It is hard to top the Deconstructed event that Firestone-Walker put on with the Home Brew Chef, Sean Paxton. Damn good (and exclusive) beer, excellent food and gracious hosts in a cool Hollywood venue.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Beer Float Showdown as well. For some of the same reasons as I enjoyed Deconstructed. Great beer paired with creative food. I could see that the float makers were both working hard and having fun.
I also enjoyed the three year vertical of Ten Fidy that Boneyard Bistro provided. The array of stouts and big beers they had that night was amazing and I wish I had more nights to have tried out a few more.
The big, big plus of the last two weeks was the sheer volume and variety of events. There were huge pairing dinners and simple meet the brewer nights, there were new beer releases and celebrations of our local brewers. There was something for every beer geek across the area. But within that bounty were some missed chances.
I would love to see a “New to craft beer” event that roved from bar to bar. A welcome mat of an event that would encourage people to try a variety of beers to acclimate palates to the good beer of the world and be able to get questions answered.
I would also like to see more signage with the L.A. Beer Week logo that could catch the eye of the passersby, if you will excuse the rhyme. Maybe an official L.A. Beer Week stop sign to hang in a business window or a sandwich board outside. Having an Untappd badge and the other social media kicking are great but I would like to see outreach to the non “in-the know” folks. And if people see enough of them as they drive around L.A., they might get curious.
Lastly, as much as I liked the plethora of beer, two weeks was a bit much. I know America is the land of outsized ideas but by the end on Sunday, I had heard the lament of “ready for Monday” many times and not just from myself. I am a proponent of the 10 day week. Coming on the heels of the Great American Beer Festival and before the November San Diego Beer week, ten days allow some rest for the wicked. Not that everyone attended an event a day like me but I think that L.A. has enough of a craft beer culture where we can start having mini-festivals throughout the year to augment the many other events that are happening so that beer can gain a momentum that a once a year event cannot generate.
That being said, kudos to all the organizers for taking on the extra workload and less sleep and loads of driving to bring beer to me and to all of the people of L.A. The city is better for your efforts.