Alcatraz Brewing Co.

Alcatraz Brewing Co.Alcatraz Brewing Co.
Alcatraz Brewing Co.Alcatraz Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

20 City Blvd. W Suite R-1
Orange, California, 92868
United States

// CLOSED //

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Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I visited the Alcatraz Brewing Company, CA with a female friend of mine some months back. It is conveniently located in the Block at Orange, so parking is as easy as it is to find.
Large building located on the right hand side of one the entrances into the Block complex. The entrance is on the corner and we were greeted by a friendly chap who quickly arranged a Table for us. As you enter, the long Bar is on the right hand side with a bank of 6, or so, taps in the middle and also another bank at the far end. But my eyes were drawn to the left and the simply huge model of the Golden Gate Bridge that dominates the centre of this Bar. Quite impressive.
Beer range is their own, obviously. The Brown was a bit thin and watery without any real mouthfeel, but OK. The Wheat was very refreshing, extremely tasty and overall quite good. My favourite of the night and the beer I really enjoyed the most was the Red, very accomplished and highly drinkable. The Stout was annoyingly unavailable during my visit. Food range is quite extensive, it has something that caters for all tastes, quality is above average but a little expensive I thought. Service was polite and prompt. Appears to hold a variety of Theme Nights and Events quite frequently.
Clean, professional, very well run, and overall a great place to take someone. I am not so sure that I would like to spend the whole night here though, the San Francisco thing gets a bit “one-dimensional” after a while, though the constant supply of Red makes up for it.

Dec 20, 2002
More User Reviews:
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FosterJM from California

3.55/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

We stopped in during a recent shopping trip for the wife. We were at the Block and since I shuffled my feet a long while she looked for shoes for her and the kid. I got some beer for my troubles.

It was a Saturday early afternoon when we stopped in and it wasn't crowded at all. We sat in the bar area just to make it quick since all I wanted was their flight to see if they were any good. I got all the beers they had tapped plus a freebie pour of the Marzen which wasnt ready to come out yet since the wheat wasnt gone out of the kegs. All in all I had the:

Alcatraz Big House Red
Alcatraz Kleine Muellers Honey Weiss
Alcatraz MacLeod's Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale
Alcatraz Packbrau Marzen
Alcatraz Penitentiary Pilsner
Alcatraz Raspberry Wheat
Alcatraz Searchlight Golden Ale
Alcatraz Weiss Guy Wheat

They weren't bad but they weren't OH my god good either. A decent beer flight for those that like a lighter beer on a hot day.

The service was excellent and the bartender was an absolute pleasure answering questions for me. The food was good and we just lucked out and made it for their happy hour. We had the Wontons. They were very good. If you're in the area stop by you might like it. Remember you are in the heart of Orange County so you will pay a bit more for food and drink and parking sucks. If you have the cash valet it.

Nov 02, 2010
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

After a successful trip to Total Wine in Tustin, I dropped off my precious cargo at the house and headed to Alcatraz Brewing in The Block for some beer and a meal.

We parked pretty close luckily as it appeared that, based on the parking lot, the place was packed on a Thursday afternoon. We walked up to the building on the corner as I snapped a few shots and were seated promptly upon entering. The weather was gorgeous so we sat under the sun-faded umbrellas outside.

Service was fast and we ordered up two sets of beer samples then made room on the table to keep them out of the sun. While we waited on our brews we decided on our food then placed our order. In the meantime, the beer was decent, most suitable for refreshment on a hot, sunny day. All of them arrived pretty fresh too, definitely a good thing.

Alcatraz had some appetizing looking burgers, one of which my girlfriend got, but for fear of burning myself out on burgers during the trip (kind of a stupid thought, huh?) I got a Chicken Caesar Salad instead...for just under $10. I figured for the price it had better be one hell of a salad. Nope. It came on a normal sized plate and still tasted decent but I could go to Olive Garden and get twice what I got here for half the price. Disappointing to say the least. At least the French Fries were good.

As far as the prices go, we definitely paid for eating at the location we were at, not for what we got. It wasn't absolutely outrageous but definitely a bit pricey for the quality and size.

