Monday, June 26, 2023

Road Trip

I learned there is a new brewery in town. There are only a handful near where I live so when a new one comes on the scene, I want to check it out. This one is not actually in the town where I live. It's an hour and a half away but that's close enough for me.

Joshua Tree Brewing isn't new but they didn't previously have a tasting room. I don't know if that was because of COVID or because they were too small to have one. We didn't live here before COVID so I don't know. But I recently saw on Google Maps that they had a tasting room in Twentynine Palms, open only on weekends, so last weekend, we decided to go for a drive.

We started out heading west on I-10 and then drove through Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree before getting to Twentynine Palms. It was close to 3 by the time we got there and we were hungry so we stopped at a place called Mexican Street Tacos. It was attached to a bowling alley and a bar. The food was very local, very delicious, very Mexican. It was practically around the corner from the brewery which had no food.

The brewery only had two taps but only one beer so that’s what we had. A $7 hazy IPA that was cloudy and dense at roughly 7% ABV. I can’t say it was my favorite but we had made the drive so we were going to get the beer.

The entire facility wasn’t much bigger than my bedroom. They had the type of furnishings you would expect in a small brewery: barstools and picnic tables and benches. There was a shelf all the way around the room near the ceiling that featured a collection of old beer cans. We were the only customers.

There were spray misters on the back patio which was as big as the building itself. Maybe bigger. The tables were made of four cinder blocks standing on end and supporting a wooden pallet. They were surrounded by a mismatched collection of plastic lawn chairs like one might find at Ace Hardware on closeout. Parking was in an adjacent lot that was shared with an unmarked, two bay, car repair type garage. I refer you to the pictures on Google Maps for a visual aid as the photos I took don't really give you the whole picture.

There was no bathroom at the brewery. You had to go out of the patio's chain linked fence gate, through the parking lot, and around the garage. The handle and lock were flimsy and there were no paper towels but it was clean. Or I assumed it was since a woman with rubber gloves and disinfectant exited prior to my entering. It wasn’t the worst bathroom I had ever been in but it was definitely on that end of the scale.

Joshua Tree Brewing is a self-described microbrewery “making great beers since 2017.” While their website declares they have distribution in California, Texas, and New York, I suspect that the brewer has family there and brings his own beverages when he travels. I’ve never seen it in any bar anywhere but, then again, I don’t go to that many bars.

I only tried one of their beers since that was all they had. Based on that, I’m not in a hurry to go back. On the other hand, I don’t want to discourage anyone from going to Joshua Tree Brewing and trying it for themselves. The drive is interesting and Mexican Street Tacos is worth a stop, in my opinion. On the way back, we drove through Joshua Tree National Park which is also worth a visit. My recommendation is to go early and reverse the route. That is, go through the park first, stop and take a hike, and wind up in Twentynine Palms for a lunch and a beer. Then drive through the towns of Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Morongo Valley on the way back.

We ended up at La Quinta Brewing in Old Town for a second beer while we waited for a pizza to go from Stuft. It was a good day but we were ready to be home. The drive is about 3 hours total without the stops.

Let me know if you get to Joshua Tree Brewing!

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