Usually, I don’t make 2nd visits so soon after a first one (unless I really, really like a brewery) but since I was literally next door, I sauntered over to Wingwalker for round 2.
I used the lucky number method in ordering a beer this time. WingWalker had 10+ taps going and I went with #9. Barnstormer Rye IPA. Not a hazy, though the photo might lead you to believe. Instead, it was another example of a beer that wasn’t quite right. It had the hallmarks that I associate with a beer that was plucked onto tap to soon. Hazy as heck. Blunted aroma. Vegetal in taste. I did not pick up any spice or rye notes and the hops were very muted. Due to choice of hops available? Don’t know but that beer made me stop and decide that I will check back in with this and Over Town much later in the year. More progress needs to be made in my opinion.
I posted up a notice about the Frogtown 2nd Anniversary. But since I am crowd averse and pro-leftovers, I headed over on Sunday to see how this hidden little brewery is doing with their beers.
I ordered up a taster tray of beers that were new to me from the brewery. Here are the quick recaps….
Whipple Street Cream Ale
Crisp and malty with a touch of mandarin orange. Little hoppier than than expected. Liked it.
Hazy River IPA
Little better than the Nebula. More balance. But still pretty rough. Palate scraper, so not soft
Nebula Fog IPA
Serious and off putting grapefruit rind going on. Hazy in appearance but rough and bitter.
Prince George Imperial Porter
Very smooth. Rum coconut barrel thing going on. No burn. Favorite of the group
There was a nice sized Sunday crowd going. Atmosphere was very chill and very dark. There were a few new additions to the decor but it still looks like a steampunk library work in progress. There were 9 Beers on tap and the fridge was filled with Kinky Blonde and more Feather It In IPA cans.
I probably should have picked up the Broken Vessel pumpkin beer as well to see if it is still a winner like it was last visit but overall, they seem to be growing slowly.
Given a head start on the Labor Day weekend last Friday, I made a quick 3rd stop at LBC in Burbank to give the brewery another look and to grab a crowler to-go to see how the brewery was doing now.
Considering it was a holiday weekend at 4pm, there were a decent amount of people in the taproom. I ordered a crowler of their 1861 lager. I also ordered up a mini-pour of their Hollywood Way IPA. There are a LOT of IPA’s out there. Most occupy that vast middle ground. This one was a notch below middle. Maybe two notches. In the small amount I had, I could not put my finger on one precise issue but it reinforced my not positive impression of their hoppy beers.
1861 was ….
Pours a weird almost absinthe tinted green. After pouring the foam head dissipates to weird white globules. The beer is a little sweet on the nose and in the taste. Grain tasting all the way through. Light and a little slick on the tongue. Not super bubbly either. Finishes with a stronger taste than the ABV would lead you to believe. It is fine but not a still hot summer in L.A. type of beer.
So two below average beers. I am sensing a trend.
Take 2 for Iron Triangle. I was pleasantly surprised by the beer the first time around and as I walked in to the brewery on a warm Saturday, I hoped that the beer would stay consistent.
I bought a sampler tray of four beers with only one holdover from the previous visit which was the …..
1581 Pale Ale – a little too sweet tart for me. A little pull back might help. Better as it warms.
New this time were the….
Land of Fire Red IPA – good hop presence here. A touch of sweetness. Not as dark as expected.
Wheat and Rye Ale – certainly malty. Kind of a weird mix. Accumulated hops from previous two beers.
Royal Claytons ESB – again fruity. Not really an ESB to me. Not enough malt here. The least favorite of the group for me.
The brewery was overstaffed for the teeny amount of customers in early afternoon. Tables were added to the loading dock area perhaps as a nod to the lack of seating at the bar.
Overall, the beer is solid but my sampler lacked a little differentiation. Maybe I should have ordered a something dark instead of the ESB.
Just as an aside: What is it with grains in jars at breweries? How often is it used for education or is it just window dressing? May as well have a jar of water too.
Just as another aside: It is weird that most of the taps say specialty when there were only three specialty beers on the blackboard.