San Clemente-based Left Coast Brewery is expanding to Irvine with a small-batch production facility, tasting room and barbecue restaurant.
“We want people to come in for the beer and be blown away with unbelievable barbecue,” said Tommy Hadjis, general manager for Left Coast.
The 5,300-square foot Irvine brewery and restaurant, set to open in January at Sand Canyon Plaza, will be an experimental arm of Left Coast’s larger 30-barrel brewery in San Clemente.
Irvine’s five-barrel system will allow Left Coast to produce more small batch beers including Hazy IPAs, a controversial style of pale ale that is exploding in popularity. These cloudy IPAs are more aromatic and less hoppy than a filtered IPA.
They will also be distilling on site Vodka, Gin, Unaged Whiskey, Unaged Rum and more. Cocktails will be available on site and bottled spirits will be available to go.
Of the 25 taps in Irvine, 10 will be dedicated to experimental beers produced on site. The rest will feature Left Coast’s core year-round and seasonal beers made in San Clemente including Trestles (American IPA), Hop Juice (Triple IPA) and Asylum (Belgian-style Tripel).
A fast-casual menu of Kansas City-style barbecue will feature smoked brisket, pulled pork, chicken and ribs. Side dishes include chili made with brisket burnt ends, smoked brisket fries and pulled pork macaroni and cheese.
The restaurant will have about 104 dining room seats, in addition to 24 seats in a 650-square foot patio that is being built by the Irvine Co., Hadjis said.
Left Coast is one of Orange County’s oldest craft beer breweries. The Hadjis family also owns and operates San Clemente-based Oggi’s Pizza and Brewery. The pizza chain began brewing beer for its Southern California pizza parlors in 2004.
In 2008, the family launched Left Coast as a separate craft brew brand, which the brewery still produces, Hadjis said. Left Coast is a regional brewery focusing on distribution in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
The Irvine production facility is at 6652 Irvine Center Drive. It joins at least one other brewery in the city. Evans Brewing, formerly Bayhawk Ales, has a production facility in Irvine, but no tasting room. Lamppost Pizza, at 14450 Culver Drive, previously brewed its Backstreet Brewery brand in Irvine. However, the company relocated its Orange County production facility to Anaheim.