Taps Fish House & Brewery

Taps Fish House & BreweryTaps Fish House & Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

101 East Imperial Highway
Brea, California, 92821
United States

(714) 257-0101 | map

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 40
Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of PuckLSHS
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
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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3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My perception of Taps has been declining steadily. Great brews with an interesting rotation are their strongest assets. My poor marks for service are misdirected. The service is good but management policys and decisions suck. I attended their beer dinners last fall '03 and spring '04, both were wonderful. I get a heads up from the brewer last August that the next dinner would be in October. So I try to stay tuned (call and ask, watch the website, etc.) as they fill quickly. The OC Register runs a story a week or so before the event (I missed the article) and the dinner books up immediately. My patronage (and others I know) to the previous events that have grown in popularity is in mgmts rear view mirror. Next bad experience: I pick up a growler of pumpkin ale for Thanksgiving with the anticipation of returning on Tuesday 1/2 price refill night advertised on the board behind the bar. I loved the pumpkin ale. I finally get around to returning with my growler on a tuesday and get short shrift about the offer being cancelled as of late. The bartender says that some people were abusing the offer. Instead of taking a tough stance and punishing (saying no) to the abusers, management shuts it down on everyone. I felt like I was in 3rd grade all over again. Managers are paid to be the bad guy now and again and they need to stand up to customers that get out of line. I'll return again for a beer or for Sunday brunch (and a beer) but I will no longer frequent the joint.

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Photo of ChappyCubsFan
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Taps Fish House & Brewery in Brea, CA
3.77 out of 5 based on 1,021 ratings.
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