It just so happened that the Beer Belly – Koreatown One Night Stand landed in LABW and so ONS had a local bent with Mumford as the headliner with taps from Homage Brewing and State Brewing as well. This was originally billed as Mumford and East Coast Brewers like Interboro. The winning beer of the night in my (hop)inion was a Watermelon Agua Fresca lager from State that balanced the fruit and the malt very well. The two hazy options that I also tasted were fine. But didn’t pop for me.
I quickly popped down to the nearby Southland Beer to try the Unity IPA on cask. On cask, the hop notes are softer, with a little more citrus. The beer poured a clear orange though I detected a trace of a little buttery character. It was Unity simple and stripped down..
I took a night off to watch the NBA Draft (thanks for nothing Portland) and then on Friday, I headed to DTLA and Mikkeller for a Fonta Flora Brewing night. I immediately picked a sampler tray consisting of…
Beets, Rhymes and Life – beet saison – pretty pink color. Dusky, earthy. Salad like.
Southern Saison – black tea and lemon – bit of spice kick here. Pretty light underneath.
Whippoorwill Wheat – orange, coriander, earl grey tea – EG comes through. Spice again
Wolf Spit – Baltic Porter with hickory bark
I also tasted a Brut IPA from Alvarado Street Champagne Hopi that was really good, but the beet beer was my winner. Even though I detest actual beets.
Finally on Saturday, I headed to Craft Beer Cellar for a local taplist and for Dope & Dank who hosted the party with a DJ on site. I tried a new Arrow Lodge beer Arrow Sol and tasted my local Brewyard’s well-named Loch Ness Maltster.
I took a day break from LABW festivities on Sunday after the Kick-Off Festival but was back at it on Monday in Eagle Rock at the Brewers in the Hot Seat. Held at the Eagle Rock Brewery Public House, this event was one of many competitions. Be it Sumo wrestling, pinball or whose keg kicked first. This night entailed hot wings and beer industry talk.
Both Bob Kunz from Highland Park and Peter Mumford from Mumford Brewing showed the obvious signs of discomfort but that didn’t stop them or Alex Nowell from Three Weavers or Lee Bakofsky from ERB talking about various points related to creating craft beer.
Here are some of my jotted notes that struck me. One from each brewery.
HPB – Less beer geeks at Chinatown. Refresh, the house beer is a big seller.
MB – Not trend driven but on top of trends. Have been close on the heels of hazy and brut.
ERB – sending more beer to Bay Area where Manifesto Wit is more popular for instance
TW – wants large variety. Wants different colors. A Rainbow.
The next night, I drove out to Culver City for Japanese beer at Harajuku. A snug little spot with access to a pipeline of Baird beer. Not even their core beers are widely seen around town and this spot has all levels of tap choices.
Even better, a rep from Coedo beer was also on hand pouring out samples from their range which included a Pilsner and an amber sweet potato beer. Since it is World Cup time, I also had the New Belgium / Baird Bicycle Kick Kolsch too.
Owner Adam Gutentag fell in love with Japan loved izakaya and pub culture and also befriended Brian Baird the brewer behind his eponymous brewery that started out as the Fish Market taproom. Japan is starting to move out of what has been called the “souvenir” brewery phase to bigger and better things. How that plays out will be quite interesting. But pairing beer and skewers works really well.
It’s Friday, and you only have 3 days left of L.A. Beer Week.
Make the most of it, maybe in my hood of Glendale….
the Glendale Tap tonight as they BBQ and have a few beers on tap: “We’ll be in full Backyard Boogie mode w/ Bart’s BBQ smokin’ brisket, and Burnt Ends all-day. We’ll be pouring a ridiculous lineup of treats from the homies at Beachwood, Bottle Logic, Cellador, El Segundo, Highland Park Brewery, Homage, Moonraker, Pure Project, State and Unsung.”
tomorrow, Brewyard will mix art and beer: “The 2nd Annual Brewyard Art Festival is a craft brewery/beer themed art show with local artists, vendors, photographers, musicians, live painting, face painting, live auction, and more. The purpose of this event is to highlight local artists. Last year, we had over 400 attendees and this time around we’re doubling the outdoor space for artists. This year will be even bigger and better!”
and/or you could head to nearby Eagle Rock and Dope & Dank team up with the Craft Beer Cellar for “This is L.A.merica”
For those that have not visited the north of Glendale (my hood) and We’re Pouring, well here is an L.A. Beer Week excuse for you….
