Co-founder of Laguna Beach Beer Co. offers insight into the brewing world and some of his favorite places in town.
By Laguna Beach Magazine Staff
Laguna Beach Beer Co., which opened a taproom and restaurant in Laguna Canyon in 2018, was co-founded by lifelong friends and Laguna residents Brent Reynard and Mike Lombardo. Recently, Reynard shared a little about his life in town and the secret to making great beer.
Reynard has always called this coastal city home: He was born in south Laguna, back when it was South Coast Medical Center, and now lives in north Laguna with his wife, Heather, 7-year-old daughter Brook and 3-year-old son Carter.
“I love the people and the community,” he says. “Everyone is pretty laid-back and easy going. It’s a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
A passion for making beer led him and Lombardo to start their own brand, establishing a brewery in Rancho Santa Margarita and then opening the Laguna Canyon location, which has turned into a gathering place for not only enjoying brews with friends, but also popular Tuesday trivia nights. Their beer is also served at numerous restaurants in the area.
“After business school, I wanted to start my own business,” Reynard says. “Since I was obsessed with homebrewing, it was a clear direction. Thankfully I was naive enough to not completely comprehend the amount of risk I was about to take.”
When he first started making beer, he never thought it would turn into such a successful endeavor. “Originally, I thought being a homebrewer would be the extent of it,” he says. “Luckily the timing was right and I surrounded myself with the right people. A little luck, not too many wrong decisions and here we are.”
Over the years, Reynard has learned that the key to making a good beer is cleanliness and attention to detail. Of course, continued passion and creativity are also key ingredients. Among his wish list for the future, Reynard dreams of soon making a highly dry-hopped lager. Read on to learn a little more about one of the guys behind Laguna Beach Beer Co.
When not working, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Brent Reynard: Camping, fishing, surfing
Do you have a favorite beach in Laguna?
Totuava Bay in south Laguna—private [and] beautiful
What’s your favorite restaurant in Laguna and what do you order there?
San Shi Go is my go-to when I can get out. [I] love the shrimp boats.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Classic rock, mostly: Led Zeppelin, [The] Beatles, CCR
What’s the last book you read?
“Lagunitas The Story” by Tony Magee, [the founder of Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, Calif.]
What’s something you’re looking forward in the next few months?
[A] fishing trip before the water cools down.
What’s your favorite kind of beer to drink?
It changes month to month. Lately, I have [been] leaning toward clean IPAs. I really like Pilsners, too, like our Main Tower.
What’s your favorite beer that you’ve brewed for LBBC?
The brewing is done by Brendan Maxim and, although I honestly love all of them, I am literally drinking a hazy double IPA called Hidden Gem as I write this … and I love it.
What’s your favorite beer and food pairing at Laguna Beach Beer Co.?
Main Tower Pilsner with a pretzel is a great little combo. Or a pepperoni and mushroom flatbread with a Greeter’s Ale.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would just like to thank everyone who has come by and tried our beers and food. We are very lucky to have the support of great communities, wonderful friends and loving families.