Tower of Terror? Nah, Tower of great food and local craft beer!
As summer is once again upon us, visiting a theme park is probably in your plans. Living a mile from Disneyland, I usually direct out-of-towners to nearby breweries and craft beer friendly gastropubs (read a piece I was featured in All About Beer Magazine May 2012 issue about the subject page 1 / page 2). As Disneyland California Adventure (DCA) re-opened with new rides and food options, a true imagineer had the forethought to add fresh local beer to the menu, some of which is brewed a mile away!
Upon entering DCA, you now enter Buena Vista street, a classy throwback to an era when Walt first arrived in California. Street cars ding-ding, newspapers sit on a newsstand, and cast members taunt about with 20’s style costumes. At the end of the street becons the Carthay Theatre, which is actually a lounge and restaurant. The lounge offers moderately priced tapas style snacks and a modest local craft beer selection. Upon opening, here what was available:
Salted Nuts in a flight of Anaheim Gold, Hefeweizen, and 1888.
On Draft: A flight of Anaheim Brewery – Gold, Hefeweizen, and 1888 (California Common) / Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA and Karl Strauss Red Trolly Ale.
In Bottes: The Bruery Loakal Red and Saison Rue / Stone Brewing Co. Smoked Porter / Lagunitas Pils and Censored Ale (shocked Disney let that one in) / Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout / Firestone Walker DBA / North Coast Red Seal, Pranqster, Brother Thelonious, and Acme Pale Ale.
Although it’s great to have all California brewed options and a good variety of styles, the North Coast beers are head scratchers. I don’t necessarily dislike that brand, but more love could have been given to SoCal. I would have put Noble Ale Works Alpha Red instead of Red Seal, Bootleggers Golden Chaos instead of Pranqster, A Lost Abbey beer in place of Brother Thelonious, and Hangar 24 Orange Wheat or Stone Pale Ale instead of Acme Pale Ale. Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout I would have tossed in Green Flash Double Stout. The Bruery Loakal Red is a nice addition as it’s only available in Orange County. This may sound like I’m complaining, and I’m not, it’s just that out of towners may prefer actual local beer, and I don’t consider northern California as part of that. Firestone Walker is my cut off point. Shitty light-American lager IS available, but not advertised or displayed anywhere. I love that they bootlegged the macro in the back…well done, Walt. The prices were similar to an average bar, shockingly not theme park high. ($7ish)
Inside the Carthay Lounge
The Carthay Lounge itself is a classy bar. Along with the CA Craft beer, custom mixed cocktails and various n/a crafted beverages are available for the wee ones. Sitting in there enjoying a flight I didn’t feel like I was sitting inside of Disneyland.
Elsewhere in the park, Craft beer is still available at the Karl Strauss Beer Truck, which serves 5 drafts. Red Trolly, Windansea Hef, Tower 10 IPA, Endless Summer Light, and a Seasonal. Currently Pintail Pale Ale is the seasonal.
Bayside Brews (Previous blog post here) has a couple Karl options as well as Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Ariels Grotto has the Cove Bar with a few Samuel Adams, Widmer, and Guinness type options.
If you happen to be coming in from out of town, I still would be happy to give recommendations!