On the Rise

Draft Magazine did another one of their numerical issues. The twist this time around is that it was the 25 Breweries on the Rise.
Two L.A. breweries made the list: Monkish Brewing and Phantom Carriage. Below are the blurbs on each one.

Monkish Brewing Co. – Torrance, California
“This summer, the popular four-year-old brewery ditched its distributor and moved to primarily brewery-only releases. To offset the risk, co-owner Henry Nguyen started brewing what he initially swore he wouldn’t: IPAs. Those have crept up in RateBeer scores alongside upper-90s-rated Monkish saisons Haiku de Saison and Rara Avis. “We didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing,” Nguyen says. “But we’d been thinking: ‘What would a Monkish IPA look like?’” The answer: cloudy, creamy, low in bitterness. “When we first made these, brewers here were telling me to my face these beers were ugly and not really IPAs,” he says. “Now after a few releases, they’ve seen the lines [of customers], and they’re asking me which yeasts we’re using.”

Phantom Carriage Brewery & Blendery – Carson, California
“Phantom Carriage’s taproom is worth a visit, even if just to experience the decor: Based just outside of LA in Carson, California, the brewery has a horror-show vibe (“Spooky but not kitschy,” says brewery co-founder Martin Svab) with scythes and other rusty farm implements stabbed into the walls; candles glowing inside fake human and animal skulls; and the “Phantom Theater,” playing a rotating lineup of scary movies. “I’ve always been into these old scary movies that unfortunately, this day and age, are being forgotten,” Svab says. “They’re just so beautiful. So the entire brewery’s just an homage to the old horror cinema.” That goes right down to its name: “The Phantom Carriage” was a Swedish film produced in 1921, notable for its early use of special effects and for certain scenes so iconic that Stanley Kubrick remade them in his own horror film, “The Shining.” (The famous axe-through-the-door scene? “The Phantom Carriage” did it first.) Come for the fear, stay for the beer: Inside the dark confines of the brewery’s taproom, nearly 400 oak barrels are filled with the creations of head blender Simon Ford, who was well-known in the LA homebrew scene for his downright fantastic sour beers long before joining the Phantom Carriage team. His skills are just as potent in the big leagues: Muis, a Belgian blonde ale melding honeydew melon, guava, spearmint and onion skin aromas with musty lemon and white pepper flavors, is one of the better 100% Brettanomyces fermented beers we’ve ever tasted, and beers like the Simcoe-hopped Annalee grisette and Broadacres Berliner weisse exhibit complex, slightly wild flavors that, like the environs in which they’re served, are scary-good.”