the beginning it was just off and on. The improvements in the last couple of years has made me a true regular.
First of course is the beer and they now have quite a few medal winners to prove it. I really have enjoyed the Old Town IPA from the beginning. Now, Jackson's Double IPA has really impressed me. Sometimes I am in the mood for a porter and the Great American Brew Fest bronze medal winning Blimp Hanger Porter calls out to me often. Occasionally an exceptional cask conditioned brew comes online and it is always worth a try. I wish they would add a beer suggestion to pair with certain foods just for fun. They also pour some of the standard big corporation beers but for the life of me I don't know why anyone wants to drink that stuff. There is a full bar for those who enjoy a cocktail on occasion.
Great beer calls for great food and the recently updated menu is no disappointment. I look forward to Taco Tuesdays for the value. They took away my standby standby Cajun lamb chops appetizer then more than made up for it with a reasonably priced main course of Mediterranean Lamb Chops. The award winning chili hits the spot too.
Last but not least is the service. They really pack the place when a good game is on but they always seem to know when my mug is nearly dry. I always get a smile from the servers as well, maybe its because I am smiling too?
Parking can be a challenge at times, there is parking around back just drive around the side next to Nieuport 17 and hang a right. always a spot back there. (1,588 characters)

Photo of Mooch273
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I've been to TBC about a dozen times over the past 4 years and have introduced it to a handful of friends. I live about 4 miles up the road, so it is pretty convenient. However, visiting a local 'neighborhood' brewpub only a dozen times in the past 4 years isn't that many times and there's a reason for it: the atmosphere.

Located in a small strip mall with boutique restaurants and shops, TBC has the ideal spot on the street side of the property. However, it's still fairly difficult to notice it. I don't know if the owners like the word-of-mouth publicity, but better signage would definitely improve the flow of patrons. I've been in there plenty of times where I found myself wondering how a place like this can stay in business with so few customers. The busiest nights are Thursdays for extended happy hour specials and the weekends. I have yet to join them for a Monday Night Football event, but I'm sure that has a decent draw. Expect a large number of older men on Mondays for Mug Club.

The interior decor is dominated by wooden furniture and wall mounted tv's. It has more of a sports bar feel than a brewery. The high ceilings make the space feel cavernous. For some reason, the layout doesn't seem to flow. I'm not sure if it's the 4-foot wall separating the bar from the dining area or what.

Despite all the empty seats, service still seemed slow. Don't expect a hostess to greet you at the door; you may stand around for a few minutes until a waitress notices you. There's typically only one bartender and he/she may get stuck talking to their friends at the opposite end of the bar without noticing other guests trying to catch their eye for a refill. It doesn't seem like wait staff in the dining area are knowledgeable about the beers they are serving. They also get average to low marks for friendliness.

The food is average. It's nothing spectacular and entree's seem about $1-$2 over-priced for the quality and portion size. But then again, this is the OC. Kitchen closes around 9:30-10pm, so don't expect to have a late night snack after attending a sporting event or concert. The beer bread is really good though and goes well with any beer... which brings us to the beer. TBC beers are decent; most seem like they are brewed for the masses so they lack that wow factor that keeps TBC from being more successful. I was impressed that they came out with an Imperial Red recently. And their barleywine was good as well. I wish they posted more info about their beer on the beer list; at least provide the ABV next to the beer so we know what to expect. Overall their beers get a B-. Guest beers are pretty good. I've enjoyed a pitcher of Maharaja here with my girlfriend. They have kegs for purchase, but be sure to give them a 3-4 day advance notice.

One last note: parking can be terrible! On a somewhat busy night, you may drive around for 10-15 minutes fighting for a spot due to other restaurants' patrons and shoppers. Park across the street at Trader Joes if you get impatient. (3,015 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went here with my girlfriend and her dad and some of his friends today after a bike ride. It was packed inside, so we chose to sit out on the patio.

The inside is your fairly typical brewpub type setup with lots of TVs, a long bar, and a pretty decent sized seating area. The decor is fairly classy, I guess, for what you'd expect from a brewpub. That said, it is Tustin.

The house beer list is not huge, but they do have some very nice guest taps, including Pliny, Blind Pig, Racer X, Hop 15, and some others that I can't recall. They also had a handful of their own beers on tap.

The food is, for the most part, your typical bar food, but pretty tasty. I enjoyed the Teryaki burger and was quite pleased with it.

The service was very good, especially considering how packed the place was.

The only bummer was that their house beers are not the greatest, but still decent beers to sit down and enjoy with some friends. And, I'd much rather come here than go to BJ's, for example.

It's not necessarily a destination, but a nice little spot to pop into. (1,060 characters)

Photo of Domina
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I regret it's taken me so long to try this place out, as it's only a 15 minute drive for me...

