In Actual Hi-Def

When I spoke to 2/3 of the HiDef Brewing team, one thing that stood out was the comment, “If you can’t drink two of them then you screwed up.”

The other was that a German guy looking to buy a condo, probably based his decision on the fact that the the brewery was close.

More info on LA’s newest brewery to come next month over on Food GPS.

Comfortable in LA

In the photo above are Creature Comforts Brewing founder David, Chris, and Adam who are bringing a bit of Georgia to Los Angeles with a new brewery and taproom next summer!

The answer as to why a a Georgia brewery would open in the gritty part of DTLA can be found in an Avengers movie. Thor was seen drinking a Creature Comforts canned beer in Endgame. Joe Russo half of the Russo Brothers directing team is a fan of the beer from filming Marvel spectaculars in the state. He has also has been in the foodie scene in LA. in the nearby Arts District.

Add it all up and it means that means we lucky LA beer fans will get some of their excellent beers fresh.

Once that blush of excitement wears off, there will be some questions. Can Creature Comforts re-create the same magic away from the home base of operations? Will L.A. breweries weakened by Covid19 be battered further by a Hollywood backed outsider?

I know that I want some Tropicalia for sure.

In HiDef

It is hard to speculate about new breweries in the best of times but we all need to keep hope alive which is why you should follow HiDef Brewing which was and is in the process of opening. Maybe we all will be able to visit their Olive Avenue taproom this year.

Women in Beer Tour

On March 29th, L.A. Beer Hop will put the spotlight on Women’s History Month with a special tour featuring three breweries in the Downtown Los Angeles area. Here are the details….

Each stop will highlight a guest speaker, including: ​
– Brewmaster Devon Randall, who operates three breweries for the Pouring with Heart restaurant group at Imperial Western Beer Company in DTLA
– Brewer Kim Rice at Sage Organic Bistro and Brewery in Echo Park
Amber Sawicki, production brewery at Boomtown Brewery in the Arts District

This beer tasting adventure departs from Union Station in Downtown. Tour lasts 4-5 hours and will be guided by Certified Cicerone® Cindy Mooney, co-owner of LA Beer Hop.

Tickets are $69 and includes a flight of beer at each destination.

Also, be on the look-out for other trips to the South Bay with a different set of brewers.

1st Visit – Alamo Drafthouse

It has been open a while now but with a weekend in DTLA planned, I waited to try out the Alamo Drafthouse until a few days ago. Here is the re-cap…(with a bit of movie review thrown in)

Tucked into the back top right corner of the Bloc complex, the Drafthouse is not easily seen from 7th Street. Inside you have the typical ticket counter albeit not the huge but understaffed kind at your local multi-plex. To the right is where the fun is. The Video Vortex is part free video store and pre-show meet-up / hang-out space and the beer board is quite expansive and unlike other non-bar spots, they have made an effort to have both local and nationwide beers. And they have helped out educationally by separating them out on the menu board.

Now you can order here but if you are pressed for time. Ride the escalator up to the auditoriums and place your order there. The wait staff were helpful especially since many in our viewing of The Parasite were newbies to the Alamo. Place an order before the show or use their pencil and paper old-timey method to get a refill during the movie. Their was even a special Boomtown beer just for the movie, Bong Joon Hops named after the director.

The movie itself was very engrossing and just when you think you had it figured out, the plot would zig to the left and then zag to the right. It was hard at times to watch and funny as well but it certainly was making a commentary on the relationships of both class and families. And the twists are sharp.

Featured Review – Pineapple Saison from Angel City

After skillfully handling the sugar from strawberries, Angel City took on another challenge with another sugary fruit in pineapple. How does this Saison fare…

When a fruit is in the beer name, it is either way to over the top and cloying or it is not there at all.  In between is rarely seen.  The Angel City Pineapple Saison which could be a sugary tiki bomb is the rare beer that emphasizes the style first and foremost and then brings the fruit in as a guitar solo or special effect in an action movie.  This has those swirling Belgian yeast esters and slight toast malt notes with the addition of just the right amount of pineapple. 

Featured Review – Avocado Ale from Angel City

It takes guts to use an ingredient that is in high demand and short supply and is thus expensive but Angel City has come back with multiple versions of their yearly Avocado Ale. Here is my review of the basic 16oz canned version…

Maybe this is the beer equivalent of avocado toast?  Pours a medium yellow color. Lots of grain character.  Neither the taste of avocado or honey comes through but the consistency of both is there.  This is very silky and almost oily. No cilantro or lime at all.  That could use to be amped up.  In, the end, this is a pleasant beer to have alongside something with wilder flavors as a counterpoint.

Pineapple in Belgium

There are certain fruits that, to me, can get too sugary and too fake-y real quick. One is strawberry, another is pineapple. But Angel City did well by the former with a Gose and now is tackling the latter with a Saison. Review to follow because this might be a tricky one to combine.

Draft House drafts

Alamo Drafthouse finally opened in L.A. yesterday! But more importantly, we have a first look at their beer choices…..

Heavy on hops and pilsners which is to be expected. Mostly CA based breweries but also a smattering of LA (though I wish there was more) and speaking of wishes, it would be nice to see an Alamo beer brewed for this location only. Maybe Indie Brewing since indie films and fests will be playing on the screens. My two suggested picks come from the Dark & Malty section. The Smog City Sabre-Toothed Squirrel and the Three Weavers Deep Roots ESB would be my go-to’s.

Re-Visit – Modern Times Dankness Dojo

Say what you will about the naming conventions used by Modern Times or the large expansion they have undertaken but in the end it comes down to the beer and the experience in your spaces. And I felt it was time to re-visit the Dankness Dojo in DTLA to answer those two essential questions.

I finally got a day when it was not super packed. The small amount of bar stools means that unless you get there at the stroke of 11am, you probably won’t find a seat there is similar to finding parking in the DTLA central core.

There has never been a shortage of beers on offer here which I truly like. If you want to go IPA, well you will be busy but sours and stouts and even a dopplebock were also on offer. There is also a goodly number of collaborations from Wayfinder in Portland and Automatic in San Diego. Of all the beers, my absolute favorite was the Old Economy Oak Aged Dopplebock. Straightforward with a lovely burnished brown color. This is a big ABV beer that toed the line of sweetness and also was one you had to watch how fast you drank. The IPA’s all differentiated themselves though I was underwhelmed by the Max Single Hop IPA. This version was with Strata which I have been really digging lately. But this one fell flat for me. Wasn’t as bad as the Pastry Stout, Shadow Temple which was just a coconut conveyor belt.

I like the art, the ambience and though I wish the space was a touch larger, they have put in as much seating as possible and the beers were uniformly well made (if not to my taste).