Review – 2 from AleSmith

Two new releases hit my doorstep courtesy of AleSmith Brewing and I couldn’t choose which to review, so I chose both!

Here are the brewery details on the latest Speedway Imperial Stout variant, “We used the comforting trio of Mexican dark chocolate, sea salt, and Mexican coffee to give the beer delectable notes of cacao and dark fruit, a subtle touch of cinnamon, and a kiss of roasty earthiness.”

The Tower of Flower is described thusly, “We’ve teamed up once again with our good friends at Beachwood Brewing to make this behemoth west coast-style India pale ale that has been double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Cashmere, and Nelson hops. This monstrous hop blend gives this beer intense notes of passion fruit, citrus, peach, and melon.”

On to the reviews…

The Tower of Flower pours a medium yellow shade. Initial thoughts are that it is crisp and bright, almost like an IPL. The dominant flavor for me is Concord grape. The four fruits listed in the description elude me. I also get a grasy bitterness as well. And that really sticks.

I expected more from the Speedway. Chocolate, coffee and sea salt are big flavors. I didn’t get much of a hit of that trio. Slightly like a milk chocolate covered espresso bean but really toned down.

Best Beers of July 2021 + IPA Ranking

Let’s go straight to the top, my favorite beer of the month is Natural Born Shredders from the combined talents of Beachwood Brewing and Highland Park Brewery. This IPA has a Wonderful aroma.  Bright with dried fruit and pine. As it warms sone cat pee notes creep in. Loads of tangerine flavor.  Overall light mouthfeel.  Nice bitterness bite that lingers.

So let’s update the IPA rankings before mentioning a couple honorable mentions.

3 – Crooked Stave Idaho 7 IPA

2 – Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions

1 – Beachwood / Highland Park Natural Born Shredders

Two other really great beers wowed me this month. Total Boss Red IPA from Smog City was malty and hoppy and filling in equal measure. Radiant Beer Co. and their Can Down By the River Motivational Lager which from can design to flavor was great.

Written in Chalk

News from Beachwood….”In the beginning… Beachwood’s beer was written on small chalkboards and hung from behind the bar. It’s a tradition we continue at our original brewing location in Long Beach. As a tribute to that, we’re launching “Chalkboard Series,” a rotating selection of small-batch canned beers, available only at Beachwood’s own locations.”

The series started last week with a classic pale ale. Their first-ever pale ale in cans.

Which Route

I should probably check what percentage of beer posts are about collaborations. I guess as an introvert, I am intrigued by the camaraderie shown inside the brewhouse.

One of the more prolific collaborators has been Beachwood. They are at it again with Radiant Beer and a lagered IPA using The Californiana lingo for the name.

Dynamic Duo

There are collaborations and then there are super collaborations. Highland Park + Beachwood, well that is the level above super.

Here are the double details…

Natural Born Shredder – West Coast-style IPA, our version of the previous beer collab released at Highland Park Brewery.

No Chestnuts in This Beer – Hoppy & crisp Italian-style pilsner, just in time as the warm weather creeps upon us for this pilsner.”


For many LA beer fans, there first exposure to Beachwood Brewing and their now enlarged world of IPAs was either Melrose or Laurel.

And now Laurel has resurfaced in brightly festooned cans again. Grab a 4-pack to relive the early days


The great thing about niche style breweries like Enegren Brewing is that it allows the guest brewer to play in a different sandbox than normal. Beachwood does its fair share of styles but a Dortmunder is a little brewed style that is welcome to see and probably design a recipe for. And it would pair nicely with their BBQ too.