If you drive about an hour east of Los Angeles, you’ll find an up and coming craft brewery nestled in an old Norton Air Force Base building right across from the Redlands Municipal Airport. The Hangar 24 Brewery offers daily tastings from 11am to 10pm every day. Guided tours are available on Sunday from 11am to 6pm.

To understand Hangar 24, you need to know about the brew’s Founder and Master Brewer Ben Cook. A Biology major from Cal State San Bernardino, Cook took his love for beer to a whole new level and completed the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis. After finishing the program and putting in 6 years as a QA/QC guy at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Van Nuys, Cook searched for a place to launch his own brewery. The spot next to the Airport was where he landed, and that drove the name of the beer, Hangar 24.

The brewery has a solid selection of year-round craft beers, seasonal favorites and some other specialty releases. Orange Whet is the flagship brew. It’s an American Wheat Beer “brewed with whole, pureed, 100% locally grown oranges added throughout the process.” Think of it as a rich man’s Shock Top, with more of a full-bodied, silted/textured taste. They use the whole damn orange in there, man.

The other beers in the signature collection are they types of brews that you enjoy as standalone options. There are German classics like the light Helles Lager or the roasty Alt-Bier Ale. Hangar 24 brews a variety of Pale Ales like the Amarillo Pale Ale with a dry hoppy American touch, the unfiltered explosively hoppy Columbus IPA and the more citrusy-sweet Double IPA. A rich Chocolate Porter rounds out the year-round offerings.

The seasonal selections include Hullabaloo, a hoppy Scottish Winter Ale; Oktoberfest, malty-amber German lager; a tart Belgian Summer Ale and California Spring Beer, a warm weather wheat ale with a brisk hoppy finish.

So where can you get this stuff? If you don’t want to tour the Hangar 24 Brewery (which, you know, you probably should do), you can visit one of the 2,342 on and off-premise locations from San Diego to Sacramento that carry Hangar 24. You can also grab the stuff in bottles and cans. Hangar 24 is the first craft brewery in Southern California to provide quality craft beer in can form (I say start with the Helles Lager). Prost!

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