LABW13 – Cellador Friends Festival

I actually went to a beer festival! The first one since 2019! Cellador Ales hosted the kick-off event for the 2022 L.A. Beer Week and here is my rundown…

Before I start with my best beers though, I want to say that I love the fact that Cellador has embraced magnum pours. They had a whole “magnum island” booth plus bottles were being walked around the festival alley.

On to the beers, this was not a sour only event as in years past, but there were sours aplenty. Rare Barrel had Space Jellies with Strata hops, Craftsman had some barreled Flors and many others had bottle or can pours at the ready.

That said, some of my favorites on the day were from North Park who brought their historically named DIPA’s …

Probably a notch above was the Green Cheek version of Timbo Pils which was bright and hoppy and refreshing on a hot day.

Another stand-out was Craftsman Brewing, OG in L.A. bringing their famous 1903 Lager as well as three barrel-aged ales including 3rd and 4th Flor. I tasted 3rd which used Sherry yeast and was different from every other taster I had.

I like the set-up lots of colorful branded pop-up tents in a row with food at one end and wine and cider inside. I was hoping for more seating and shade options. It was telling that the slim strip of shade near the building quickly became a hang out spot.

I will need to get my festival legs back. I was like a kid in a candy store who hadn’t had sugar in a bit but was also was too wary of crowds. But, my pacing and technique will improve as I get back in the swing of things.

Thanks to Kevin and Fran for setting up a great return to festival action in Los Angeles.

LABW 13 – BFE 2022

If you are in the northerly section of L.A. County, then you are in luck since you will be having your own mini L.A. brewery festival at Lucky Luke in Santa Clarita, BFE.

And this festival will be marking in Tiki time.

L.A. Beer Week 2022

Get your calendars (or should I say phones) out to mark off L.A. Beer Week for 2022.

June 18th through the 26th in what is being called “a modified format”. I will keep you apprised of cool events not to miss right up until the end.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the Unity 2022 brew was done recently and the host was Highland Park Brewery. Crossing my fingers that it is a pilsner and not an IPA.

Aftermath- Part 5

Next post crisis agenda, L.A. Beer Week. Each June the beer community gathers around our wide geographic area and celebrates. This year will be markedly not business as usual.

But, I do believe there is opportunity here. Yes, even if still locked down and isolated or out of business can provide hope. First, I think there must still be a Unity beer produced. And I would suggest that it be a strong golden ale that provides ABV but a golden hued glimmer as well.

If we are still isolated, there should be Zoom parties set-up for each day of the week, Jerry Lewis telethon style where brewery A hosts for 30 minutes, then a second brewery takes over with four breweries a night talking about their history, how best to support them and how to buy their beer. Or videos, can be made that guide people through a breweries beers and put up on the main Guild website and a dedicated YouTube channel.

If we are allowed outdoors in June, I would propose a Socially Distant Beer Festival. If only 10 people are allowed together in one venue, sell 9 tickets and have everyone properly spaced and then have a curated flight of local beers to offer them. Use the rules to make new events that abide by them. Or set a date for a Christmas Festival as a make-up. That is far enough in advance that it could actually happen.

We want people to get re-engaged with local.


Now that LABW11 is in the past, now is the perfect time to look ahead at the tweaks that can be made for next year. Here are (3) suggestions that I would make if my red phone rang…

Settle on a 2nd Weekend Featured event – My vote goes to Cellador and Sour Friends. Move that to Sunday and promote it as the bookend to the week. Years past has seen a whole separate festival, be it Sierra Nevada or Vegan Fest but I think those dull the shine of the Kick-Off festival and some people probably pick one or the other since the same breweries (basically) are at both. Focus on L.A. and focus on a niche.

Have one Unity Night – I would make Wednesday night a Unity night. List all the establishments that have the beer on tap or in cans and have a simultaneous raising of the glass to the beer. Also, can we go back to the beer telling an L.A. story. A West Coast DIPA is fine but how does that separate L.A. from other cities?

Go Hyper Local – Each day of the LABW should have a fun food and beer pairing from a different part of our sprawling Metropolis. Maybe seafood with a Santa Monica Brew Works beer, BBQ and IPA at HopSaint in Torrance, tacos in DTLA, dessert in Palmdale/Lancaster. Something to stitch together the whole fabric of LA.

LABW11 – recap

Earlier today, I posted some photos, here are my hazy recollections of the events I attended during the latest LABW

For the first time, well since ever, I did not attend the Kick-Off festival. Primarily due to the fact that I was only two weeks removed from Firestone Walker’s Invitational and because I was going to hit Sour Friends on the following weekend. Marathon. Not a Sprint mentality.

I did head over to Eagle Rock Brewery to sample and catch-up on the beers that they were quickly releasing in the run up to our beer week. Though the balance was weird, my winner of the group was Stimulus 03 which swapped out Belgian Amber for NE IPA with the only constant being high quality coffee. I also like the Norwegian Brut Kveik beer as well.

Next day was event-less as well unless you count making a run to Sunset Beer Co. to get the Unity beer not exciting. I mean the Cubs were in town which meant the Ravine was either busy or reeling from the busy.

Finally on Monday, I went to a sanctioned event! Hopped LA gathered some hazy IPA’s together at the Glendale Tap to show off what both LA and outside LA brewers are doing lately with the style. Arrow Lodge took home the popularity trophy on the night. I voted for Homage and their Little by Little which I thought hit all the hazy style points.

Next was Wednesday where the Brewers were making cocktails at Arts District Brewing. The usually raucous DTLA spot was not packed to the rafters which was good because the cocktails were to the rim of the glass. My favorite was the Three Weavers concoction which was one of the few mixed drinks that had beer as a component, in this case Knotty DIPA. I also enjoyed the Eagle Rock Bazooka Joe. Rum and honey swirled together.

The hits kept coming as I stayed close to home at the hidden gem that is We’re Pouring. They had a Shrago-centric list with a great variety of Beachwood beers. They had IPA’s (Greenshift for me), they had sours, they had Haybusa and they had stouts (System in two variants). Plus great pizza and NBA draft on the TV.

Friday and Saturday were my two most excited about events. I always make a point to hit Sunset Beer Co. during the week. They always come through with a casual and fun time. This year Kelly Erickson curated a list of Women-Brewed beers and she got a far ranging selection from Firestone Walker to the new Wave Maiden and Arrow Lodge as well.

Then I went out to Cellador (which I have been doing a lot this year) for their Sour Friends. This was a delight. Another great set of breweries pouring sours from across the spectrum many with Masumoto peaches if you wanted to pick a theme. Pyrus Rustique from Beachwood Blendery was fantastic filled with pear taste. Violet Underground from Firestone Walker was great as well plus they had palate cleansing beers like Pleasant Pils from Highland Park.

There was a quick stop at MacLeod’s on the way home to try their Five Anniversary 11% plus beer and soak up the sun on their patio and then, like that, LABW11 was done.

LABW11 – photos

Today, we look back (in two parts) at the events I ventured to for the 2019 L.A. Beer Week. Here are the photos…

Come to the Glendale Tap prepared, hazy IPA list in hand.
Ginger and Knotty DIPA cocktail from Alex Nowell of Three Weavers.
Greenshift DIPA and pizza at We’re Pouring.
Kelly and her beer list at Sunset Beer Co. (stolen from Facebook)
Kevin pouring special bottles at the Sour Friends festival.
My final LABW11 beers at MacLeod’s. One IPA and one barrel aged.