Mexican Lager Showdown

Arts District Brewing is known for their beer judging and on Sunday the 26th they will open their patio to Mexican-Style Lagers brewed right here in L.A.

24 (yes, you read that number correctly) of the L.A. County Brewers Guild will have lagers at the ready AND A dollar from all pints & half pints goes back to the guild.

Winners will be announced and you can agree or disagree after that. What you will agree on, is that the beers were good.

Review – Unity 22 IPA from Highland Park Brewery

Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.

The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.

The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.

Review – Unity 2019

When I went to Sunset Beer to pick-up a 4-pack of the 2019 Unity, I saw an empty cooler where the beers should have been lined up. I turned to the helpful staff who pointed me where I needed to go in the store and off I went with my prize.

Truth be told, I was kinda hoping for something more strange this year. Maybe some fruit or herb that is local to the Claremont area where Claremont Craft Ales is located could have been added.

But the fact that the cans were in short supply must mean a level of popularity that the style still draws and economics does factor into the equation when selecting a beer style.

And yet, this beer, fine as it is, seemed like something down the middle. It is a bigger beer, north of 8% but other than that it was a DIPA. It lacked a certain spark in the aroma, flavor profile or bitterness. Park this beer amidst three or four other West Coast Old-School DIPA’s and I could not have picked it out or said, that it had an ingredient that screamed L.A.

I know that a Unity beer will evolve. It can’t always be strange beers and it does need to be of the moment. The moment now seems simple and businesslike

In the Tap Lines for June 2019

header_attractionsJune is a busy beer month for me.  Firestone Walker and a trip to Paso Robles at the beginning and then the LA Beer Week takes over in the 3rd Week.  Expect lots of coverage of both.

~ e-visits to three breweries from England like Affinity Brew Co., Boxcar, Anspach and Hobday
~ special featured reviews of Paso Robles beverages
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your June started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) June 1st – King Harbor Brewing 5th Anniversary
2) June 11th – Beer – Cheese – Chocolate at Eagle Rock Brewery Public House

L.A. Beer Week – # 11

The Grand Announcement has been made! XI is coming to brighten up the June Gloom. Here are the details….

The 11th Annual L.A. Beer Week is here! Join us for our big Kickoff Festival on Saturday, June 15th at the Los Angeles Center Studios in the heart of Downtown L.A.! We are bringing the heat this summer with an awesome festival featuring 90 independent craft breweries, live music, great local food, games, and more. Produced by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild#LABW11 will feature the largest number of Los Angeles County-based craft breweries — more than any other festival in town! We’ll also have some very special guest breweries! Join us and support your local brewers and the nonprofit organization that strives to foster craft beer culture in L.A. County. Admission includes a keepsake glass and unlimited tastes of over 250 beers from 90 breweries. This is surely a not-to-miss summer festival!

VIP Tickets include a premium keepsake glass, early entry at 12pm, and a VIP lounge area. Participating Breweries & Vendors to be announced soon!

EARLY BIRD PRICES April 15- May 15th
General Admission:
 $45
VIP Admission: $65
Designated Driver: $25 

Regular pricing kicks in on May 16th: 
General Admission: $50
VIP Admission: $70

(*2018 & 2019 Enthusiast members receive 20% off up to 4 tickets – use your member number on your Enthusiast ID)

**Day of ticket sales are NOT guaranteed. Should we have any tickets available on June 15th at the door, prices will be $55 General Admission, $75 VIP, and $25 Designated Driver**”

#LABW8 – Belgium in Glendale

L.A. is large, if you haven’t noticed, and sometimes great beer events are held too far away for me to get to. Heck, trying to get to Hollywood from Burbank on a weekday to a 7pm event is stressful.

So when I heard that the famed brewmaster from Brasserie Dupont was going to be in town for L.A. Beer Week, I said a little prayer that the event would be in striking distance. It wasn’t. But then, luck smiled on me and my Eastside/Valley Beer Week plans. Olivier Dedeycker would be making a stop in my city at the Glendale Tap!

It was scheduled at 9pm but in beer time that means something else. I waited until after 10pm drinking the insanely good Deux Amis without nary a sign of the famed brewer or the other famed partner, Tomme Arthur.

Thankfully, earlier in the day. Tomato Pie was on the agenda as well as beers from Glendale’s Brewyard Beer Co.
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First up was the new Brewyard Perky DIPL coming in at 9.3% which makes it the biggest beer that the duo have concocted to date and it took quite a bit of work and first time making it jitters.  Initially I go watermelon notes but then there was quite a mineral laden bitterness that really followed.  Some beers don’t fit the style that they are talked of but this beer is a DIPL for sure.

To simultaneously ramp down and jolt up, I tasted the Sunday Morning Joe.  Which was grand. The light base of the beer really left room for the coffee to shine which it did.  More and more, I like coffee beers that aren’t laid on top of large, grand stouts.

Then onto the Tap where Deux Amis waited…
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…and the beer is just so good. The only review I need to convey is that if you see it on tap or in bottles, BUY IT! It has a Hefeweizen clove aroma but it is so smooth with an undertone of hops. Simple and complex at the same time. I amend my previous suggestion. Buy it. Also buy the dry hopped Saison and the “plain” Saison Dupont and invite friends over for a tasting.

I did mention it was good? Right?

It’s Back….

…are you ready for #7?
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Here are my hints to make the next week+ better:

plenty of water
plenty of sleep
have Metro and Uber ready apps ready
plan ahead
don’t expect door tickets to be available
visit at least one brewery on a non-event night
bring a non-craft beer friend
social media it with #LABW7
buy a bottle of Unity 2015
enjoy the beer (no need to photograph each and every one)

#LABW6 – But this is at the SAME time – Friday the 26th

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Only three days left!  By now you should have had a few memorable beers but if you haven’t, here is an event that just might add a best beer of 2014 to your list…

It will require some math and a trip to the Library Alehouse for Addition by Addition with Smog City beers. Teaser, “4 Core Smog City Beers along with 4 One-Off versions of those beers created through the addition of new ingredients.”

Who Will Win this Year?

Last year, Angel City Brewery received 270+ ideas for their first What Would You Brew? contest. The winner was one of my favorite beers and it was Mexican Cola inspired!

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This year’s winner will be selected in October 2014 and that lucky brewer will have:

A) “opportunity to spend a day in the brew house brewing alongside the Angel City team”

B) “have their beer featured during LA Beer Week 2015

C) receive a custom kegerator, complete with a case of pint glasses, tap handle and tin tacker sign. Ideas can be submitted here: . Entries will be accepted through September 30, 2014.

Emily Finch, and her Mexican Cola beer will make a return in a “rum barrel aged version” at the LA Beer Week Kick Off September 20th at Old Chinatown Plaza, as well as on tap at the Angel City Public House.