Southern California’s Bruery (named for its founder Patrick Rue) draws inspiration from iconic Belgium breweries, including Cantillon, and has built a following nearly as devoted. Because of the brewery’s limited output, many Bruery beers garner considerable prices on the secondary market. The Bruery Jardiner ($8 per 750 mL bottle) is a more widely available example, but it is nonetheless an extraordinarily approachable table beer brewed in the style of traditional Belgian pale ales.
Jardinier (French for “garden”) pours a slightly cloudy yellow hue, with small bubbles continuing to rise well after the head has settled. Bright, floral hops and a Champagne-like zest fill the nose, with a balance of light phenol and tart acidity. On the palate, a delicate bitterness meets crisp pear and a distant trace of sour apple, with a finish that is smooth and refreshing, making it a perfect pairing for a wide range of dishes.