Back to L.A. Center Studios to volunteer and drink beer at the Kick-Off Fest for LABW10.
Here is my recap of the day after I finished my shift of putting wristbands on festival patrons…
I tasted fifteen beers. Some just a few sips, others I needed to get to the bottom of the glass. Only 1 was truly off but that was from the new Ximix Brewery down Hawthorne way and I will attribute that to travel and being new.
On the good side was Simmzy’s Beerbank Bubbly Brut. I don’t know what to expect from this American version on the classic (but wicked expensive) and rarely seen Belgian Brut beers. But this was low on bitterness with a nice dryness to it. Of the two Brut’s that I had, this tasted more like I expected than the Beachwood/Drakes collab.
My two favorite beers were from new breweries since that is where my focus was pointed. Liberation’s Lucy Hoppy Blonde and Ogopogo’s Naitaka rye were both bursting with flavors and stood out amongst the flood of tastes from each taster. I was also quite impressed by Wiretap from Lincoln Heights. Both their Echelon Pale Ale and Luchador Belgian/Mexican mash-up were very tasty. Cellador was strong as was Chapman (which had three beers kick before I could even make my way there!
Thankfully the weather was much better. So much cooler in fact that I forgot to put on sunscreen and came home red despite the cool breezes downtown. Organization wise, I will again make the plea for signage. Lots of signage. The crowd was processed much faster this year and with much less complaints but I think that signs and maybe some traffic controller volunteers might help make this a smoother event.
As it stands, this is the best event to try the beers from all over our sprawling beer scene.