These photos were taken Sunday at Enegren Brewing Company in Moorpark, CA and Lab Brewing Company in Agoura Hills, CA. A few days ago I was at El Segundo Brewing Company and was introduced to Joe Nascenzi, one of the owners of Enegren Brewing Co., a microbrewery in Moorpark, CA. After talking with him for a while, and hearing what kind of beers they were brewing over there, I knew that I had to head out there with Tanya. While I am a definite hophead, Tanya is more into saisons, porters and stouts. When Joe told me about their oatmeal stout and chili pepper saison, I promised to pay them a visit.

While one microbrewery is frequently like the others, with the only difference being the taste and variations of the beers they brew, Enegren Brewing is definitely different than any other I have visited. Brew Captain Chris Enegren studied mechanical engineering at Loyola Marymount University and when he graduated from brewing in his kitchen he put this knowledge to work in designing a proprietary brewing system unlike any I have ever seen. Complete with a computerized command center, their brewing system is entirely automated. It is a very cool system to check out, and they produce a quality product. When we got there Sunday they were in the process of building a new refrigeration unit as they had moved their larger one to a unit next door. In other words, they are expanding, with the hopes of beginning to bottle beers in the near future.

We tried tasters of their Valkyrie (a California Altbier), Protector IPA, Contradiction (a black IPA), Daniel Irons (an oatmeal stout) and their La Fleur de Mars, a red rye saison with smoked chili peppers. Tanya enjoyed the Daniel Irons the most while I found myself really enjoying the La Fleur de Mars a lot. I was told to expect a new brew to be available next weekend, so I will probably head out there again Saturday if weather permits.

As a microbrewery, they do not serve food so Tanya got online and discovered Lab Brewing Company, a brewpub in Agoura Hills, which was just a few minutes away and on the way home. The Lab Brewing Company brews six beers in-house and offers a wide selection of beers on tap and in bottles from microbreweries around the country.

In addition to the beer, they also have a pretty nice food menu. We opted for their Loaded Macaroni & Cheese (comes with bacon and mushrooms) which was pretty tasty. We also tried their fried chicken because the menu said it would take 20 minutes to prepare. We took that to mean that it would be fresh; it was okay, but seemed to be rather thick on the crust coating. We tried their bread pudding, but it was nothing to write home about.

We tried each of the six beers they brew there; After Midnight Moo (a milk stout), Honey I’m Home (a honey blonde), Cold Fusion Java (a coffee porter), Take Her Home Tripel (a Belgian tripel), Big Ass Red (an amber ale) and their Bad Influence IPA. While I really enjoyed the Big Ass Red, Tanya and I both agreed that the Take Her Home Tripel was the tastiest. Our server informed us that the tripel is the same recipe the brewer used when he came up with it at the age of 16! I guess when you get something right, you stick with it.

I am sure we will return to Lab Brewing in the future, but we will probably try their lamb skewers and chocolate mousse the next time.

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