On Friday nights, we usually choose from Beachwood, Pizza Port, the Yardhouse, or BJ's. This just got added to the list of Friday destinations.

The house double IPA was very good - but the guest list was superb. Russian River IPA, Blind Pig, Bear Republic stout, and Port Wipeout IPA. As a hop head first, and with my favorite desert a good stout, I was very happy with this place.

Typical brewpub atmosphere and friendly staff. Tried a cajun chicken sandwich that was just average. Chili was pretty good.

Can't wait to go back. (628 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Update 8/30/09: The beers and the selection have taken a turn for the better. Belgians beers are available in the bottle, and when you have guest taps like La Folie, Pliny the Elder, and White Oak instead of macro light beers, that makes the beer geek happy inside. They have been experimenting with new beers, such as a Belgian Pale Ale, a vanilla porter, and are currently aging a barleywine in whiskey barrels. More importantly, the few experimental beers I've tried recently have been quite good. As for the regulars....

(6/9/07)
I drove down here to Tustin today to give this palce a look. It's located in a faux-French themed shopping center near Irvine and Newport. I walked in for lunch and saw that the place was bustling with diners. A bar lines up along the left side of the building from the enterence where you can see the brewing kettles.

They offer six house brews to go along with Guinness, Wyder's pear and rasperry ciders, Bud Light, and Coors Light. (Update 6/21/08: They had Stone IPA, Ruination, and Racer X on-tap as guest beers, what a turn of events!) I ordered their porter and was satisfied, though it was nothing special. Ditto their hefeweizen. Their food was filling and satisfying, making me forget that I came here for a beer in the first place.

Not a bad place for a lunch break, though the beer lacks in quality. Still, it's a good drinking environment and does the job of breaking up boring, bland fast-food from the weekday routine. (1,472 characters)

Photo of PopeOfAle
2.3/5  rDev -36.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3

Went in on Sunday late afternoon with my girlfriend whom is also a fellow beer geek. And while we had hopes for this place as it was very close to her place we were ultimately disappointed.

Atmosphere was nothing special, your typical watered-down touristy brew pub decor. But hey it was clean. And so were the bathrooms.

Quality - We had a sampler flight of the house beers and the Porter I would maybe give a B- and that's being very kind. The rest were flavorless and drab. I couldn't even finish that terrible Red Ale. The American Pale, Hefe, and the Light Ale were just bland. The double IPA was unavailable as well.

Service was fine, the waitress while not beer knowledgeable at all was at least friendly and prompt.

Selection was not very good at all during our visit, the usual Macros were available but they had run out of Sierra Nevada and like I said, the house beers were laughably bad.

Food - Bland uninspired mediocre pub fare with little that seemed original or creative.

Value- Prices were ok considering the area.

To sum up: MEH. This place is just wasted potential. So sad. With a talented Brewer and Chef, this place at its central OC location, could be outta sight. The OC is packed with cookie-cutter corporate brew pubs (ie: JT Schmidts) and it wouldn't be hard to stand out from the pack but the Tustin Brewery seems quite content to go along with the blandness herd.
Again, such a waste. (1,421 characters)

Photo of moreyeel
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Watch your GPS, it has no idea to find this place.

Walked in as USA beat Spain, so at least there was a high note.

They have a dozen or so taps, seven were brewed, 5 were guest. Good guest beers, not just crap. Avery, Russian River, etc.

Took a bit for the bartender to figure out how to get us a comprehensive sampler. TBC does seven or eight beers in a six beer sampler. Not brain surgery.

Porter is too red, English IPA is awesome. The other beers are OK. It amazes me how breweries put lemon in wheat beer by default, even in a three ounce sampler. Basically killing any other flavors.

Food took about forever to get there. Sandwich was mediocre, fries were great. Large portions.

Nice little patio, big central area with projection screen, long bar.

Difficult parking in small strip mall. Don't bring your SUV as you wont be able to park it. (857 characters)

Photo of Mauerhan
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

so I decided to drop into tustin brew co tonight. I was very happy I did. I walked in and sat down at a table and was greeted by jennifer who was my server for the night. I had a racer x to start and a few things off the happy hour menu. a nice place. knowledgeable staff good music and decent food. after the x I went onto a port 3rd anniversary and finished out with a double play ipa (which was fucking awesome.) the only thing that bummed me out was the fact that they ran out of growlers. I will be back again. I would say if you have the chance stop in and have a pint. good stuff. (587 characters)

