Pomona Now, Covina Later

Old time L.A. beer fans might remember Sanctum Brewing in Pomona, well that space is now the home of Neon Bear Brewery.  The owner/brewmaster is Ryan Walton, who last worked at Last Name Brewing Co.  They are now open and showing off neon signage because, for some strange reason, the City of Glendale’s Museum of Neon Art, has a storage facility not in Glendale.  I digress, the brewery is now open and is on my to-visit list.

Coming later is Campsite Brewing settling in Covina and a planned opening date later this year.  More info to come as they get closer to opening the taps on what should include a rauchbier or s’mores stout.

Five Arrows

Arrow Lodge will be splitting time between gazing at their beautiful beers and fawning over classic cars when the mark their 5th anniversary next month.

So follow their feed for further details and maybe anniversary beer news.

1st Visit – Nova Brewing

A taster tray is 6 strong here. I got all 4 of the Ginjo 7 beers made with Sake yeast plus a smoke beer and an IPA.  Thankfully the gate was open, so I didn’t have to call with password to get into the semi-industrial area.  Inside it is a spare, multipurpose taproom.  Seating truncated by empty kegs and boxes on one side plus a cooler and small microwave in between sparse shelving units. It was a bit warm inside.  I got tagged by a mosquito while drinking so session moved faster than I might normally do because two large itchy bites is my limit. 

Starting with the sake yeast beers which is quite strong in the White, masked a little more in the Red. But the Blue had a nice double hit of saison and sake mixed. The Black has a bit of wine barrel to it tending towards sour. Red and Blue clearly were better to me because the balance was better because damn that Sake yeast is strong.

The Horizon IPA was different but good, maybe the different made it stand out.  The smoke beer was my favorite, it had really nice wood note that you lose sometimes in smoked ales.  This was softer than a traditional rauchbier. No smoke in your eyes at a campfire and more BBQ.

Overall, not my favorite beers, maybe the Sake is stronger but I will leave that to Sake Search Party for that review.

Beer Review – Sass Machine from Arrow Lodge

Arrow Lodge can branding has been a bit hit or miss for me. One can is all green and the next is a wavy psychedelic unicorn. But I could not pass up on such a sassy beer. The Mavhine oours a hazy lemonade ice tea color. Very soft and pillowy mouthfeel, bitterness is there but a couple blocks away. There is a tropical fruit aroma. Pineapple and banana to me. I wouldn’t call it sassy. Getting some citrus flavor notes as it warms. Almost sorbet like in the flavor. I noticed that Untappd has an entry for a peach version which might be even better.

1st Visit – Arrow Lodge

The 210 freeway can be as bad as the 405 can be on a bad day which can make it hard to venture past Pasadena. But there is good beer off the freeway and Arrow Lodge and their head brewer Amy Heller are crafting beer that should be noticed in L.A. proper.

Not to blow smoke. There were a couple beers that missed the mark. But the beers that hit did so strongly. Strictly Business, their take on the NE (hazy) style had good bite to it and left what I consider the trademark scuff on the palate. The well-named Arrowmatic may be just an IPA but their DIPA worked well. Solid aroma leading to a quaffable DIPA. MY favorite though was their take on a French Saison. (an item rarely seen). Oui Adelit was bright with lovely yeast notes throughout.

The Ol’ Salty Gose did taste like Sprite and the Milk Stout needed some sweetening like a sound track but for a three-month old brewery that is still adding equipment, this is a solid start. You won’t see this on tap much in Los Angeles but if it makes it easier. Alosta Brewing is within steps. You can kill two bier birds with one drive.

New in Covina & Rancho Cucamonga

Looks like the greater L.A. craft beer map is filling in a little more.

Out in Covina, Arrow Lodge Brewing (formerly Barley Lodge) is up and going….

Beers that seem to be getting name checked most are the Pale To the King, Happy Cal Milk Stout Stout and the intriguing Lavender Vanilla Cream Ale

Next up is Sour Cellars, way out in Rancho Cucamonga. Still not as far as Hangar 24 though.

The all sour brewery opened up just as 2016 ticked away for good. They are “specializing in newly isolated wild yeast strains.” Maybe a Cucamonga Quake Coolship is in the future.

Revved Up

Well, that was fast.  It didn’t take long for Rev Brewing to rev up.  (OK, no more use of the word Rev).


It will be fun to see what new twist this new brewery brings to the L.A. table.  The organic niche is one that could be really exploited (in a good way) here in Los Angeles.

Rev up the Brewery

The wine country of Covina.  Let’s just say that is not on the tips of peoples tongues but Rev Winery is making European inspired wines from Temecula grapes.  And now they are branching into our favorite beverage, craft beer.

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They have hired Erick (Better known as Riggs) Villar of Ohana Brewing to join Patrick Bustos and Adam Jaime to work a seven barrel brewhouse.  This had flown by my beer radar to the point where there beers will be coming out fairly soon.  No waiting for this permit or that review.  They will be joining with Alosta Brewing to fill up the pint glasses of beer fans in the San Gabriel Valley.

More news to follow when I have had a chance to try their beers.