LABW13 ran its course this month and I have picked a beer tasted at the Cellador Friends Fest as well as an L.A beer as my four best for the month. It’s just not the sane beer.
Non-LA favorites were the Ledge Bier from Great Notion Brewing. It was a very gin and botanical lager to me and it was more silky than I expect a lager to me. And yet, really struck me as good. Staying with Great Notion but with a collaboration with Fremont Brewing, Mr. Sun II. This hazy DIPA ticked all the hazy boxes that I have and was just fruity all the way.
In LA, Chilloo IPA re-gained the winning ways of Brouwerij West and revived an interest in driving down to their coastal brewery. That leaves North Park and my favorite beer of the month with a fantastic name as well, Ancient Civilization West Coast DIPA which I liked more than its sibling, City of the Future Hazy DIPA.
Stone has a new One Batch Dispatch out now, Travelogue Triple IPA.
This is a big one, as they describe, “Our trek started with Amarillo hops – a favorite from Stone history that we’ve fallen in love with all over again – combined with Loral and Mosaic. Meanwhile, we used flaked wheat and oats, which you’d typically see used in a hazy beer, but filtered this one for a classic, bright appearance.
That all went according to plan. But the surprise came when this beer that we expected to be a double IPA, came out at a massive 10.7% ABV. Despite the big alcohol content, this beer is incredibly smooth, letting the intense tropical & citrus notes shine with a glorious lingering hoppiness.”
King Harbor Brewing has a new spin on a Horchata inspired beer, Coco-Chata starts life as a wheat beer. Here is the explainer from the brewery, “This cerveza was inspired by horchata, that heavenly and sweet rice drink you have with your tacos. It’s loaded with toasted rice, raw and toasted coconut, Madagascar vanilla beans, cinnamon blend and lactose. Each sip gives you balanced notes of cinnamon, sweet vanilla, rice, and coconut on the back end.”
With their 7th Anniversary recently passed, it seemed a good time to review three Mumford Brewing beers including their 10.76% TIPA…
Return Visit WC DIPA – collaboration with Cerebral Brewing. I like the repeated Return Visit in red on the yellow label. Bright and clear orange color in the glass. Getting candied orange peel to start that settles into a WC dankness. The DIPA strength shows.
Rolling Blackout Coffee Stout – milk chocolate is the aroma order of the day, Coffee is low here. Getting more vanilla than anything as it warms. A bit if metallic note intrudes here as well.
7th Anniversary TIPA – ticks the hazy boxes than toggles up the ABV. Soft hazy mouthfeel with tropical fruit and grassiness. If I had to describe using just one word, that word would be thick. This is a texturally heavy beer.
Beachwood’s Blendery recently re-opened and here is a good reason to re-visit or first visit, Funk Yeah Lost Time Blend, what they are calling the “best of the best.”
50% of the Funk Yeah blend and 50% of two exceptional four-year-old barrels. It will be available in bottles and on draft while supplies last.
Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.
The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.
The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.
La Jara Brewing which has only been open a couple of months is right off the 5 and Carmenita in that not Orange County not Los Angeles County zone. If you look up at the right time you will catch the sign on the building as you drive.
It is very bright and colorful inside the industrial space. Murals on the walls are well done and create an oasis like feel despite the sprawl of concrete everywhere outside the building. I really like the rocking chairs to the side of the bar as well as the wooden bar thar looks onto the brew floor. Or you can choose the side outdoor patio.
The staff were super friendly in that new brewery way. The space filled up quickly after the opening bell, so to speak, has been rung. The beer menu is in the style of Pizza Port with plenty of info to make your choices from. Nine beers were on tap from blonde to wheat and the IPA swath.
Let’s move to the beers…
Gateway Dark Lager – little spice to this semi-dark lager. closer to a Vienna to my tastebuds.
Hindsight Cold IPA – has an IPL look to it. Darkish but clear yellow. Fruity aroma. Earthy hops in the lead with pils notes coming through behind it.
Backhaul Hazy – an unfiltered juice look here so off to a good start. Has the signature hop tongue scrape indicative of early hazes. That earthy hop note is present here too.
Stunt Dubbel – this comes on strong like a spirit but not in an ABV way, just assertive. Comes off as just a little green to me. Balance of sweet and malt is not bad though.
…to a stange filled with Kolsch from Project Barley and Far Field Brewing.
Time to choose a side. Wizards and Hazies or Humans and West Coasties?
This challenge comes to us from Smog City and Three Weavers and their two IPA’s…
We start with…
More Wizard Than Human Hazy IPA – fruit plus Sweet Tart on the aroma. Soft on the palate. The bitterness is there but more lurking than upfront. The spell of hops is from Strata, Cashmere and El Dorado. I get some tea like notes from the Strata plus a little twisted malt note.
More Human Than Wizard West Coast IPA – according to the label art, much bigger hops used. Though really it is the same big three just expressed differently. Tilted more British in styling with a bready note. More earthy and woody and no fruit.
Verdict – I like the fruity notes in the hazy over the earthy in the West Coast. I also like the wizard over the Thor like dude with the big H mash paddle.
My computer tells me it is 90 degrees as I type this. Summer is here and that means lagers and pilsners. A good start is this Helles from Smog City…
South Bay is #1 in the Torrance based brewery lager series so grab it and collect them all.