Karl Strauss opens its tenth brewery

Number ten is in Anaheim, and downtown L.A. is next

Karl Strauss opened its tenth brewery, this one in Anaheim.
  • Karl Strauss opened its tenth brewery, this one in Anaheim.

San Diego's oldest craft beer enterprise just opened its tenth brewing location, and its eleventh should be online before the end of the year.

August 22 marked the official opening date of Karl Strauss Brewing Company's new Anaheim brewpub (2390 East Orangewood Avenue). Anaheim mayor Tom Tait was on hand to welcome the brewery to his city, and even lent a helping hand to clean the brewery's mash tun.

The new restaurant's location seems like a sure bet — it sits across the street from Angel Stadium. But there's another good reason for Karl Strauss to expand its presence in Orange County.

"The craft beer scene in Anaheim is exploding and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it!" says Karl Strauss president and co-founder Matt Rattner. Indeed, the craft brewing scene in and around Anaheim has been growing, in both size and stature. There are more than a dozen breweries in the immediate vicinity, including award winners Noble Ale Works, Bottle Logic, The Bruery, and TAPS Fish House.

Karl Strauss brewer Steven Hicks was tapped to be head brewer at the new brewpub. He'll split time working at the company's production facility in Bay Ho and making the commute to Anaheim to produce beers at the new 15-barrel brew house. That's standard procedure for the Karl Strauss brew team, which treats its brewpub locations as research and development sites.

“We’re excited to expand our small batch program, said Karl Strauss brewmaster Matt Johnson, "We give our brewers the freedom to experiment on our satellite systems and it’s proven very helpful in landing our next big release, like Aurora Hoppyalis or Mosaic Session IPA.” Aside from its production brewery, Karl Strauss operates five brewpubs within San Diego.

Anaheim makes Karl Strauss' fourth active brewery outside of San Diego, including brewpubs in Temecula, Costa Mesa, and at the Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles (A previous location inside LAX closed three years ago). By late fall, the 27-year-old beer company plans to open an eleventh brewery in another rapidly growing craft beer destination, downtown Los Angeles (600 Wilshire Boulevard).

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And ever-so-gradually, the upstart brewer of specialty brews goes big time. Soon the rebel operation, the one that introduced the public to beer that actually had a taste, becomes a corporate, centrally managed one itself.

My advice to those who value and treasure these craft and micro-breweries, enjoy them while you can. If the big guys don't snap them up, they'll grow into something that you won't recognize very soon.

Stone is moving far and fast in that direction. In fact, I don't think of it as an upstart any more; it's just another corporate brewer. Strauss isn't far behind.

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