Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss Brewing CompanyKarl Strauss Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

901A South Coast Dr
Costa Mesa, California, 92626
United States

(714) 546-2739 | map

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Added by xlperro

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 32
Photo of opwog
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

OK, since the recent restructuring of their beer prices and serving sizes, I have to admit that this has changed things a lot in regards to the value that KS use to provide. Maybe we were greedy enjoying 20 ounce glasses of Imperial Stout at happy hour for $4, but for fans of higher octane beers, the prices increased while the quantities on all servings went down (over 6% is now in a goblet). I understand this pricing when I go to places like Beachwood where everything is a guest beer, but I have a harder time swallowing this dramatic of a change from an actual brew pub.

But aside form the pricing, I have to say that this KS has some of the best staff that I have found anywhere. The waitresses are given a generic blurb to say about each beer, but that is still better than many brew pubs. The bartenders are the best in the business. Friendly and right on top of everybody's needs. The food is also several steps above most brew pubs, but again it can get pricey for a brew pub.

A big plus to this brew pub, that many bars are catching on to, is the free wireless internet. It has been many a late afternoon where I have been able to leave the office and belly up for happy hour and finish my work from the bar. Also, this is right at the base of a movie complex, so it makes the perfect stop for food and beers before or after a movie.

If you stop by check out Steve-o behind the bar. He has been at this KS since it opened and is a staple in the area, having worked many years before at the now closed Birra Porrettis that was just down the road. This guy could write the book on bartending. One cool guy.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Visited the Karl Strauss locale in Costa Mesa on 8/7/08 at about 4:50 during their monthly cask night. Located just northeast of the Fairview exit off the 405, it is very easy to find off South Coast drive. Parking is free, parked in the lot, much like an exagerrated strip mall. Had 2 pints of the Stargazer IPA on cask and a pint of the Black Lager on-tap, both solid brewpub offerings. For food I had the calamari, tasty, but nothing to blow your mind, just a good appetizer. Service was great, the bartender was attentive, engaging and on the ball with my order. 3 pints, 2 on cask and food only cost me $20, granted it was during happy hour, but it was a great deal. Will definitely go back to this locale.

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Photo of Floydster
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Located in outdoor mall off the 405 Freeway, take the Bristol Street exit, near a Nordstrom Rack, movie theater, and Barnes and Noble bookstore

Stopped here this morning and they let me in fifteen minutes before they even opened, really nice staff and I was the only customer in there along with my parents the whole time

Told me I could try as many tasters as I wanted free of charge, that seemed quite generous but they must not have known how much I could have potentially tasted

Picked up of a half gallon growler of their specialty release, wheat wine for twelve dollars, the lady told me it would only cost eight dollars per refill of any beer now that I own the glass which is a great price

Enjoyed a pint of Balboa's Vintage Barleywine for around four dollars while I was there, but it was too early to try any other beers at that point

Did not try any of their food, but the menu looked good and also reasonably priced, especially the different steaks and chicken dishes, and I would definitely go back to see what all that was about,

They had ten taps in all, four seasonals which was nice to see, they included: Padre Porter, Russian Imperial Stout, and the two beers mentioned above

The other six beers conisted of Red Trolley, Stargazer IPA, Amber Lager, Woodie Gold, Windansea Wheat, and Endless Summer Light, most of these are available in six packs locally as well

Prices were good on pints, in between four and five dollars, like I said before the food prices looked fair, I like to see the specialty beers not costing a significant amount more than the others, always a plus

This was the first Karl Strauss location I have visited and it was a great experience, I plan on going to others in the future, great service, nice people, good prices, great beer, and an all around fun experience

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I had a wonderful experience here.
Drove up to the front and had valet parking for the price of a pint.
Service was extrodenary...waiter has been working there for 4 years and was very knowledgeable about the beers offered.
Food was wonderful and the atmosphere was comfortably upper class.
Enjoying three hours there in a t-shirt and blue jeans with a friend was just as comfortable as if I had been in a suit.
I'll review the beers seperately, only to say the sampler consists of your choice of 6 five oz. samples from their menu. Big enough so that you can honestly make a determination on the beers. Growlers are only $9.95 with $6.95 refills and they even offer a full gallon growler (didn't check on the price).
I loved the afternoon and will make it a point to go back often...starting with the 3rd thursday of each month when they hold a fricken party...tapping a tradional small keg.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Costa Mesa Karl Strauss is located across the street from South Coast Plaza, so it is in a shopping area with a lot of glitz and with a pretty snooty clientelle. The atmosphere in the restaurant is a nice break from that. The people and attitude were down to earth and casual. I ordered a six beer sampler and the "taster" size beers were much bigger than any samplers I have had anywhere else. I didn't ask, but I bet they were six ounces or more; those at most other places are 3 or 4 ounces. It was nice to be able to choose six beers as well rather than getting a standard set of six. (At other breweries I've paid about $5 for six three ouncers, here it was about $9 for six six ouncers, which is a better deal.) I had the Windansea Hefeweizen, the Amber Lager, the Trolley Red, The DAD Brown, the Barleywine, and the Oatmeal Stout. I usually like Hefeweizen, but didn't like this one. It was stonger than most, both in flavor and alcohol. The Amber was better but not great. The Red was better than the Amber, but still not great. The Barleywine was strong and sharp, but not as good as the last barleywine I had (at Pizza Port in Carlsbad).

The bartender was great (and his assistant bartender was beautiful!). There was some kind of keg tapping party going on when I got there. Apparently they made a special dry hopped keg of their IPA where they put a bunch of hops directly into the keg. The bartender brought me a taster of this creation for free (and re-filled it later--for free again). I don't usually like IPAs all that much, but this was very flavorful, very, very hoppy, darker than most IPAs and probably the best, most interesting beer I had all night. With the two extra tasters I wasn't even able to finish my brown ale and my oatmeal stout. Neither of them was fantastic, though, so I didn't mind.

I had the BBQ pork sandwich and liked it a lot. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the beers. Several of them had a kind of dirty aftertaste that I didn't like. I'll try it again in a year or so and see how I like it then.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went to dinner here the other day and thought i'd do a review since i forgot how much i do like this place. Some folks dont care for Karl Straus because it's too corporate per se, but this place good.

When you walk in the bar area is right in front greeting you like a big horseshoe with dining areas to both sides. The bar always seems to be busy with a good vibe and always seems to be pretty gals around. I certainly dont mind. The waitresses are nice and actually somewhat knowledgeable of the brew. The beer selection is that they have about one of every style. Everytime i've been here they always have one of their brewers selection on tap, whether it be the barelywine, special stout or whatever and that's what i drink. I havent been let down yet... maybe i'd better review the brew next time. The food is good and the portions are adequate with the price not being cheap but reasonable. Good place to have a pint before you go see a movie next door... or bring a date here. She'll like it and you can have a good brew.

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Photo of rowew
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Located in an outdoor mall area, so it can be a bit hectic finding parking, etc. Modern decor with a nice large patio area. Bartenders were very friendly and attentive. Decent happy hour specials, but the sampler was a bit pricey. All of the beers were quite tasty - even the golden had a bit of hop flavor to it. All in all a decent spot to grab a beer. The food menu looked outstanding, but we didn't actually try it. If you are dragged to the shopping area, you definitely should stop by. Modern feel is a bit stand-offish, but the quality of the beer and the friendly staff make up for this.

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Karl Strauss Brewing Company in Costa Mesa, CA
3.64 out of 5 based on 35 ratings.
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