Brewery Name: Ritual
Brewery Location: Redlands, CA
Famous Beers: Hellion Belgian Golden Ale, Hop-o-Matic
They've got a huge taproom, smart staff, and are right next to Wild Donkey which makes it a great place to hang for the day. There's a solid beer lineup to be found here, and from their website it looks like they have some interesting beers on tap now. When I was there, I though it was a bit “lacking” on the creative side.
Pretty much in the middle of nowhere in Redlands, so make sure you have your GPS turned on. It's right on the corner of some random office buildings, across from some empty fields. If you hit Wild Donkey, you've gone too far.
This is pretty much the biggest taproom I've been to. There are huge ceilings, and all of the gigantic fermenters/boilers don't even reach the ceiling. In most taprooms I feel like they've rented the smallest place possible and stuff the equipment in there.
Personally, I thought it was pretty cool, but the buddy I went with didn't like it so much. I liked the industrial, open feel to the place. Flights were served on really nice paddles, and there was plenty of seating.
There's was even a game section, but I found that quite annoying, which is my main ‘complaint' if it counts as one. I like to drink, chat, and just be in a chilled out environment. I know some people enjoy the commotion of a bustling brewery, but the 4 foot high Jenga blocks crashing every 10 minutes (among other things) was not for me. Sorry, party pooper on board.
I need to write these reviews closer to the time when I drink the beers, because almost 2 weeks later, I can't remember much. I had a flight and a pint.
The awesome thing about the way they organize their beers here is that you can pick a style or “theme” for your flight. I went with the Belgian one, which meant it included Wit's End, Hellion Belgian Golden Ale, and Monks Lunch. There was an oddball included here which was the Single Rye IPA.
Each of the pre-built flights include a little manual which tells about the beers, so you can effectively taste them with notes (great for those interested in knowing what the brewer intended to brew).
I won't diminish the brewers efforts by trying to scrape my mind for general impressions of the beers here, so I'm not going to included my thoughts on individual beers.
However, there are two things that stick out in my mind:
1. The Single Rye IPA was really tasty. It was the odd man out in my Belgian flight, but it was also the one that left the strongest impression.
2. They had a double IPA on nitro, which I thought was amazing. The Art of Dankness (of course a hilarious name referring to the Heart of Darkness) was a great DIPA to begin with, but being the first DIPA (or IPA) on nitro I've ever had in my life, it was quite the experience. If you get the chance to make one or try one, I highly recommend it.
The bar staff was very knowledgeable about the beers and super friendly. I got a run-down of all my beers and general info to help me pick some ones I I thought I would like. I also met one of the brewers and one of the guys from their marketing/sales team took me on a short tour of their brewing equipment when I asked some questions about their setup.
I bitched about Jenga, but it's really a non-issue because the beers here were so damn tasty. I would have drunk a lot more here but we also had to hit up Wild Donkey across the street, then go pick up a friend from the airport.