It may be the largest selling beer in the world, but in Dana Point, there is a bar where Budweiser sales are zero. But then, no other beer fares any better at the Heritage Brewing Co., the only pub in Orange County that makes its own beer on the premises (at least until the Fullerton Hofbrau begins brewing its own, a debut expected sometime before the end of this year).
A raging success in many cities on the Eastern seaboard, the in-house brewing trend finally made its way to Orange County late last year, when the Heritage opened inside the Pavilion Center shopping plaza next to the harbor.
The beer and menu are patterned after those in English pubs, although the brass and wood interior doesn’t call up many memories of jolly old England. And neither does the beer. Because few English beers come close to the rich, flavorful varieties offered by the Heritage Brewing Co.
In large copper vats in the back, Heritage brews three different ales daily that are on the regular menu and concocts at least one specialty beer that stays around for about two weeks.
A pub favorite, the Dana Porter is a dark-roasted blend with excellent flavor and aftertaste. Another popular brew, called Sail Ale, is redolent with the taste of fresh hops.
The menu carries a variety of English specialties and local seafood. The food is low to moderately priced, a surprise considering the quality and quantity served. The turkey and pork pot pies are baked fresh on the premises, and the specials, such as the grilled mahi-mahi sandwich, are worth trying.
The pub has begun featuring reggae music on Sundays from 4 to 8 p.m. and construction is under way on an adjoining game room.
Heritage Brewing Co., 24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point. Open Sundays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Fridays and Saturdays till 2 a.m. (714) 240-2060 .