Taft Beer Guide: Your Taft guide to beer, beer bars, breweries and brewpubs

Latest reviews from Taft

74 /100 508 CENTER ST
“Visited February 5, 2015.

This was actually a third attempt to get here during business hours, though on one of those I didn’t bother making the trek inland from 5 because they weren’t answering the phones. This time I just barely made it, about 15 minutes before closing time. It’s a pretty nice place but it’s frustrating as hell to get here during business hours if you don’t live in the area or aren’t working in the oil fields in the area. First off they seem to have 2 Facebook pages, neither of which are up to date on things like business hours or contact info. The one even has the wrong phone number. If you call it you get the local newspaper office. Then there’s the fact that they’re only open until 7pm on weekdays, and 2 on Sundays. It really seems more like a lunch time spot (deli) that happens to have a small brewing system. Oh, and it’s 20 miles west of I-5 just north of where 5 and 99 split at the south end of the San Joaquin Valley. You either take hwy 166 west through Maricopa and north on 33, which might actually be a better bet as it’s probably a bigger and better maintained road, or you can do as I did both times and trust the GPS and take the little 2 lane Copus Road and head through 16 miles of nothing and another 5 miles of orchards and oil fields. Driving the old Pontiac shitbox on this road at 70 mph with headlights that don’t work well at night is an interesting proposition. The time I drove it in the day was a little better. All this to get to a little town of 7500 people and a 3 bbl brew house.

They are not making a lot of beer, nor are they making particularly good beer, but at the same time it’s a bit of an oasis in that sense. The owner saw me on my phone at the bar and asked how I rated his beers. I hadn’t rated anything at that point but we did strike up a conversation about how he’s looking to bring good beer to the area. On that front he’s doing alright as he has a lot of guest beers available. Only one guest tap but they have plenty of bottles. They have a nice display of growlers on the wall behind the counter and some glasses and bottles. There are some small tables around the place and a couple out on the patio. They’re actually in the process of taking over the next unit over and have moved the little brew system out of the basement and into that area for now. If you walk to the back to the bathroom you’ll see a lot of the construction going on. The place is right next to a Fox theater so I imagine that they’ll get some stragglers coming in for a beer or a sandwich.

On the subject of a sandwich my BLTA (avocado) was pretty good at about $7. Thursday’s special was a tri tip sandwich which always sounds good but I don’t trust any restaurant to make good trip tip if it’s been pre-sliced. Way too dry. Prices on tasters were pretty good. You get a couple ounce mini globe (like Firestone has) for $1, so I tried all four house beers. The IPA was the worst with some noticeable green apple flavors and the milk stout was probably the best. The amber and the brown were in between. Minus the IPA none had a lot of off flavors. The service was friendly and the lady behind the counter had no problem with pouring me beers and making me a sandwich so close to closing time. We got off on the wrong foot though as an hour before I arrived I called to see when last call was and all I got was "huh?". I asked if this was the brewpub in Taft and I got "what?". Turns out that English isn’t her first language.

I might return sometime to see more of the area. The owner told me that there is a festival in September that only happens once every 5 years called Oildorado. The drive north from there through the hills is pretty nice as well. It’s a whole biome that I wasn’t aware existed (looks like the badlands). Might be a fun trip on the motorcycle.“
t0rin0 2170 days ago
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