As craft beer becomes increasingly popular, microbreweries continue to pop up in Orange County, bringing with them unique flavors and creative ingredients. Valiant Brewing Company in the city of Orange is one such place, with delicious beers and a laid back environment.
Located in an industrial area, it’s a little hard to find the first time around. Keep an eye out for the golden Valiant banner, then make your way past the construction company to the combination brewery and tasting room.
Although it’s a bit on the small side, Valiant has plenty of space for the necessities in the main warehouse room. On one side, brewing equipment from Escondido-based Premier Stainless Systems allows them to keep up with customer demand while still experimenting with new brews or small-batch specialties. Across from the brewing system sits the counter where guests can order. While some of their beers are always on tap, Valiant also has limited releases and seasonal brews as well.
Guests can sit near the counter at high-top pub tables or at the repurposed barrels on the other side of the room. Television screens line the walls, giving brew lovers a chance to watch popular sports games.
While the smallest taster glass costs only $1.50, you can get a flight and try five different beers for $9. They may be small in size, but their list of brews is rather extensive. With over 20 different beers on tap, there is sure to be something for everyone. Takeaway tasting sheets detail the different kinds so be sure to grab one—there is even a fill-in flight diagram at the top so you can keep track of the beers you’ve selected.
One unique treat was the innovative Imperial Brown Coconut, brown ale with a distinct coconut aftertaste. Another that we really enjoyed was an American Wild Ale, a session sour beer crafted with the use of local oranges. Those that enjoy beers brewed with fruit will enjoy the limited release of Valiant’s Fields Ablaze, a summer saison crafted with pear and lemongrass. There is also a peach wheat, called James and the Giant, but the fruit flavor was very subtle. One other tasty brew was the Belgian-style amber ale made with rye and honey. It, too, has fruity undertones mixed with light honey and a subtle spice.
Some of their most popular brews include First Flight, an American Strong Ale with vanilla and caramel undertones. Another that tends to sell out is the Chernyy Medved, a Russian Imperial Stout crafted as a partnership with Temecula’s Black Market Brewing. Brewed with cherries, vanilla and pine, this dark beer has an intense flavor and an ABV of 13%.
Other beers on the menu include a Double IPA called Alpha Drive, a Breakfast Stout, a hoppy red ale and a Star Wars-themed Black Belgian Golden Strong Ale called Darth Kratos. Some brews are also bottled and sold in the tasting room.
Valiant is the result of plenty of hard work by owners Brian and Kelly Schroepfer, former aerospace engineers who had always planned to open their own business. Originally set on working with one of Brian’s passions—racecars—their plans changed following a fire at their home that destroyed his tools and hotrods. After experimenting with home brewing, the Schroepfers decided to invest in a business and have been in their Orange location since early 2013.
Valiant is located at 2294 N. Batavia Street and the tasting room is open Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.valiantbrewing.com or stop by for a flight.