I am working on a piece to submit to Beer Paper LA about Benny Boy that will have backstory, impressions and big words so in this post, let’s talk about the beer and cider that was pouring.
I had six of the seven opening week beers. Poured straight from the tank by the way. I saved the IPA for a follow up visit.
I was most taken by the top two on the list. Mexican styled lagers are, at times, purposefully plain. Lincoln Heights Lager is light yellow in color so I thought it might fall into that category as well. But it had a nice spice (almost rye) as well as a deep corn flavor to it. The Other Lover is a low ABV delight as well with a lemon verbena note and almost easier to find your glass empty as the lager. I also want to mention the Midnight Swim which is a nice example of a Belgian Dark Strong ale.
Cross the courtyard over to the cider (and natural wine) building where you will find higher ABVs than in the brewery. These, I tasted all of and I came away very impressed by the two dry ciders at the top of the list especially. You could instantly taste the apple, peel and all in the single apple version and the double apple, you could taste both. In my experience the actual apple is sometimes covered by carbonation or other flavors. Not so here. Even the pineapple and pomegranate versions were decidedly apple forward, to the point that I wanted less apple.
This is a strong opening. I don’t say that often. Beer fans will be found here this year.
Unfortunately, the 2021 Cider Summit will be virtual but that means that those outside the NW can get in on the action from home.
Here are the available boxes…
Global Selections kit includes 6 ciders from British Columbia, England, France, Germany, Spain and California. The kit also includes 2 Cider Summit Festival tasting glasses and promotional merchandise from participating cidermakers.
Washington Harvest kit includes 6 WA-based ciders selection to match the changing of the season. The kit also includes 2 Cider Summit Festival tasting glasses and promotional merchandise from participating cidermakers.
NW Refreshers kit includes 8 refreshing ciders, seltzers and alternative beverages. The kit also includes 2 Cider Summit Festival tasting glasses and promotional merchandise from participating producers.
…and the fingers crossed / everything goes to plan opening date is September. Knowing the City of LA and the then (hopefully) after effects of pandemic times, I would say October or November might be closer.
Either way this freeway adjacent, five lanes of traffic away from the Brewery Blocks brewery and Cidery should be an excellent outdoor spot to re-acclimate oneself to drinking at a new brewery instead of the four-pack and flee method currently in place.
I am a side cider connoisseur and when I saw Ogopogo was launching a line, I knew I would be trying them. And I decided to start with this highest price entry in their range. Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel aged. And though, I generally prefer “clean”, plain cider. This is a really well balanced drink. It is more barrel than bourbon to me, the cider shines through and it still has enough bubbles in it to make it a bit crisp as well.
Angelenos have a new spot for cider tucked away near Hollywood in the enclave known as Virgil Village. Alma’s Cider & Beer, like everyone else, is to-go for now but peruse their menu HERE, maybe you will find a nice sparkling cider for New Years.
If you haven’t had cider that has been aged in a spirit barrel, well, you are missing out on a unique flavor pairing. You can see what apples and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels can do together with this new release from Ogopogo Brewing.
CAMRA wants to educate us on British Cider through the years. Their books division is Kickstarter-ing a “book that will look at how cider has formed an integral part of the UK’s landscape, with a heritage dating back at least 2,000 years. Today, cider faces a new change in the drinking landscape of Britain — the rise of craft and modern, discerning drinkers with different needs, habits and spending opportunities.”
Those choosing to crowdfund Cider “the book for £15 to demonstrate interest in the subject, which will also give them the opportunity to take part in a personal online tasting, and get limited edition T-shirts and signed editions of the new title.”
Lastly, CAMRA adds, “This is a unique opportunity for CAMRA books to gauge interest prior to a book’s publication, which can, in turn, allow us to offer a far wider selection of books in the future and potentially increase our publishing portfolio.”
There are quite few breweries in the cider space, but maybe it is time to let a winemaker in. I have had a few Thacher wines and their spread in Paso Robles is so calming. And if we get back on track by June next year, maybe I will be buying wine and cider.