When I think of craft beer, I hardly ever think high-end Century City hotels but right next to Nakatomi Plaza, the InterContinental Los Angeles on the Avenue of the Stars has a special pairing of Angels & Ales.
Combining Angel’s Envy Kentucky straight bourbon and nearby Santa Monica Brew Works, you just have to stroll into the small Lobby Lounge and order up a pint of the SMBW’s witbier or PCH paired alongside Angel’s Envy bourbon (you have the option to choose a special blend that the hotel chef helped to create) for $16.
The PCH (Pale Chocolate Heaven) is the easier choice to see. A light but flavorful chocolate beer really lights up in comparison with whiskey. Especially the Expression 95/5 which had a lovely vanilla and oaky character. The beer added to the whiskey and vice versa. I have to admit that I was skeptical about pairing a witbier with its delicate floral aromatics against a whiskey but it did hold up. The pairing was a qualified success in that it raised my expectations. The weizen tinged Santa Monica Witbier added a certain quality but the heat from the whiskey like the Expression 10/10 really beat it down.
It is great to see that a hotel that could easily just offer the same old, same ol’ and probably not suffer going that extra step to craft. It is also cool to see that the head chef is into it too.