Backstreet Brewery

A few days after finishing our reviews of four other breweries, just when we were missing our weekly excuse to pub crawl, we came across the Backstreet Brewery in Irvine. There are eight of these breweries around Southern California, made a part of Lamppost Pizza joints.

ST and I were immediately impressed with the ambiance of the place. It has a small, pub-like atmosphere that is a far cry from the enormity of BJ’s Brewhouse. Not all of the locations are breweries, but the Irvine location is. The brewery locations split duties on the various beers instead of trying to brew them all at all locations.

The sampler of six beers costs $6.03, and the samples are four ounces each. We would have preferred some guide that explained what we were drinking.  Here are our impressions of the beers at Backstreet Brewery.

Crossroads Creme Ale

This light colored ale has a citrus taste and good mouthfeel. The finish was very odd, with an unidentifiable taste. Give this one a pass.

AP – 5+
ST – 5

Heritage Hefeweizen

Nice wheaty, citrus nose and taste. Of all the Hefeweizens we sampled on our pub crawls, this was our favorite.

AP – 7+
ST – 7

Jagged Little Pilsner

This German style pilsner had a malty taste with a nice hop nose. ST was impressed at first, but the finish grew to be a little too harsh.

AP – 6
ST – 6+

Hep Kat Pale Ale

A West Coast style American pale ale. This beer has a pleasant malt-citrus taste. Slightly more interesting than the Jagged Little Pilsner. Nice dry aftertaste.

AP – 7+
ST – 6+

Rita Red Ale

This red ale has a nice roasted flavor, but the finish missed the mark. We wouldn’t turn one down, but there are much better reds around town.

AP – 6+
ST – 7

Cal Azul-Mexicano Cerveza Agria

Try ordering that ten times fast.  This is a very different beer, and is ranked by its unusual nature, understanding that this beer would get cloying fast if you push the drinkability.  According to the menu, this beer is “brewed with blue corn and lime leaves.”  Very complex and interesting and worth a visit.

AP – 8
ST – 8.5

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