News broke earlier this month that famed Koreatown beer bar and foodie spot, Beer Belly was closing as of the end of July. As one final send off, here is a review of their final One Night Stand special beer made with Cellador Ales, House of the Bees.
House of the Bees pours a super light yellow color. Almost more off white. When cap popped off lots of bubbling sounds and a big wine barrel aroma. Super fizzy. Very tart. Not for the sour faint of heart. Oak barrel and Melon taste collide underneath the acidity. A little ginger spice note as well.
Beer Belly has been reaching further for their One Night Stand program this year as evidenced by Florida brewery J Wakefield pouring last Wednesday.
Here are my first impressions of their beer…
DFPF Berliner (Florida Weisse) Pours a bright fuschia color. Fruit juice aroma. Quite tart. A bit of wheat peeks through at the end. A bit of a kool aid experience.
The Man with a Golden Churro – Quite the simalcrum of a churro. I taste burnt caramel. Burnt high ABV at the end. My favorite of the three tasted.
Brewery Royale – very Heavy tasting. Lots of coconut. They must have gotten a bulk sale of the stuff it was in every beer. A spice hit but did not scream cinnamon.
My cohorts for the night both did not like the El Jefe. Something about the coconut mixed with the clove that created some weird faces on them.
You don’t want to not have the latest fashion and you do not want to not represent all of the L.A. area breweries as of 2019, am I right?
Then head over to the Hopped LA website and pick up this sweet t-shirt. Use it to remind you which breweries you need to visit or which are your favorites or whether you like more of the green names than white.
On the 21st, you can celebrate Hopped LA night at Beer Belly in Koreatown and raise a glass to be kept apprised of beer in Los Angeles.
Coming up on the 16th, the Koreatown Beer Belly will be hosting Our Mutual Friend, the Denver brewery, not Janice from accounting.
For this special Thursday edition of their One Night Stand (#ONS) the following will be pouring…
1. Times Arrow (IPA)
2. Inner Light (Mosaic Pale Ale)
3. Riot of Color (Mango Lime Berliner Weiss)
4. Wicket (Belgian Wit)
5. All Colorado (IPA)
6. Weirding Way (Brett Saison) bottle pour
7. Gratitude Four (Pink Guava Saison) bottle pour
It just so happened that the Beer Belly – Koreatown One Night Stand landed in LABW and so ONS had a local bent with Mumford as the headliner with taps from Homage Brewing and State Brewing as well. This was originally billed as Mumford and East Coast Brewers like Interboro. The winning beer of the night in my (hop)inion was a Watermelon Agua Fresca lager from State that balanced the fruit and the malt very well. The two hazy options that I also tasted were fine. But didn’t pop for me.
I quickly popped down to the nearby Southland Beer to try the Unity IPA on cask. On cask, the hop notes are softer, with a little more citrus. The beer poured a clear orange though I detected a trace of a little buttery character. It was Unity simple and stripped down..
I took a night off to watch the NBA Draft (thanks for nothing Portland) and then on Friday, I headed to DTLA and Mikkeller for a Fonta Flora Brewing night. I immediately picked a sampler tray consisting of…
Beets, Rhymes and Life – beet saison – pretty pink color. Dusky, earthy. Salad like.
Southern Saison – black tea and lemon – bit of spice kick here. Pretty light underneath.
Whippoorwill Wheat – orange, coriander, earl grey tea – EG comes through. Spice again
Wolf Spit – Baltic Porter with hickory bark
I also tasted a Brut IPA from Alvarado Street Champagne Hopi that was really good, but the beet beer was my winner. Even though I detest actual beets.
Finally on Saturday, I headed to Craft Beer Cellar for a local taplist and for Dope & Dank who hosted the party with a DJ on site. I tried a new Arrow Lodge beer Arrow Sol and tasted my local Brewyard’s well-named Loch Ness Maltster.
When you visit the new stadium that the Los Angeles Football Club has built for their first season, you will be able to get some really good food as Beer Belly will be serving food inside!
No word on whether they will be able to serve beer or if so, whether the stadium concession will allow them to pick the #independent stuff but I expect since the Galaxy have a craft beer station that LAFC will follow suit.
Now when do the Portland Timbers come to town? #RCTID
I haven’t talked much about the Beer Belly One Night Stands because I missed a few too many last year and also because there were usual suspects on tap. No less great beers pouring but nothing “newsworthy”, until the February ONS with Tioga-Sequoia who brought some stouts with them.
I started off with the Morning Rush, their base Milk Stout that lends a beer name theme to many of their other beers. It had a nice smoke edge to it that really balanced out the sweetness.
Then I followed that with Cake Rush which adds coconut to the mix. Our waitress suggested it so I followed her lead. Coconut has gotten a bad rap from me in the past because the sweetness is usually too much. But I have had some good ones recently and this one is included. The balance from that first beer was still evident in the second which had enough sweet to work with the malt.
Follow Beer Belly on social media to see who will be featured in Koreatown on the third Wednesday of each month and in Long Beach every fourth Wednesday.
One of my favorites in the brewing world and one that I gravitate towards at any festival is The Rare Barrel. And as a pre-#LABW9 treat, on June 16th founder Alex Wallash will be at Beer Belly with some of his sours in tow (possible rare ones too!)
Here is the Taplist:
1. Across The Sea
3. Seditious Ways
5. Tropical Humor
6. Shades of Cool
7. Home Sour Home
8. Map of the Moon
9. Apropos of Nothing 2016
10. Wise Guise 2016
In one week, Beer Belly will celebrate another year of One Night Stands and serving great beer in Koreatown.
I will update this post with a beer list when it becomes available but you can imagine that it will be filled with interesting choices. I guarantee you will have a hard time picking just one beer or just two.
Thanks to Beer Belly ONS Ambassador Rich, I got the chance to crack open the special Smog City and Beer Belly collaboration, Mind of a Fruitcake.
This is a serious fruitcake beer. I can see that people might be divided like they are with the actual doorstop of a holiday treat.
Cinnamon is really prevalent here along with a sticky sweetness. This cola colored ale was aged in wine barrels (red) but that is completely faded to the deep background as the quad and spice take center stage. On a side note, The first “Mind of…” beer felt under peach-ed. Now this one is bold as all get out.
There are some beers that can be drunk with a multitude of foods but this one screams to be paired with dessert. I keep thinking of gingerbread cookies. Something spicy but sharp to contrast against the viscosity of the beer.