Wednesday, 12 December, 2001
Orange, CA / Alcatraz Brewery
After finishing with my client today, I walked across the street to The Block--a big shopping mall in Orange. It's an outdoor mall complete with a 30 screen movie theatre, two video game palaces (Dave and Busters and Powerhouse), restaurants, and mostly upper-crust stores. I wandered around a bit shaking my head at the excess. The things people will spend their money on! I walked into a store called "As Seen on TV," where they sell Thigh Masters, Salad Shooters, and similar TV-marketed gimmicks--hundreds of items that you could hardly believe people would actually buy. I did a double-take when I saw the Oxygen Bar. You pay $6 for five minutes of purified air infused with whatever scent you like. No, I'm not kidding.
I had dinner at the Alcatraz Brewing Company there at the Block. The food was nothing spectacular, but the beer brewed on site was excellent. With dinner I had the Big House Red. Served on nitrogen (carbonated with a 70/30 nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture), it was smooth, slightly bitter, with a slight caramel malt taste. After dinner I ordered their Winterfest beer. At 8% alcohol I expected it to have a bite. Nope. Smooth and very tasty. If you're in Orange and you get the chance, visit the Alcatraz Brewing Company.