I do have to say that the décor of Alcatraz Brewing was by far it's best aspect. The outside featured a tall grain silo-like attachment (that I doubt was actually functional) above the front entrance. Inside was a pretty large replica of the Golden Gate Bridge. The booths were set in rocky outcroppings and a large landscape painting adorned the back wall. The brew house section and fermentation vessels were visible from behind glass opposite the long bar. Although we sat outside, the inside had a very nice feel to it. Overall it's a decent location but not a place I'd rush back to on a second visit to California. There are plenty of other locations within a few minutes that would be more commanding of a stop than a mediocre and slightly overpriced brewpub/restaurant in The Block.

Jun 15, 2010
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t0rin0 from California

3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Stopped in while killing time after the Bruery Reserve Society party a month ago. I've been here twice and both times came in the middle of the day when it wasn't crowded. That is what brings the atmosphere score up a tad as I don't think I could stand being in the Block at Orange on a busy Friday or Saturday night.

The interior is decorated nicely and is kept clean. The bartenders are nice and somewhat accomodating. The food is alright but over priced and the beer is at best alright and over priced. They do a bit of experimenting in the beer styles as they have a strong ale, various fruit beers, quad, doppelbock, and eisbock (only for the beer dinner). The results aren't always spectacular though.

Worth trying once but unless there is some item on the food menu that you are really attached to a quick beer sampler will be enough.

Mar 02, 2010
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womencantsail from California

3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here yesterday on our mini Orange County brewery tour.

The place is San Francisco themed, as you might expect from the name. Which is cool, but doesn't necessarily make sense in Orange, CA.

The food is better than your average bar food, but still has the usual brewpub fair of burgers and greasy fried stuff. We went with the appetizer sampler which featured some spareribs which were quite good, actually.

The bar offers 8 different Alcatraz Brewing taps, none of which were terribly impressive. Which, I suppose, isn't terribly surprising considering the location in a large shopping center.

The best thing about this place was the service. Our waitress was attentive and helpful, which I always appreciate.

The prices are pretty high, and considering the product you receive, not really worth it. If you're in the area, it's not a terrible place to stop in, but I wouldn't make a trip just to come here.

Jan 18, 2010
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moreyeel from Colorado

3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I would not waste your time.

Great Golden Gate Bridge art in the middle, great tourist location, pretty restaurant.

Beer is mostly bland to passable. Heavy concentration on chick beers. Seven total beers on our visit.

Bartender was a slug. Knew little about the beers and less about service. Took fricken forever for samplers and we were the only two at the bar.

Place was dead when we were there, maybe 15 total people at 7:00 PM on a Sunday. It is in an outdoor mall, and the mall was packed. Shows something when the other bars are packed and Alcatraz is empty.

Anaheim is the land of the chain, and Alcatraz is not a chain. So that could be part of the problem.

Did not eat, after the wait on beers did not want to risk dinner.

There are better places to get beer in Anaheim.

Jun 26, 2009
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getkrunkhoe from California

3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I went on a Sunday afternoon only because Hollingshead was closed. This place wasn't bad at all. sat right @ the bar, bartender very friendly but lacked knowledge of some of their selection(beers). I got a smapler set, it was hit and miss with some of the beers. I must say the Imp. Stout was tasty and so was the pale ale.

Growlers seemed over priced (in the 20's) for the quality of beer.

Even though it can be pricey here; its not a bad place to hang out and have a brew, esp. if youre a local.

May 08, 2009
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BigBry from Canada

3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Located at The Block in Orange, easily walking distance from our hotel.
Large building, with lots of open space, restautant style seating, plus a long bar. San Francisco theme (as mentioned by other reviewers), nice and clean decor.
Visited on a mid-afternoon, so the whole mall area was pretty quiet. Only a couple other guys at the bar, so service was quick and attentive.
The bartender was knowledgable about the beers, 6 regular taps and 2 rotating seasonal beers. I tried the Pelican Pale and Weizenbock.
Didn't have any food on this visit, so can't comment.
Prices were very reasonable, especially if you can catch happy hour.
Kind of a 'chain restaurant' feel, but I was happy to spend my afternoon there.

