Let’s dive into a new hazee from Smog City Brewing in Torrance, Frost Flowers in the colorfully bright can….
Haven’t seen a flower with even a smidgen of frost on it here in L.A. but I will take Smog City’s word for it. This Hazy IPA is 6.4% and pours with a decent amount of orangey haze. It is the first Smog Days Series beer for 2023. Hopped with Amarillo, Ekuanot and Azacca, I get orange peel and tangerine initially. More bitterness here than pillowy haze. A secondary hit of black tea. Tastes quite strong.
Rick’s Near Beer launches Rick’s Hazy their second non-alcoholic craft beer this month. I don’t know if strict adherents to Dry January are cool with the contains less than 0.5% ABV. But I am glad that their brand extending.
Here is the beer description from the press release, “Rick’s Hazy, full of citrus and tropical fruit flavor and aroma, is brewed with premium malted barley, flaked wheat, loads of Pacific Northwest hops, and Rocky Mountain water.”
The end of 2022 brought the first of the 2023 Smog City rotating IPA series, Frost Flowers.
The artwork will be new this year and all offerings in this year will be hazy.
I didn’t make it out to San Gabriel for the actual Ogopogo Brewing anniversary party but I did drop in to snare the anniversary beer.
First off, kudos to doing a pale ale even if 6% is closer to that styles ceiling than floor. There is a bit of swirling haze in the glass but not a super murky appearance. Has that tongue scraping hop character that I kinda now expect from a hazy. It could also be that I see the word Phantasm and my mind fills in the blank with a powdery texture. There is a bright fruit punch note at first but that quickly transitions to a less bright earthy flavor.
Overall, I really like that switch. Both sides of that flavor coin are really good.
Smog City is getting our hopes up for winter with….
…snow would be nice but a little dew to go with my hazy might be all I get.
I posted about HopSaint getting into cans, so without further ado, let’s try Bring the Noise.
This Torrance brewed beer pours a yellow hazy shade. Aroma has a little orange peel to it. Initial sips show off citrus and a tiny bit of pineapple to me. Has the hazy texture to it, giving the palate a bit of a hop scrape. Getting secondary grassy notes behind the fruit. No one flavor is taking the lead.
Bonus points for the glittery disco label.
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.
Time to dive into some IPA’s from sorta local Lucky Luke Brewing Company.
In a world where a LOT of IPAs taste very similar, these two do not.
Hooray for Me – this is quite uniquely fruity. Maybe guava or papaya here. It has the clarity if not the bracing bitterness. That 7.2% is super well masked. Could easily be a DIPA in name.
Free High 5 – certainly a hazy DIPA. Getting huge amounts of banana and earthiness here. Squarely in the hazy category. This is a cheek warmer. Soft texture but in no way weak.
Is that Aquaman’s dad in overalls?
Whomever you think it is, a hazy from the combined forces of Smog City and Three Weavers should cast a spell on your taste buds.
Today I tackle two different styles from Aslan Brewing in Washington State.
Frauenbier – This schwarzbier pours with a lovely tan foam. I am catching a bit of light rauch to it. A pretty strong near coffee bitterness. There is an additional caramel layer to this as well.
Cosmic Dreams – pours a truly hazy orangey / near brown. Tropical fruit notes. A bit of mango and pineapple. But also quite earthy as well. Bitter at the back end to boot.