Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yeah, But Where's The Root Beer?

Bootleggers Brewery 
401 S Richman Ave 
Fullerton, CA 92832 
Tasting Room Open 
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

I am not ashamed to admit this...I love Root Beer and I am always on the look out for a Great Root Beer.

This is why I really miss the old A&W Root Beer in my hometown of Fullerton where a Jack In the Box now sits near the corner of Orangethorpe and Lemon. They had the best Root Beer in my humble opinion.

I was telling my friend this and he suggested that most of the Microbreweries make Root Beers. I thought to myself.. I bet Bootleggers in my Hometown makes root beer.

So I found myself in the Bootleggers Brewery one Sunday afternoon asking for a Root Beer...preferably in a Frosty Mug....with an A&W Cheese Burger.

The other reason I thought I could pull this off successfully and there would actually be root beer at Bootleggers, is because if you are going to go with the Prohibition theme, then you remember that Root Beer was a byproduct of the Prohibition-era when breweries had to come up with Non-Alcoholic drinks.

Before the young man behind the counter almost laughed me out of the establishment, I started looking around and determined this has to be one of the coolest places in a city full of cool places.

It's like 31 Flavors in there...for Beer.

Bootleggers offers about 15 different types of Beer and Ale but the most interesting one to me was one they call Black Phoenix.

Black Phoenix mixes rich bold coffee with the smoky flavors of chipotle peppers, giving it just a touch of heat. To add a fresh and Orange County feel to it they had local Orange County coffee house, Kean Coffee, a derivative of Diedtrichs Coffee, custom roast a batch for Bootleggers. Notes of chocolate complement this complex and bold stout.

Then there are the seasonal brews. During the autumn they have the Pumpkin Ale. During Christmas they have the Chocolate Mint Porter and during the Spring they have the Mountain Meadow.

Now, during the summer, they are serving what they call a Wildfire Wheats.

I became fascinated with the microbrewery process several years ago, when my friend Jay started it as a hobby out of his garage and he would tell me how he would come up with different flavors he was experimenting with.

Then on one train trip I took to Seattle from Fullerton I sat by a gentleman who had a six pack of what was called an Orange County Ale made from the orange blossoms from Orange County, CA. I thought that was interesting how you could pick up on the particular flavors from a geographical area.

Aaron Barkenhagen, the owner and founder of Bootleggers in Fullerton, started brewing out of his house when he was 19 and perfected his craft for about two years before he started selling commercially in 2008.

"I was the neighborhood supplier for a couple years, and the thing that stuck out in my mind was that my friends said it was so good that they would buy it if I sold it."

And so he did and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward four years and many awards for their craftsmanship and artistry in brewing, later and the little Microbrewery at the end of Richman and to the railroad tracks is bursting at the seams and ready for expansion to larger facilities in town. There are also plans for new tasting rooms in the downtown Fullerton area and Bootleggers is now served at Anaheim Stadium during Angels Games.

Since they have brews made out of different things like coffee and other things I thought it would only be fitting that Bootleggers came up with a special Fullerton brew.

This would include coffee from McClains, Steamers, Max Blooms, mixed with Oranges from the remaining Orange trees of Fullerton residents, diamond dust from Amerige Park and Goodwin Field, Ground up Jacaranda blossoms, and of course, the yolk from an Ostrich Egg.

Maybe we'll leave the Ostrich egg out.

But I am serious about the Root Beer thing. 

As for me on that Sunday afternoon, I stopped by the Albertsons in Fullerton and picked me up a liter of A&W Root Beer.

Now if I could just remember to put those mugs in the freezer.

1 comment:

Doug Vehle said...

Another byproduct of prohibition would be- - - Apple cider. All that was around before was called hard cider. Alcoholic. Best known from the "Tippycanoe and Tyler too" election, also known as "The Hard Cider Campaign," as William Henry Harrison stumped with barrels of the stuff at every stop and was just passing it out to everyone. Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman was known for his trees that only grew apples suitable for alcohol.

So with the alcohol banned, it was time for the 'Near beer' version and apple cider was born. Speakeasy's often served it with rum or another alcohol mixed in. The effect was unpopular, which is speculated for the reason hard cider never had a resurgence when prohibition was lifted.