Karl Strauss Brewing continues their collaborative IPA series with Squawk Box IPA.  The name should clue you in to the partner in this hop flight, it is Green Cheek Beer Co..

“Inspired by the famed citrus groves of Orange County, this beer is the liquid equivalent of a sun-kissed orange. With a tantalizing mix of Talus, Citra, and HBC-586 experimental hops, every sip is a burst of citrus and stone fruit flavors and aromas”


We don’t get any Cincy Made Rhinegeist beer here in the Southland so this collaboration with Karl Strauss is as close as you can get unless you have Midwest travel plans coming up. The label is a little too colorful for me but a citrusy IPA sounds good.

Wrecked Jerky

San Diego is working on being the beer infused jerky leader. Stone has a couple variants with Tangerine IPA and Arrogant Bastard, now Karl Strauss takes it to a stout level with their famous Wreck Alley. Maybe time for a full taste test to happen.

30 Love for Karl Strauss

Karl Strauss Brewing began a month long anniversary a couple days ago for their 30th year in the beer business and there are two beers to look for plus some throwbacks (if you can make the trip south from L.A.….

  1. “The 30th Anniversary Barrel Aged Imperial Stout was aged in rye whiskey barrels for twelve months and is graced with rich aromas and flavors of chocolate, toffee, and espresso tied together by a warm, lingering finish. This big & boozy beer comes in at 14.4% ABV and will be available in draft and 500ml bottles across California.”  
  2. “The collaboration beer release with Drake’s Brewing Company is a hazy IPA brewed with Simcoe, Cascade, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops.  The beer is aptly named “Level 30 Complete”, honoring the fact that both breweries turn 30 years young in 2019.  This juicy IPA will be available in draft and 16oz cans across California.”  
  3. “Small batches of four throwback KARL beers will also be released at the company’s Brewpubs and Tasting room each Thursday night in February.  These beers will feature their original beer names and recipes which were pulled from KARL’s 1989 recipe book.”

1st Visit – Karl Strauss DTLA

A little Karl Strauss backstory before launching into a 1st Visit recap. I have been to the Universal location a few times during my time working in and around what is now the Wizarding World of ComcastLand. I never left thinking the beer was anything but slightly above average, angled more to tourists. Not a lot of one-off taps for sure. I have also been to a couple of the different San Diego County outposts and found it fine as well with a skosh more out there tap offerings.

None of that prepared me for the vast list that was available at the new DTLA spot just up the street from the huge Whole Foods on Grand Avenue. There was a long list of beers that I had not heard of before in addition to their core line-up.

I ordered up a sampler tray (then had a plus one). My favorite of the beers tried was the Crabgrass Kolsch which was crisp and clean and simple. The rest of the beers were in the medium-OK realm. The new holiday seasonal 7 Sharks Circling was supposed to have a “bonfire” of smoked notes that I found to be underwhelming. Canadian Necktie Maibock was fine but lacked a certain heft to it. The Golden State of Mind Saison was also just fine. My notes for the last two beers show that things are kept pretty simple. Even the Krema Coffee Stout didn’t have a kick to it. I guess, in general, the beers just needed to be amped up more. Add more coffee and smoke and let it take a place at the big table.

The clear loser was the Under the Stairs barrel-aged sour with Guava. The aroma was quite fruity but once your nose got closer and once it hit the tongue, all butter. One of those beers that probably shouldn’t be on tap.

The service was attentive and the bartenders had the spiel down but that spiel was a lot more in depth as to beer and food pairings then I expected.

If you pick and choose carefully, this could be a really good place to spot new Karl beers and have some lunch.