News dropped yesterday from The L.A. County Brewers Guild

Here are the details straight from the Guild…

“Members of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild came together for the first time in nearly two years for the 2021 Unity collaboration brew hosted by Common Space Brewery. Unity, the annual Guild brew originally created by LABG co-founders Eagle Rock Brewery, is traditionally brewed in the spring to commemorate our annual LA Beer Week. Due to the pandemic however, the last time Unity was brewed was back in May 2019. While hosting LA Beer Week this summer wasn’t in the cards, the Guild wanted to finally come together so that we could begin to rebuild the strong sense of community and camaraderie that make our L.A. beer scene so great.

Host brewery Common Space Brewery will be releasing 16-ounce four packs of Unity on Thursday, October 7 at their Hawthorne tasting room. This 6% abv Hoppy Pilsner marks the first lager iteration of Unity and will be available in cans and on draft at select retail locations. Check out the list below for LABG members and local craft beer retailers who will have Unity available.

But wait! There’s more! To celebrate the release of this brew, we will also be hosting the LABG Unity Oktoberfest at Common Space on Saturday, October 30, 2021. We’ve missed sharing beers with our community and while we still weren’t ready to go all out this summer with our usual events, we hope that you can join us for this intimate outdoor tasting event featuring 30 independent craft breweries, entertainment, and local food vendors.”


Now that LABW11 is in the past, now is the perfect time to look ahead at the tweaks that can be made for next year. Here are (3) suggestions that I would make if my red phone rang…

Settle on a 2nd Weekend Featured event – My vote goes to Cellador and Sour Friends. Move that to Sunday and promote it as the bookend to the week. Years past has seen a whole separate festival, be it Sierra Nevada or Vegan Fest but I think those dull the shine of the Kick-Off festival and some people probably pick one or the other since the same breweries (basically) are at both. Focus on L.A. and focus on a niche.

Have one Unity Night – I would make Wednesday night a Unity night. List all the establishments that have the beer on tap or in cans and have a simultaneous raising of the glass to the beer. Also, can we go back to the beer telling an L.A. story. A West Coast DIPA is fine but how does that separate L.A. from other cities?

Go Hyper Local – Each day of the LABW should have a fun food and beer pairing from a different part of our sprawling Metropolis. Maybe seafood with a Santa Monica Brew Works beer, BBQ and IPA at HopSaint in Torrance, tacos in DTLA, dessert in Palmdale/Lancaster. Something to stitch together the whole fabric of LA.

LABW11 – recap

Earlier today, I posted some photos, here are my hazy recollections of the events I attended during the latest LABW

For the first time, well since ever, I did not attend the Kick-Off festival. Primarily due to the fact that I was only two weeks removed from Firestone Walker’s Invitational and because I was going to hit Sour Friends on the following weekend. Marathon. Not a Sprint mentality.

I did head over to Eagle Rock Brewery to sample and catch-up on the beers that they were quickly releasing in the run up to our beer week. Though the balance was weird, my winner of the group was Stimulus 03 which swapped out Belgian Amber for NE IPA with the only constant being high quality coffee. I also like the Norwegian Brut Kveik beer as well.

Next day was event-less as well unless you count making a run to Sunset Beer Co. to get the Unity beer not exciting. I mean the Cubs were in town which meant the Ravine was either busy or reeling from the busy.

Finally on Monday, I went to a sanctioned event! Hopped LA gathered some hazy IPA’s together at the Glendale Tap to show off what both LA and outside LA brewers are doing lately with the style. Arrow Lodge took home the popularity trophy on the night. I voted for Homage and their Little by Little which I thought hit all the hazy style points.

Next was Wednesday where the Brewers were making cocktails at Arts District Brewing. The usually raucous DTLA spot was not packed to the rafters which was good because the cocktails were to the rim of the glass. My favorite was the Three Weavers concoction which was one of the few mixed drinks that had beer as a component, in this case Knotty DIPA. I also enjoyed the Eagle Rock Bazooka Joe. Rum and honey swirled together.

