Cold is Here…

…to stay? Looks like the debate as to where a Cold IPA lands in beer style taxonomy hasn’t hurt or stopped breweries from producing more, and here is another from Firestone Walker (a blog favorite brewery)…

..though still not a fan of the artwork palette or style, I do like the Escher touch tied to the name which is a nod to the what is it really talk.

Review – 2 Fremont Collaborations

Fremont Brewing of Seattle (and Earth) has a pretty solid reputation and thankfully we get a bit of their beers here in L.A. Specifically a couple of IPA collaborations with sone equally well-known breweries…

Let’s start with Specific Void the ominous sounding IPA with Burial Beer Co.. Even the NW Fremont bird on the label has a museum exhibit quality to it.

This smells very NW to me. Pine backed by a slight fruit note. Very precisely targeted. Little banana on the taste. More malt than hops initially. Has a soft quality to it. Tastes closer to a Belgian Pale Ale to me and not in a bad way.

The next partner is Bale Breaker who also farm hops, so why not put those hops into a Cold IPA, Cultivision. Bird seems a little less goth on this label. Great aroma here. Quite earthy and dank to start. Very crisp. A bright yellow color to this one. Grassy overall.

I would take the Cultivision over Specific Void based just on crispness alone.

Cold Sabro

And not just Sabro featured in the new beer from Los Angeles Ale Works, Hopped Out Cold Cold IPA

“Crisp, clean and crystal clear. You won’t find any malty sweetness distracting you from the real showcase here – the hops. Sabro, Mosaic and Citra play off one another with a restrained bitterness and refreshingly balanced notes of dank pine, coconut, black current and lemon.”

1st Visit – La Jara Brewing

La Jara Brewing which has only been open a couple of months is right off the 5 and Carmenita in that not Orange County not Los Angeles County zone.  If you look up at the right time you will catch the sign on the building as you drive.  

It is very bright and colorful inside the industrial space.  Murals on the walls are well done and create an oasis like feel despite the sprawl of concrete everywhere outside the building.  I really like the rocking chairs to the side of the bar as well as the wooden bar thar looks onto the brew floor. Or you can choose the side outdoor patio.

The staff were super friendly in that new brewery way. The space filled up quickly after the opening bell, so to speak, has been rung. The beer menu is in the style of Pizza Port with plenty of info to make your choices from. Nine beers were on tap from blonde to wheat and the IPA swath.

Let’s move to the beers…

Gateway Dark Lager – little spice to this semi-dark lager. closer to a Vienna to my tastebuds.

Hindsight Cold IPA – has an IPL look to it. Darkish but clear yellow.  Fruity aroma. Earthy hops in the lead with pils notes coming through behind it.

Backhaul Hazy – an unfiltered juice look here so off to a good start. Has the signature hop tongue scrape indicative of early hazes. That earthy hop note is present here too.

Stunt Dubbel – this comes on strong like a spirit but not in an ABV way, just assertive. Comes off as just a little green to me. Balance of sweet and malt is not bad though.

Colder than Cold

The cool cat from Party Beer Co. has traveled to the ’90s. A time without Cold IPA for a collaboration with Hop Secret Brewing, Cool as Ice.

“this IPA is fermented cold with famous Weihenstephan yeast and Idaho Gem, Cashmere & Talus hops. One sip will transport you back to the 90’s while delivering notes of tangerine, lime and red cherry.​​​​​​​​”

Santa’s Pint Glass – Day 29

We are at Christmas Eve and Santa has to work and not kick back with a pint, but there is one last beer to be had, Stay Frosty from Reuben’s Brews.

“Stay Frosty IPA is the perfect beer for the tail end of Summer and the return of crisp, cool, fall air to the PNW. It’s clean and refreshing like a lager, but with the higher ABV and bold hoppiness of a classic West Coast IPA. 

Instead of using traditional ale yeast, in this hybrid IPA we use lager yeast and ferment at cooler temperatures than normal IPAs to deliver a clean body that allows the hops to shine without any of the usual ale yeast aromas. The addition of flaked rice to the grain bill imparts additional clarity and crispness. Gobs of hops build an assertive bitterness, and we also dry hop at the tail end of fermentation to deliver even more hop boldness.”