For us Valley folk, it is a great chance to get some Beachwood gems without a long drive.
Back to L.A. Center Studios to volunteer and drink beer at the Kick-Off Fest for LABW10.
Here is my recap of the day after I finished my shift of putting wristbands on festival patrons…
I tasted fifteen beers. Some just a few sips, others I needed to get to the bottom of the glass. Only 1 was truly off but that was from the new Ximix Brewery down Hawthorne way and I will attribute that to travel and being new.
On the good side was Simmzy’s Beerbank Bubbly Brut. I don’t know what to expect from this American version on the classic (but wicked expensive) and rarely seen Belgian Brut beers. But this was low on bitterness with a nice dryness to it. Of the two Brut’s that I had, this tasted more like I expected than the Beachwood/Drakes collab.
My two favorite beers were from new breweries since that is where my focus was pointed. Liberation’s Lucy Hoppy Blonde and Ogopogo’s Naitaka rye were both bursting with flavors and stood out amongst the flood of tastes from each taster. I was also quite impressed by Wiretap from Lincoln Heights. Both their Echelon Pale Ale and Luchador Belgian/Mexican mash-up were very tasty. Cellador was strong as was Chapman (which had three beers kick before I could even make my way there!
Thankfully the weather was much better. So much cooler in fact that I forgot to put on sunscreen and came home red despite the cool breezes downtown. Organization wise, I will again make the plea for signage. Lots of signage. The crowd was processed much faster this year and with much less complaints but I think that signs and maybe some traffic controller volunteers might help make this a smoother event.
As it stands, this is the best event to try the beers from all over our sprawling beer scene.
For 2018, LA Beer Week has sibling IPA’s. Here is the official BSP reviews:
Pours a pretty and barely hazy orange. This one has Mandarina over the west coast Simcoe. Has a full, fuzzy mouthfeel to it. Aroma is piney and dank to me. Little tingle on the mouth. I did not store the can upside though so maybe that is the issue. Getting a bit of mango and pineapple but not in heavy doses.
West Coast IPA
Pours a super clear and very light orange. Has a lovely floral meets citrus aroma. Honeysuckle maybe. Smooth and medium bitter. Getting orange zest notes. Very easy drinking. Hops coat the roof of the mouth.
The Verdict – Go for the yellow orange can.
It is Beer Week Eve! Here is my fifth event choice for L.A. Beer Week….
From The Full Pint gang hosted by The Oinkster
June 21st starting at 6:30
“To celebrate LA Beer Week 10, The Full Pint crew will be hanging out at their favorite burger and pastrami joint, The Oinkster!
Join Danny, Franny and Jonny for a night of special selected local craft beer and a “One-Night-Only” food menu.
We’ll have beers on draft from our friends at Highland Park Brewery, Green Cheek Beer Co. and Homage Brewing
We just may be popping some rare bottles of beer, you never know.
## Food Menu ##
Danny’s Bacon Patty Melt
Jonny’s Jalapeno Burger
Only a couple days away now! Here is my L.A. Beer Week choice for the day….
From Southland Beer – The Unity Firkin
Tomorrow at 4:30pm!
“Every year for LA Beer Week the LA Brewers Guild selects one local brewery to brew up one massive collaboration beer called Unity. This year Los Angeles Ale Works was the lucky brewery. Every year since we’ve opened we’ve been honored to receive one of the few firkins of this beer. We’ll be tapping one again this year to kick off Beer Week! No doubt you’ll be drinking more than a few pints of Unity beer this month. Come check out the cask version and see how it compares!
UNITY West (7.0%) – El Dorado | Idaho 7 | Simcoe. Classic dry west coast IPA with notes of tropical fruit and a dank finish. Hop forward with the malt and yeast characteristics playing second fiddle.”