Work It

I fully get that job hunting is not a looked forward to activity even in the best of times. And now, well, it is not in the same zip code as the best of times. Which means that any avenue or resource is important. And the LA Brewers Guild has one such resource. Bookmark the link at the top, maybe you will see a match that can lead to something bigger when the virus lets us resume normal activity.

Fairground Attractions

To me, competitions are barometers. Some barometers are of higher quality than others of course but almost all have their use.

That disclaimer now aside, The L.A. International Beer Competition was held recently and L.A. brewers from literally, all over the map, took home honors. Many more than last year.

Here are the results:
Gold: 11 Wins
Arts District Brewing Compatny, Gretzky (Historical Beer)
Arts District Brewing Company, Honeycut (Session IPA)
MacLeod Ale Brewing Co., Van ICE (American-Style or German-Style Light Lager)
Angel City Brewery, Marilyn Blonde Ale (American-Style Cream Ale)
Claremont Craft Ales, Pistil Pale Ale (American-Style Strong Pale Ale)
El Segundo Brewing Co., Hammerland (Imperial India Pale Ale)
Verdugo West Brewing Co., Brass Jar Hoppy Amber (Imperial Red Ale)
Sanctum Brewing, Your Destiny (German-Style Sour Ale)
Bravery Brewing, Hammer Hef (German-Style Wheat Ale)
Arts District Brewing Company, Spirited Saison (Classic French and Belgian-Style Saison)
Pocock Brewing Company, Being All Fancy (Special Saison)
Ladyface Ale Companie, Trois Filles (Belgian-Style Tripel)

Silver: 12 Wins
HopSaint Brewing Company, Fistful of Peel (Belgian-Style Fruit Beer)
Smog City Brewing, The Nothing (Chocolate or Cocoa Beer)
Innovation Brew Works, Cattle Rancher (American-Belgo Style Ale)
Smog City Brewing, Bourbon O.E. (Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer)
Bravery Brewing, Bourbon Barrel-Aged The Shroud (Wood and Barrel-Aged Stout)
Angel City Brewery, Pinot Fresa (Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)
Alosta Brewing, Highway 39 (Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest)
Smog City Brewing, Sabre-Toothed Squirrel (American-Style Amber or Red Ale)
Claremont Craft Ales, Buddy (American-Style Black Ale)
Ladyface Ale Companie, La Grissette (Belgian and French-Style Ale)
Old Stump Brewing, P Town Porter (Brown Porter)
Eagle Rock Brewery, Stimulus (Imperial Stout)

Bronze: 13 Wins
The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Juicebox Series: Boysenberry Wheat Ale (Fruit Wheat Beer)
Three Weavers Brewing, Southbounder (Coffee Beer)
Beachwood BBQ, Why We’re Here [Black Lime] (Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)
Angel City Brewery, Black Lager (Schwarzbier or Black Lager)
Pacific Plate Brewing Co., German Kolsch (German-Style Kolsch)
Three Weavers Brewing, Deep Roots (Ordinary or Special Bitter)
Pocock Brewing Company, British Volunteer (Extra Special Bitter)
Ladyface Ale Companie, Lady La Blonde (Belgian-Style Blonde or Pale Ale)
Eagle Rock Brewery, Manifesto (Belgian-Style Witbier)
Beachwood Blendery, Careful With That Peach, Eugene (Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale)
Ladyface Ale Companie, Blind Ambition (Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadruple)
Claremont Craft Ales, Irish Dry Stout (Classic Irish-Style Stout)
Bravery Brewing, The Shroud (Imperial Stout)

Let’s do the Numbers

Though you could just look at a busy taproom for anecdotal evidence of the economic impact of #independent beer in L.A. The Los Angeles County Brewers Guild has gone one better and working with the UCLA Applied Research Department has the data to back up the positive claims.

The guild commissioned “an economic impact analysis report detailing the contributions of local, small, and independent craft breweries within our region.”

Frances Lopez, the fearless leader of the Guild has it boiled down to both graphical form….

…and other highlights:

1. This economic impact represents a 45% increase relative to a 2015 study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR).

2. Guild brewery members’ economic activity generated $22 Million in tax revenue of which $13 Million went to state and local municipalities.

3. There were zero reported brewery closures in Los Angeles County within the last 5 years.

4. L.A. County has grown from under 5 operating craft breweries in 2009 to over 76 within the county as of April 2018.

5. The Guild is projected to be home to over 80 independent craft breweries in the county by the end of 2018.

“All data compiled features numbers exclusive to small and independent craft brewers in L.A. County as defined by the Brewers Association and does not include any businesses formerly craft or whose main operations are based outside of the county.”