Feb 18, 2009
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joecast from Australia

3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

they really push the alcatraz/san francisco angle here and, for me, it works. nice replica of the golden gate bridge runs through the dining room and bar areas. about half a dozen seats at the bar with about the same amount of tables in front with booths in the back.

service was prompt though we probably missed the midweek lunch time rush. everything was brought to out as ordered. questions were answered sufficiently and any adjustments to the menu were catered for.

quality is a mix of food and beer. food being closer to 4.0 and beer 3.5. the angus burger was pretty darn good. second only to the kobe burger i had at the cheesecake factory. tasted the clam chowder which was nice, but the soudough bowl was farily bland.

had the beer tasters whch came with six of their offerings. golden ale, wheat, helles, pale, red and stout. difficult to judge from two oz tastes, but the first five did not leave much of an impression. the stout (8.5% IS) was tasty. if i was going for a pint, it would be the red, helles or stout.

not a bad place to find yourself in to break up the day (though hollingshead is only a couple of minutes away by car). they do growlers which may be something to consider if you live in the area or visit often.

Jan 28, 2009
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jdense from Oregon

2.73/5  rDev -21.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

If you don't want to walk up and down this decaying outdoor mall with the old lady when she's spending your hard earned money, you might consider ducking in her for a brew, though the quality of the beer is nothing to write home about. Rather unimaginative beer offerings with halfway decent pub fare make the visit tolerable, but in the end the beer connoisseur which be much better off dropping her off at the curb and hightailing it to Hollingshead about a mile away. I guess if your were sequestered in Alcatraz this beer might taste good, but there are other fine breweries (Pizza Port) in Orange County for the wandering beer traveler to spend too much time here.

Jan 07, 2009
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Stopped by here after spending the day at Disneyland. Took me just over 5 minutes to get here - a major plus when you are tired and have 2 tired kids along with you. Inside was kinda of neat with the Golden Gate Bridge over the dinning room. The rocky booths were a little odd (from the outside, it looked like they were booths with drop cloths over them - I thought they were doing work on the place). Service was great and fast (then again there was only 2 other tables when we were there). Food was OK (I only ordered a burger). Beers were all mediocre. They even ran out of their seasonal earlier in the day and didn't have anything to replace it with. They also mixed up my Wheat and Strawberry Wheat beers (trust me, I think I can pick out that Strawberry smell and taste). I could understand the mixup if they were anything resembling busy (I think all the workers where watching sports).

Dec 02, 2008
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +21.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I was very impressed by the layout as we walked up. The familiar "guardhouse" sat on the parking lot corner of the building with a Golden Gate Bridge-colored fence around the perimeter for a patio area. The portable (!) m.d.s. was just inside the door with a cabinet of logo items off to the left, just inside the door. The long, highly polished, dark wood, "U"-shaped bar ran along the right wall, facing the patio. Beginning at the far end of the bar and extending about 7/8 of the way aft was a replica of the Golden gate Bridge, followed by a replica Chinatown dragon. On the left side, headed aft, were the brewhouse followed by a Cold Liquor Tank and four (4) FVs. Also left, but now in the restaurant area, were a replica of the Point Reyes lighthouse as well as a Haight-Ashbury street sign and lots of psychedelic posters. The booths were designed to look like boulders, bars separated the booths, there was diamond-deck and brushed aluminum in the lavatory to the left of the dragon's tail with mesh on the doorway into the Men's. It was just like home.

Regina was our server, but all of the waitstaff was friendly and amenable to all of my bizarre requests. They had growlers available, BTW.

Mom: Yep! She'd get a kick out of the decor, at the very least.

Beers: Thanks to my brother, we indulged in a sampler. Searchlight (4.5); Weiss Guy Wheat (4.6); Razz Wheat (4.6); Pelican Pale Ale (5.0); Big House Red (6.0); America's Finest English Brown Ale (4.7); and Frisco Fog (Belgian-style Wit) (5.7). I stand by the Pale Ale.

Aug 20, 2008
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charlzm from California

3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

Visited on St. Patrick's Day: Monday, March 17th, 2008 at about 1:00pm.

Other reviewers have noted the theme of the restaurant as San Francisco, and they're right. The main room features a large mock up of the Golden Gate Bridge you can walk under, as well as booths that appear to be carved out of (faux) rock. The inevitable flat screens tuned to every English language sports channel stare out at patrons of the bar area, which is spacious and open.

I had a chicken rigatoni dish that was very tasty. The beer sampler, however, was six watery and almost-flavorless brews that left me disappointed. I was also left wondering why they didn't have a stout on draft for St. Paddy's Day...

The bartender (a charming girl named Stephanie) was also my waitress. She made sure to call me "love" every time she came by. Service was prompt, friendly and correct.

