Two on the ‘Ridge

Normally, I would be posting more of these anniversary notices each month but the pace is starting to pick up. Yes, I know I keep saying that. Trying to make wishes come true.

All prelude to say that Surfridge is turning two an will have a special tap room only beer. Remember those?

Hermosa Hollow

Hermosa Brewing has found a brewing home! It is a bit further up the coast and in the now crowded El Segundo scene. It is in the same brick building as the R6 Distillery which could yield some collaborations down the road.

Double Crowler Review – Surfridge

My pre-order Friday and pick-up Saturday routine went to El Segundo for a Surfridge Brewing Co. crowler sale. I went one IPA and one stout.

Outlaw Unicorn is objectively a great beer name and the beer had a couple of different levels to it.  At first, it was a dense rye-ish IPA that was closer to British styled than West Coast, but as it warmed, there was a new flavor note in the form of orange pekoe tea. I found the latter to be the more enjoyable. 

The Gnome had a nice vanilla / milk chocolate combo but for a stout was pretty light and watery. No fan of the pastry stout am I but this could have used less effervescence and more heft.

1st Visit – Upshift Brewing

It felt weird being in El Segundo and NOT going to El Segundo Brewing, but I did want to check out the new kid on the block, Upshift Brewing.

Just off of Sepulveda is Upshift Brewing, you enter the brewery tap room in the back and right away that you see that they have taken the automotive theme and run with it.  License plates on the bar wall with oil tin signs. Oil drums on patio as tables. Highway guardrails.  Cool hubcap four tops with freeway signs for the cool photos and even racing on TV.

For my money they have one of the coolest flight tray designs around. Sturdy grey plastic with a bike handle to lift the six tasters.  The flight sheet is in the form of an old-time auto repair ticket

All of the beers tasted on the heavy side to me even though the ABV’s were low.  Both pale ales were tilted toward extra malt and extra hops.  Both Pole Position and P-R-N-D-L had a near caramel smokiness under an earthy hop flavor.  The Kolsch tasted like an amped up imperial version. I will need to go back and check out the darker beers from the 9 list long menu to see how those shape up.

1st Visit – Surfridge Brewing

Block 1

There is no sign, except for a tiny “beer” arrow to indicate that Surfridge Brewing is open.  October 11th was the official grand opening and I jumped in early on a Saturday to both check out the interior and to taste a beer. 

Two things grabbed my attention.  First were cool eco tap handles minus any logo that have a marble look to them.  Quite different from the normal heavily branded practice.  There is also a kid friendly clubhouse near the entrance.  Splitting the difference by keeping kids out of the way from the bar and TV patrons.

There is also a patio with seating and off in the distance is the light blue El Segundo emblazoned water tower.  Food trucks are accessible out through that patio and the whole place has plants everywhere.  Reminding me of Homage Brewing in Pomona.

Currently there are 6 beers on tap, your basic starter brewery menu.  IPA, Session IPA, Wit and Pale.  The Pale was good.  Mostly old school Cascade hop territory.  A bit one note and not subtle but well done all the same.  The Wit has peppercorns and grapefruit which should make for a new twist on the Belgian style.

Overall, the space is calming and large enough for groups to gather, I will have to check back on the beers to see how they evolve but this is a good start.

Sean Suggests for July 2019

This month, let’s go big and hoppy.  No session or lactose or fruit.  Just imperial.

Arrow Lodge / Hush Money 8.00% ABV
“Hazy DIPA brewed with Citra and Amarillo hops”

El Segundo / Two Five Left 8.50% ABV
“Simcoe and Citra steal the runway, dominating the aroma with big tropical notes of passionfruit and papaya. We add just a touch of crystal malt (gasp!) to provide a backbone that plays well the the soft yet assertive hop profile.”

Founders / Double Trouble 9.40% ABV
“An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

Surf of El Segundo

Looking at another brewery coming to El Segundo as Surfridge Brewing Company is in the works now.

According to their nascent Facebook page, “Surfridge is a 20-barrel production brewery in El Segundo, CA, named for a community by the sea turned Blue Butterfly Sanctuary.”

More news to follow.