Riip Beer Company To Tap New Huntington Beach Tasting Room
UPDATE: Riip Beer Company Tasting Room's grand opening is Friday, October 16, from 2-10 p.m.
The craft beer gods have spoken, and they've ordered Huntington Beach to catch up with Orange County's craft beer movement. And Huntington Beach has obeyed. Another local brewery has tapped into the growing scene, with deliveries already making rounds and a tasting room set to open mid-summer 2015.
Riip Beer Company stole the show at the Taste of Huntington Beach in late April, taking home the title of "Best Beer" for their Dan K IPA. The "stanky, danky, hop bomb" "started it all" for the small operation, which evolved from a passion for homebrewing, to a local delivery service, to a forthcoming brick and mortar space.
Brothers-in-law, longtime friends, and self-proclaimed beer enthusiasts Ryan Hopkins and Ryan Rasmussen kicked off their homebrewing adventure garage-style in early 2014. The Tustin natives got so drunk on their craft, they decided to launch a craft beer delivery service, enlisting the help of now Head Brewer Andrew Moy. Riip, a namesake borrowed from Rasmussen's advertising company, opened as a warehouse with a three-barrel electric brewing system near Warner and Goldenwest in November 2014. With the first session, Hopkins quit his full-time construction job to focus on managing Riip operations. By March 2015 Riip was up and running, selling to local liquor stores, bottle stores, and restaurants.
With a Brewbakers hand-me-down 1931 Helms truck as their mascot, they rolled around town to events, festivals, and deliveries. Nowadays the vintage coach is reserved for special events and, of course, the company logo—complete with hops flying out the windows. A more reliable ride now handles deliveries.
Currently on tap are seven flagship brews, including the award-winning Dan K IPA, Riip-Jitsu Session, Xoconela Mexican Chocolate Stout, Riipalicious IPA, Wake'n Bake Coffee Stout (brewed with Stache Coffee Company beans), Dumb Blonde Ale, and 2nd Street IPA. You had us at "Mexican chocolate stout," boys. Labeling themselves as Orange County's "first nanobrewery," Riip brews their beers in small batches, then labels and bottles them—one by one—by hand. Once the tasting room opens, brewhounds can expect more releases.
Tucked between Super Mex and Tsunami Sushi near the corner of Warner and PCH, the European pub-style tasting room will feature rustic accents like concrete, brick, and reclaimed wood, as well as roughly a dozen seats and communal wine barrel tables. Though the space won't serve food, surrounding joints like Secret Spot are just a stone's throw away, and the Riip brothers hope to establish a partnership with neighboring eateries.
But that's not all the tasting room will offer. The space will also double as a home brewing supply shop, stocked with hops, grains, yeast—you name it.
For now, locals can find Riip at shops like Mr. Kegs and Landmark Liquor; restaurants including SeaLegs Wine Bar, Main Street Wine Company, and BT's Southern BBQ; or have it hand-delivered straight to their front door.
"People are really digging it," says Hopkins of their brews, adding that the brewing and bottling process is "total startup-style."
If the success of Huntington Beach breweries Huntington Beach Beer Company, Brewbakers, Beach City Brewery, and Four Sons Brewing are any indication of what's to come for Riip, the future looks to be a glass completely full.