Alcatraz seems to fall into the same trap as most brewpubs I have visited; their beer is the weakest link in the overall experience.

Don't go to Alcatraz for the beer. As a restaurant in the TGIFridays range, though, it's perfectly acceptable.

Mar 18, 2008
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Floydster from California

3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stopped here while shopping at the Block of Orange with my girlfriend and parents, picked up a growler of a seasonal called Black Velvet that was supposedly a half and half mix of a porter and lager, I think the price was around fourteen dollars for the beer and glass, pints were right under five dollars, they had five of their own beers on tap that included an india pale ale, oatmeal stout, pilsner, and some kind of rye beer, did not try the food because we ate at our favorite spot TK a little later, only stayed in there for about twenty minutes, cool atmosphere that resembles San Francisco, pretty crowded on a week night around six, plan on going back and trying their other beers and most likely one of the juicy burgers I saw go by, this place was really clean and had a could feel overall, service was good and they were helpful when I was asking about their beer offerings, even gave me a piece of paper with the description of each on it, my dad enjoyed the beer more than I did but I will need another visit to see what their others are like, food was in the eight to fifteen dollar range for the most part, they have a happy hour Monday through Friday where pints are three bucks and some change, cool place for a brewing company and perfect for guys like myself who rather go have a brewskie rather than shop with the ladies, check this out if you are in Orange County!

Feb 23, 2008
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Located at The Block in Orange, Alcatraz Brewing has a unique niche in the area of being the place for microbrewed beer. The building was big and spacious with lots of seating at both the restaurant and the bar. I came in at lunch, so it was pretty emtpy. Not surprisingly, themes of San Francisco are dispalyed. A mini-replica of the Golden Gate Bridge hangs from the ceiling, as does a Chinese dragon. A painting of the SF landscape is displayed on one of the walls.

The bartender was very knowledgable about the beers, even the seasonal beers and their release seasons. They have about half a dozen year round brews and two sesonal brews. I helped myself to their seasonal brews for spring, which I really enjoyed. Pints ran for $4.75, but during happy hour they run for $3.50. One gallon growlers are available if you wanted to take home any of their beer. The Block in Orange is a big magnet for teenaged kids, so if you have any and want to let them run around while you go off on your own, this would be a good choice for a hangout.

Jun 02, 2007
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IntriqKen from California

2.66/5  rDev -23.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

Granted, it was a Friday night and Friday night in Orange County is hard to get into anyplace, but....
Service was slow....
Atmosphere was good with seperate sections set up with different SF themes....Haight Ashbury...Golden Gate...etc.
Beer was disappointingly 'average'. Had a Pils that seemed pushed to create the Pils style by adding lemon or 'lemon grass' rather than natural hops for the bitterness, leaving a dry, powdery and fake aftertaste as if the brew had been made entirely with extracts.
Decent, but somehow cheap in the brewpub sense.
Too busy..too crowded...too expensive....too many other really fine brewpubs in the area to waste time or money on this one.

Mar 17, 2007
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SwillinBrew from California

3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

I stopped by here on a hot SoCal weekday on my way to Lucky Strikes for a company event.

It's pretty cool inside. Large open area with a long bar on the right as you walk in and the restaurant towards the back and a patio outside, behind bar area per se. (perfect day to watch the sweeties walk by). The ceilings are high up and there's a san francisco look to it. Quite nice actually. The service was shit, but improved a little later. Being it was mid day on a weekday, i was the only one at the bar and it took me 5min 37 secs to get a beer. (i timed it on my cell phone). Bartender told me he'd be right with me but instead cleaned glasses, delivered food, and kept busy. Later he was pretty attentive... i hope so, i was the only one at the bar! The selection was rather solid as they had all the popular styles on about 9 taps. I had their IPA and it was damn good, but this isnt a review of their beers. See the beer reviews for that, i'm reviewing the place. I'll have to come back here and try the food and other beers. (I ended up having a second pint of the IPA.)

Apr 22, 2006
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PuckLSHS from Iowa

3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This Alcatraz Brewing Co is located in the middle of Orange County in Orange, CA. It is located at a place called "The Block" and is extremely popular for people around the area. The crowd is 20-30 somethings at the bar and has a pretty nice family atmosphere in the restaurant. The decor is San Francisco landmark and the wait staff is extremely nice. We are, afterall, near Disneyland, so I think the "happiest place on earth" has rubbed off on these people.

