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First Glance: Helmsman Ale House Brings Their Handcrafted Brews & California Cuisine to Newport Beach

Restaurant Reviews


Opening in August, Helmsman Ale House is going to be the new restaurant to visit in Newport Beach, California. With seafood driven dishes and mouth-watering beers handcrafted on location, this new spot is sure to become a favorite! Restaurateurs and owners, Mario Marovic and Andrew Gabriel are just one of the few geniuses behind the opening of Helmsman. After many years of hard work and friendship, the two decided to open up a restaurant. Helmsman features California cuisine theme that includes two bars, a dining area, and an outdoor patio.


As soon as you walk into Helmsman Ale House, your eyes follow the wonderful decor and seating. Your eyes immediately lead to the two beautiful brew kettles standing behind one of the bars. There, you’ll be able to experience the delicious Helmsman Ale House Beers, made from the kettle that stands right in front of you.

To create their Oyster Stout they actually boil 20 pounds of oysters in the kettle for about an hour

I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to try their handcrafted beers prepared by head brewer Dylan Mobley. Mobley has experience working in craft breweries for six years. He has provided Helmsman’s opening with four beers including The Blonde Ale, Juicy/Easy IPA, a Fruited Berliner Weisse with prickly pear passion fruit guava, and an Imperial Oyster Stout. To create their Oyster Stout they actually boil 20 pounds of oysters in the kettle for about an hour. This provides minerality for the shelves which seeps into every sip.


Helmsman Ale House has kind of been a passion project for Andrew and Mario for quite some time.

“The thing I like about this [job] is every single location is its own unique thing. Here, it starts with Dylan Mobley’s amazing beers and then Chef Zach’s delicious food and then our bar and cocktail program. We want to make sure we are masters at our craft and we want to make sure you all get the best experience possible.” – Troy Barton (General Manager)


Chef Zach explained that Helmsman is a brewpub and he wanted the food to reflect that. He wanted the dishes to be approachable and fun, and he wants people to really enjoy what they’re eating. But most importantly, he wants people to know where they actually are.

Chef Zach really wanted to give off the feel of a California brewery/pub

He wants to really give off the feel of a California brewery/pub and one great example is their outstanding Seared Ahi salad with green papaya, napa cabbage, pancit noodles, red onion, peanut, crispy shallot, toasted coconut, cilantro, Thai basil, Thai palm sugar dressing. I thought this dish was incredible and easily the best Ahi salad I’ve had. This salad is piled high with incredible ingredients that create perfection in each bite. 


There are also classics like The Reaper Burger with dry-aged beef, chiles, blue cheese and buffalo fondue, onion rings, applewood bacon, and fries. However, Chef Zach has made it a point to also add health-focused dishes like.their avocado toast and grilled scallops. As chef to elegantly put it,

“The scallops are grilled, not fried, you know I don’t want people rolling out of here feeling like greasy shit balls, but, we do want people to have a good time.” – Chef Zach Scherer (Head Chef)


Another favorite dish of mine was their fried chicken and waffles.

Another favorite dish of mine was their fried chicken and waffles with buttermilk marinated, black pepper stout, maple syrup, and waffle. The chicken is first dipped into a buttermilk batter. Hot sauce is added directly to the batter to give that extra zip. The stout maple syrup is also made in house!


In addition to Chicken and Waffles, Helmsman in Newport Beach has a fabulous brunch menu. Pictured above you will see the Blueberry Banana Bread French Toast with a big scoop of cinnamon and brown sugar butter topped with fresh blueberry syrup. 


Another fabulous brunch item is their gorgeous Chilaquiles which also happen to be a favorite dish of mine. This dish features a house-made Guajillo sauce, pickled red onions, cotija cheese, scallions, avocado mash, topped with a fried egg. 


Opening in August, Helmsman Ale House is going to be the new restaurant to visit in Newport Beach, California.

Helmsman Ale House in Newport Beach is another great addition to the expanding Orange County culinary scene. If you’re looking for a new brunch spot and a restaurant with new innovative cuisine then you are in luck. Helmsman Ale House will be officially opening this August!


DSC_1770 cropSondra Barker
I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

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