Raise a glass at Anaheim’s new beer and sandwich shop, Windsor Brown’s
What happens when a beer enthusiast goes into business with a sandwich enthusiast? Windsor Brown’s is the result of Scott Windsor and Gregory Brown’s partnership.
“We both started out knowing that there were a few sandwich and beer places scattered throughout O.C., but not anything that was what we had in our heads,” said Brown.
Windsor Brown’s recently opened in Anaheim’s Center Street Promenade, serving premium sandwiches, craft beers and natural wines.
Windsor, who owns Windsor Homebrew Supply and Bottle Shop with locations in Costa Mesa and Anaheim, handles the beer and wine list while Brown, who previously ran Beachwood BBQ and Brewing and the Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco, handles the menu and hospitality.
“I have been in the beer world the last 15 years, and beer is a big part of who I am and big part of the shop,” said Windsor.
The wine list focuses on small producers with natural and low-intervention processes, and there are 16 carefully curated beers on tap.
“A lot of them you won’t really find anywhere, other than the breweries they come from,” said Windsor. “We have pretty close relationships with a lot of breweries, and they are more inclined to send us beers because they know we are excited about them, we know how to talk about them, and we’ll take care of them, and they will properly stored and poured.”
Windsor said he takes best practices seriously when it comes to beer.
“Keeping beer cold is kind of big thing to keep it fresh. IPA and lagers need to be kept cold,” said Windsor.
Each time a keg is finished, the team will do a deep clean on the beer line, which only takes about 20 minutes at the most but makes a big difference, Windsor said.
“So the next beer will taste exactly how it is intended to be,” said Windsor. “Especially with the beers we get, if a small brewery is really excited about a beer they made, they want it to taste that way when a consumer drinks it.”
With the CO2 line, each beer has its own regulator so the team has the ability to dial in the pressure perfectly, depending on the beer.
“A lot of the kegs we get are from small producers or even from Belgium that carbonate beer slightly more, slightly less,” said Windsor.
But Windsor also wants people to know there is no need to feel intimidated when they visit Windsor Brown’s.
“We love beer and we are very passionate about it, but we understand that it is just beer too,” said Windsor. “It is not one of those places where if you come in and don’t know what anything is or don’t know how to pronounce it, you are going to be looked down upon. It is not a snooty place.”
Brown said the same goes for the food, which he said is high-quality but accessible.
“We take our inspiration from the classic deli and sort of elevate it with premium ingredients and things that have slightly familiar but slightly unique flavor profiles,” said Brown.
The sandwich menu uses meats and cheeses from Boar’s Head and bread sourced from Bread Artisan in Santa Ana, along with house-made condiments and dressings.
“One of our favorite things on the menu is our herb oil,” said Brown. “It is not exactly a pesto, not exactly just chopped herbs, but more like a combination of two so you get bright, lemony acidity coming through. You get hints of cilantro, hints of parsley.”
Brown works with the kitchen to come up with specials on Friday and Saturdays too.
“One good example of that right now is we have a spicy chipotle chicken sandwich called ‘straight fire,’” said Brown. “We make a habanero salsa for that and it is a legitimately spicy sandwich.”
Mostly, the pair hopes the shop becomes a place the community feels it can gather.
“We are trying to just be a local neighborhood spot where people want to come hang out and have a sandwich and glass of beer or wine, a place to meet up with friends,” said Windsor. “We want it to be a place people feel is welcoming.”
“The neighborhood has been super supportive so far,” Brown adds. “We are really lucky to be welcomed in by such a warm community.”
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