In the past 10 years or so Southern California has earned a reputation as a world class beer destination. While San Diego has done most of the heavy lifting in gaining that reputation, Orange County is quickly picking up the slack.

With solid breweries popping up throughout the county the shear volume of good local beer options has shot through the roof in recent years. Bottle Logic, Noble Ale Works and Bootleggers all come to mind, but for me, one brewery has catapulted themselves to the forefront of the Orange County beer scene and it’s the Bruery.

Placentia’s finest purveyors of delicious beer first opened its doors in 2008 and they have not looked back. With the massive popularity of beers like Black Tuesday and Chocolate Rain along with a very well respected sour program, which was recently separated into a separate brand under the name Bruery Terruex, The Bruery is hands down the flagship brewery for the area.

The Bruery Rueuze bottle

With the sizable stash of The Bruery beers I have horded over the years and as often as I seem to be writing for Tenemu, I was very surprise to realize that today’s review is only the second offering from The Bruery I have opened up with my review hat on.  Rueuze is the Bruery’s cleverly named take on a gueuze, a blend of one-, two- and three-year-old lambics. The Bruery has blended various vintages of there sour blonde ale to create this yearly release.

The beer pours what you would expect from the style, a hazy golden color with an thin off white soapy head. As I pour  I start to get whiffs of the signature Bruery house culture. Noticeable acidity, a big earthy funk, lemon, sour green apples and a hint of barrel. I recently reviewed a Hanssens Lambic that had a huge parmesan cheese character that is common in traditional lambics. While this beer has a big earthy fukiness it is quite different than the Hanssens. Rueuze has a much more subtle funk that balances well with the fruit and acidity. It is a beer that I find myself smelling over and over in between sips.

The Bruery Rueuze

With my first sip I once again get that big signature The Bruery sour profile. The beer is hugely sour and yet the acidity doesn’t completely overpower the beer. Tart lemons and green apples are present along with the aforementioned funkiness. Stone fruit, a touch of vinegar, oak and a pleasant salinity all help round out the flavors. The tartness lingers into the finish leaving me wanting another sip which leads to me quickly polishing off a 750ml bottle without help.1

The Bruery Rueuze
BREWERY: The Bruery
LOCATION: Placentia, Calif.
STYLE: American Wild Ale
ABV: 5.6 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $16
RELEASE DATE: January 2016
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottle
Being a member of The Bruery Reserve Society for the past four years I have been able to try almost all of the offerings they have produced. I have found most of them enjoyable—Roble Blanco and L'Dercola being the most recent exceptions, but come on, did anyone like those beers? Rueuze is one of the few that I really look forward to each year. While I do not put it on the same tier as most of the traditional Belgian gueuzes I find this to be an outstanding American sour beer that is a staple in my fridge. This beer makes it very easy for me to drink local and support my neighborhood brewery.
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