Photos from the 2nd L.A. Beer & Food Festival

I was volunteer Sean and not Media Pass Sean for the 2nd iteration of the L.A. Beer & Food Festival presented by the L.A. County Brewers Guild. And with a date at Indie Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary later in the day, I did not imbibe much at the Mack Sennett Studios.

No real beer reviews then, just some photos to make those who didn’t attend jealous….

Beer slushies with Kip from L.A. Ale Works

Wolf Creek brought the Mac

Dry River with best beer taps

Fat Dragon bringing it.

I lied about not reviewing the beer – My favorite of the group that I drank was the Hopdouken from Arrow Lodge with the Zymurgry lager coming in second. Too much to choose from.

Here is what I tried:
Homage Still Sound
Five Threads Amber
Ladyface Octennial
ERB La Di Da
Arrow Lodge Hopdouken
Zymurgy Mexican Lager
Dry River Sasha
Yorkshire Square Jonathan Porter

Keeping Up with the 60+

Do you know how many breweries are in Los Angeles County? Did Mayor Garcetti’s backtracked World Series bet get you to thinking what L.A. beer you would send to another city?

There are two ways you can have a handy list on hand when your phone is low on batteries:

First up is the upcoming new t-shirt from the good people over at Hopped LA

The second is the handy foldable L.A. County Brewers Guild map. For the kids, it is something your parents used before Waze led you down blind alleys and cul-de-sacs to avoid traffic.

L.A. Football & Craft Beer

No I don’t mean the Rams or Chargers. Talking about the L.A. Galaxy teaming up with the L.A. County Brewers Guild for a mini-fest before the Galaxy take on the Fire of Chicago (not the TV show).

Here are the details of this cool event….

…and here is the link to buy tickets, BUY!

L.A. Food & Beer Fest – Recap

My better half does not attend beer festivals. But, she made an exception for the 1st ever L.A. Beer & Food Fest.

1st festivals are almost always interesting. Is the space right? Are they ready? Many questions to be answered. But Frances Lopez and her crew did a great job of using the Mack Sennett Studios to their full advantage.

Upon entering it was encouraging that physical room separation was used for good. If you have two indoor rooms and one outdoor space, how do you use it?

By putting food and drink outside, brewpubs in one room and breweries in another. Location was used to best effect. And, with tinkering can be even better.

Since this was a beer AND food festival, I gave to say that the food on offer was great but could have been better showcased. My wife and I loved Waffle Love (Come to Glendale) and their dessert waffles in two varities. Sausal had a great chili with kick to it and Vagabond Cheese was their usual terrific selves educating and making great pairing suggestions. (pecorino with Standard Crude). But nowhere did I see signage that pushed people to try food A with beer B or beer C. Except for the brewpub area where you could try Eagle Rock beers with Eagle Rock Public House food. Same goes for Ladyface, Twisted Oak and Wolf Creek. All brought unique food in perfect little bite sized tastes.

As I age, the amount of beer I drink at unlimited festivals is becoming less, so I leave a lot on the table especially at a fest with so many breweries pouring a pair (or more) beers a piece. But I found some winners. Transplants Brewing had a beautiful red colored Triple IPA, Not Getting Any Younger which was excellent. I got my first taste of One from Strand Brewing which at DIPA strength made me look forward to Two. I had my first beer from Arrow Lodge, Pale to the King which was probably my favorite of the day.

Aside from signage and more pushing pairings, I think the addition of more specialized cuisines would vault this fest higher. Pizza, salad and Americana staples would have helped. The food on offer was great and hit niches well like dessert and spicy foods but adding a couple more would ease lines and give more options especially with the amount of IPA’s on tap.

You have to judge a festival based on many factors, not the least of which is how many times it has been done. If this is where the LAB&FF starts from, the sky is the limit.

L.A. Beer & Food Festival

Less than a month to go before the first ever L.A. Beer & Food Fest and you will want to say that you were there.

Now is the time though for me to highlight the breweries that you should seek out when you do go…

Arrow Lodge – one of the newest guild members
Brouwerij West – might be a hike to their brewery but you should go
Cellador Ales – limited tap room hours so be sure to grab a taster
Highland Park Brewery – Bob Kunz is doing magical stuff
Homage Brewing – I had one sampler and I wanted more
HopSaint Brewing Company – they pair their beer with food already, must be a good reason
Scholb Premium – might have fallen through the cracks, good time to acquaint yourself

…and the food you should be checking out….
I am going to try to taste it all but there are (3) that I am particularly looking forward too…
Blue Palms Brewhouse – BrewWings – Eagle Rock Public House – Fat Dragon – Kinetic Brewing – Poppy + Rose – Sausal – Simmzy’s – STOUT Burgers & Beers – Twisted Oak Tavern – Vagabond Cheese – Waffluv – Wolf Creek Restaurant – 3941 Tamales + more!