Photo of athensbeermaster
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Well the only hassle is the lack of parking. This place is stuffed in a small euro-strip mall
with other busy places. Once your in the door and find a spot the Staff is fast and freindly.
The Female staff is very nice on the eyes!! The fresh beers on the gravity pump is what got me excited about the beer selection. There new brew master Port is so passionate and makes great brews. They also have a good choice of hot guest brews that you wont find at most chain brew places.
They had Avery maharaza and Russian River Blind Pig. There pizza was pretty good also. When I was there the owner was buying some new glassware that looked nice, Half-pint and small sample shots. Plenty of tv's all over the place to keep up with your sport cravings. The prices are reasonable for being in Tustin.$6 -$7 bucks for a pint. They also have growlers and kegs for sale. Once again if you have not been here in a long time there NEW BREW MASTER is amazing! Sure I've been to better places but not in Tustin. Well worth stopping by this place if your in the area. (1,050 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.6/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Although I live fairly close, I had actually never heard of this place until it showed up in a Pliny the Younger thread. Hollingsheads had blown through their supply, so I went down with a friend and his wife, and my wife and kid.

Interesting looking establishment. Very pleasant, wide open interior. No claustrophobia here. Nice long bar.

Unfortunately, when I began interacting with the staff, things went down hill. I don't appreciate an audible laugh when I ask if Pliny the Younger is available by the pitcher or the pint (I missed the sign advertising 8 oz. pours initially). Considering I had received both pitchers and pints of PtY the day before at Hollingsheads, it's not as though my query was laughable.

Okay, after the laughter died down, she was pretty prompt about getting the brews. But an 8 oz. pour my ass. More like 5.5 oz. We're talking about a bit of liquid sloshing around a tulip glass.

I don't like bitching about stuff like that, and I kind of wanted to relax. So I swallowed it and headed to the table with the beers. Where the waitress proceeded to get pissed at me for ordering at the bar. I actually headed to the bar when I got in, and didn't really watch where everyone else sat down since they were using the restroom and changing diapers. I guess bar service is literally only if you're sitting at the bar. The snide "we're a restaurant, not just a bar, and I'll take your orders" was unappreciated, as was the negative body language and visible frown. At least the waitress was hot. That's a plus, I guess. Once again: didn't want to cause a fuss, there with friends and family.

The waitress then went to talk to the bartender (apparently to have everything transferred to her tab), then ignored us entirely until the Pliny ran dry. Not interested in paying 6.50 for another mini-pour, I ordered something else. Not one of their brews, which I now doubt I'll ever try.

I'd like to think that the loss of my potential business, and my potential referrals, is something local beer establishments would like to avoid. On that front: failure for Tustin Brewing. I'd only go back if venue convenience for a large party is absolutely paramount. Multiple people were rude and the vibe of the place sucked. (2,240 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

I am glad that someone submitted a picture as I am not sure that my words could do it justice. The exterior was made to resemble a castle with the Newport Avenue-facing side looking like a castle wall and the entry, through the parking lot, looked like a tower with a cupola. The entry opened onto a lobby with cases of logo items flanking either side. The entry also had a conical ceiling with a cupola at the top, creating a bright entryway. The long, straight bar was off to the left, past the m.d.s. also left. The back bar consisted of the brewhouse and four (4) "Fermentors". Take note, FerMentor Lew! The right side of the space was a sea of standard tables and chair along with a beautiful brick wall with both monitors and logos. Our server was the highly enthusiastic Mike H. (no last names, IAW Sonny Barger's comments in the recent documentary, "Gonzo").

Beers: All were identified in terms of OG, vice ABV. You'll have to do the math. Golden Spike Light Ale (1.051); Lemon Heights Hefeweizen (1.052); American Pale Ale (1.057); Red Hill Red (1.064); Blimp Hangar Porter (1.055); and Old Town IPA (1.064). The IPA was out on my visit, but the APA was plenty hoppy to keep me happy. (1,194 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Visited on Monday, April 14th, 2008, about 3:00pm.

The business is located in a French Normandie by way of Disney themed shopping center. Parking wasn't a problem. The interior is a nice faux old timey vibe with lots of wood. You knew there were about a half dozen flat screens beaming ESPN, didn't you?

The bar is quite long and sports a hand pump, but there was nothing on cask the day I visited.

My friend and I were seated and treated to friendly, even chatty, service form an awesome waitress whose name escapes me. She ran the whole room (about six tables out of forty or so had guests) and visited often. She was knowledgable about beer, which is a nice bonus.

We only ordered dessert and beer (having unwisely eaten at a nearby pizza'n beer joint about five miles away), which was of fine quality if a hair pricey.

Their beers were about average for a brewpub, with nothing standing out as particularly good or bad.

The service and the physical space were very nice but the beer was not quite as good as average. I can't recommend it as a brewpub, but it may be a nice place to dine. (1,097 characters)

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Tustin Brewing Company in Tustin, CA
84 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.