Since I have been here countless times, I am pretty used to the beers and the people. I am not a huge fan of their beers...they are somewhat watered down tasting at times and they don't really have anything big. When I was first drinking beer, I was a fan of their Hef and Berry Wheat. I still order these at times, but find their IPA to be quite good to cut the California heat on a hot day.

The food here is rather good. The nachos are great and the fish tacos go very well with their IPA. The brewmaster is actually a very nice guy and likes to get feedback on his stuff. The bar is not stocked with beer geeks, but the kids know about the drinks and are happy to make suggestions.

If you are in the area, it is worth a stop in.

Apr 19, 2006
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amatuerbeerguy from Oklahoma

3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Nice setting, San Francisco themed, there is one in Indianapolis and Orange, but not SF. Decent quality had sampler, seven beers in it, choice nitrogenated stout to have pint of. Service was nice, although sat for 10 minutes before being served, but after that the bartender and the brewer were very attentive. Brewer over heard me talking about the beer to the people I was with and offered tour. Which I duely agreed to. Also had nice discussion about Brettamyces and the other myces, with there place in the brewing industry and homebrewing. Food did not have any. Selection of sevens beers was for my experience average for microbrewery. Well that is what I like to see at one at least seven. But overall a nice visit, went after St Patty's day. But it is worth a try if in the area.

Mar 26, 2006
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Dukeofearl from California

3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Spent an hour and a half here the other day while my finacee tried to buy out the mall where this place is located. In general, it's a standard themed brew pub with full bar and menu to be a restaurant as well. Open, San Francisco-themed (moreso than Alcatraz itself), with lots of Chinese, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz-type decor. Reasonable enough, it also gives them a basis for naming their beer. Obviously brewed on site, the brew equipment is prominantly displayed behind glass. The brewer was working when I was there, but didn't get a chance to talk to him- he was pretty upset about a brew gone bad (so I heard from some employees talking) and probably wasn't in the mind to talk to the customers.

Beer is pretty standard brewpub-type selection with something for everyone, a light (blonde?) ale, a weiss, a pale ale, a red, and a couple of brewers specials (right now, a chocolate dark ale and a honey blonde, the first pretty good, the second was not for me). I focused on the pale ale (by the bartender gave me samples of the others- my BA shirt let him know I was serious). The Pale Ale was prettydecent- one of the better local Pales I've had, had some similarities to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Overall, not a bad place at all. It's a mixed blessing that it's near one of the all-time great places- Hollingshead Deli. If I had a choice, there would be no choice. That aside, this place is decent and worth a stop.

Jan 29, 2006
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rowew from Colorado

3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Stopped here for a sampler while shopping at the Block. Located in the middle of an outdoor shopping mall area, so there are a fair amount of teenie boppers running around. The bar is decorated with San Francisco paraphanelia. Beer is decent - nothing fantastic, but certainly worth drinking. Unfortunately the night we stopped by the bartender had a bit of an attitude. Service was still timely, but the attitude of the bartender certainly didn't make us want to hang out too much longer. Menu looked interesting, but a bit pricey.

Jan 29, 2005
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KingSlender from California

3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Alcatraz is located right in the middle of The Block at Orange, and is a perfect stopping point after a long day of shopping (with the wife of course). I've been here on a few different occasions and each time they've had many different styles on tap. The beers are nothing to write home about, but good enough to drink over (and over) again. In my opinion the Pale was the best of the bunch. The food is good. I believe I had a bar-b-que pizza the last time I was there and it was great. Hit up Alzatraz before or after an Angels game which is only a few blocks away.

Feb 05, 2004
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ChappyCubsFan from California

3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Located in the outside mall they call "The Block", and just about a 1/4 mile from the famous Crystal Cathedral where Anaheim, Orange and Garden Grove all converge. It's a great looking place from the outside with props and a motif to bring the prison's notorious atmosphere to life. It has a nice long bar looking out a big picture window to give you a view of the foot traffic outside at the mall. There are also plenty of TV's available with sports programs. The eating room is separated from the bar. I've tried three of their beers: the IPA, pale ale and stout. I've found nothing extraordinary, but the beers are good. This is a good place to visit if you are heading to or from an event in Anaheim.

Jan 02, 2004
Alcatraz Brewing Co. in Orange, CA
Brewery rating: 3.24 out of 5 with 0 ratings