John and I have been spending a lot of time in the Inland Empire lately working on our Los Angeles Ale Works project. We’ve had the opportunity to travel to some breweries we may not otherwise have seen. Welcome to Packinghouse Brewing Company, off the beaten path, but worth the detour if you are in the Riverside area. Named in honor of citrus packinghouses, the brewery pays homage to the citrus industry and the dedicated laborers that made it successful. With all that being said, Packinghouse Brewing is a modest, but cleanly operated 10 BBL brewhouse, which uses an old BJ’s Brewery kettle. Coincidentally, it smelled like pizza in the brewery when we were walking around, remnants of the kicking happy hours that occur on Saturday nights.
Vince Stager runs the taproom at Packinghouse and let us know that he was also the purveyor of bad jokes. He recommended starting off with their special and flagship beer, Riley’s Irish Red. It’s a refreshingly clean red – amber in color with a nice creamy head and silky mouthfeel. I was particularly impressed with this beer and was also excited that they had a bottled version for sale. Also available on the tap list was a Blonde, Pale, IPA, and, my other favorite, Black Beauty Cream Stout. I’m a sucker for a well made stout, and the creaminess in this one was just the thing to follow up the silky Irish Red. We ended the tasting with the Alpha IPA, a true American-style, hop-forward IPA. Hop heads are sure to get a kick out of this one, as it’s hop character is not shy in the slightest.
If you find yourself in Riverside or are planning a brew tour of the Inland Empire, put Packinghouse on the list of places to go. The beers are solid, the brewery is nice, and the jokes are great; thanks Vinny.Packinghouse Brewing Co. 6421 Central Ave., Suite 101-A
Riverside, CA 92504 951) 688-BEER
P.S. Thank you to Chuck and Chuck who generously included us on their brewery tour – 1130 different types of beers and counting.