Each spring, beer fans see Pink Boots collaboration beers made (sometimes) with that years special hop blend. You would have have to search them out brewery by brewery. But this year Los Angeles got lucky with the first CollaBrew Festival so youcan taste many of the beers all in one spot.
Held next door to Frogtown Brewery in front of a dance studio, Pink Boots LA brought together many local breweries and one in the works cider maker all together under a sunny, spring sky to show off their beers. There were also sessions all afternoon so that you could hear about women in our brewing industry.
And I had two really fantastic beers amongst the tasters. First was an IPA from 14 Cannons Fuck the Patriarchy that tasted just hopped, it was that fresh. Project Barley had one of the best cold IPA’s in their short history named Ice the Nectaron that was perfectly light with just a touch of hop bitterness.
I hope this festival becomes a yearly event. The San Diego chapter has expressed interest and it could become a bigger festival.
Those who curate solid craft beer lists should be followed. In that spirit, Jimmy Smith who until recently worked the kegs at Glendale Tap is now handling the beer program at Spoke Bicycle Cafe in Frogtown.
No, you do not need a bike helmet or those too tight shorts to enter, just a love of beer. Check it out Thursday through Sunday.
Don’t call it a soft opening per se since Dry River won’t have a tap room but the event at Elysian was a premiere for the very soon to be flowing Boyle Heights brewery.
Three beers were on tap to show the range of brewer Naga Reshi. Starting with Lady Roja which is their gateway beer. No blonde or amber here though. This beer has tamarind and sea salt which added to the predominant taste of apple makes for a complex beer. A portion of this batch is also aging in wine barrels which should add yet another layer of flavor. Future batches will have an increased tamarind level which I think should balance the beer a bit more. There is a touch of sour at the end but I would not have called it a sour.
Copper Witch was # 2 in the line-up card and described as a hoppy farmhouse ale. It was my least favorite of the trio. It was a little thin and too minerally for my taste and the hops were earthy but didn’t add enough to make this beer truly run. The yeast used is a combo of Saison and other wild yeasts that the brewer has been cultivating so this is much more an American farmhouse and not Belgian/French.
The last offering was my favorite. A Wheat Wine that was poured young and without a key change from when it gets bottled in time for New Years celebrations. Champagne yeast will be added to again push this beer into a new direction. There was a solid malt base here with some cinnamon spice notes. It tasted like a winter beer for sure.
Dry River doesn’t have huge capacity so your best bet to ensure that you get to sample their offerings is by joining their Collectors Club. That way you get three beers each quarter plus heads-up when new beers are being offered. As well as other membership perks.