The hits kept coming as I stayed close to home at the hidden gem that is We’re Pouring. They had a Shrago-centric list with a great variety of Beachwood beers. They had IPA’s (Greenshift for me), they had sours, they had Haybusa and they had stouts (System in two variants). Plus great pizza and NBA draft on the TV.

Friday and Saturday were my two most excited about events. I always make a point to hit Sunset Beer Co. during the week. They always come through with a casual and fun time. This year Kelly Erickson curated a list of Women-Brewed beers and she got a far ranging selection from Firestone Walker to the new Wave Maiden and Arrow Lodge as well.

Then I went out to Cellador (which I have been doing a lot this year) for their Sour Friends. This was a delight. Another great set of breweries pouring sours from across the spectrum many with Masumoto peaches if you wanted to pick a theme. Pyrus Rustique from Beachwood Blendery was fantastic filled with pear taste. Violet Underground from Firestone Walker was great as well plus they had palate cleansing beers like Pleasant Pils from Highland Park.

There was a quick stop at MacLeod’s on the way home to try their Five Anniversary 11% plus beer and soak up the sun on their patio and then, like that, LABW11 was done.

LABW11 – photos

Today, we look back (in two parts) at the events I ventured to for the 2019 L.A. Beer Week. Here are the photos…

Come to the Glendale Tap prepared, hazy IPA list in hand.
Ginger and Knotty DIPA cocktail from Alex Nowell of Three Weavers.
Greenshift DIPA and pizza at We’re Pouring.
Kelly and her beer list at Sunset Beer Co. (stolen from Facebook)
Kevin pouring special bottles at the Sour Friends festival.
My final LABW11 beers at MacLeod’s. One IPA and one barrel aged.

What to Look for at Sour Friends 2019

Cellador was always going to have some great sours to sample at this year’s fest. You could probably just blindly pick and get something great, but I have a few choices that you should add to your glass, and to make it simple, I will use only (3) words to describe them…

Picture Brain from Brouwerij West – blueberries, solera, Syrah

Carrot King from Cellador – Nantes carrots, Bugs Bunny, wild

Violet Underground 5.5 from Firestone Walker BarrelWorks – SLOambic, Somerset, berries

Mellifluent from The Rare Barrel – strawberry, peach, mango

Check out the full list HERE.

One Week to LABW11

With only a week to go until LABW11 fires up the full list of events is not yet around, I thought I should toss a little curated list of events that pass my worthy test and also fall on odd days:

June 17th – Invitational Hazy IPA Fest at The Glendale Tap

then toddle a short distance to Walt’s in Eagle Rock for a brewers Pinball Tournament.

June 19th – Beer Made Me Do It – Beer Comedy at Common Space Brewery.

June 21st – Women-Brewed Beer Night at Sunset Beer.

June 23rd – Wait Wait…. Just Beer Me at Eagle Rock. NPR game show meets brewery tall tales.

Many more events to be talked about as details get clearer and clearer. In the meantime, get them Kick-Off tickets!

Super Sour Friends

The L.A. County Brewers Guild teamed up with Eagle Rock for their Session Fest and now the Guild is working with Cellador Ales on their LA Beer Week sour spectacular on June 22nd. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

With just a few cool breweries tucked into the Cellador space…

Beachwood Blendery
Brouwerij West
Casa Agria
Cellador Ales
Highland Park Brewery
Horus Aged Ales
Homage Brewing
Long Beach Beer Lab
Mikkeller SD
Modern Times
Pure Project
Sour Cellars

The Bruery
+one Northern CA honorary guest, The Rare Barrel

& newly added, Central Coast honorary guest, Firestone Walker Barrelworks!

MacLeod Day – 5th Anniversary

The math is a little wonky but don’t tell MacLeod’s. For their 5th anniversary they will be pouring $3 pints all day.

Food and live screen printing of the MacLeod logo will be going on as well so head over to Van Nuys for some cask and non-cask English styled beers.

Unity 2019 Brew Day

Here are some photos and notes from Claremont Craft Ales on the LABW11 brew day….

Might Unity 2019 be an IPA? Yes with both regular and Cryo hops
Brian and Simon from Claremont Craft Ales
Dueling Guitars for LABW11
Hop additions from Frogtown, Long Beach Beer Lab and Pacific Plate