Orange, CA / Alcatraz Brewery

After finishing with my client today, I walked across the street to The Block: a big shopping mall in Orange.  It’s an outdoor mall complete with a 30-screen movie theatre, two video game palaces (Dave and Busters and Powerhouse), restaurants, and mostly upper-crust stores.  I wandered around a bit shaking my head at the excess.  The things people will spend their money on!  I walked into a store called “As Seen on TV,” where they sell Thigh Masters, Salad Shooters, and similar TV-marketed gimmicks–hundreds of items that you could hardly believe people would actually buy.  I did a double-take when I saw the Oxygen Bar.  You pay $6 for five minutes of purified air infused with whatever scent you like.  No, I’m not kidding.

I had dinner at the Alcatraz Brewing Company there at the Block.  The food was nothing spectacular, but the beer brewed on site was excellent.  With dinner I had the Big House Red.  Served on nitrogen (carbonated with a 70/30 nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture), it was smooth, slightly bitter, with a slight caramel malt taste.  After dinner I ordered their Winterfest beer.  At 8% alcohol I expected it to have a bite.  Nope.  Smooth and very tasty.  If you’re in Orange and you get the chance, visit the Alcatraz Brewing Company.