Food GPS June Posts

Here is your handy link spot to read what I covered in Brew & You in June….

June 13th – THE Firestone Walker Invitational, A Beer of Two Woods and LABW11 events

June 27th – LABW11 Recap, El Grito Lager from Four Corners and Smog City at the Farmer’s Market

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.

What to Look for at Sour Friends 2019

Cellador was always going to have some great sours to sample at this year’s fest. You could probably just blindly pick and get something great, but I have a few choices that you should add to your glass, and to make it simple, I will use only (3) words to describe them…

Picture Brain from Brouwerij West – blueberries, solera, Syrah

Carrot King from Cellador – Nantes carrots, Bugs Bunny, wild

Violet Underground 5.5 from Firestone Walker BarrelWorks – SLOambic, Somerset, berries

Mellifluent from The Rare Barrel – strawberry, peach, mango

Check out the full list HERE.

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

One Week to LABW11

With only a week to go until LABW11 fires up the full list of events is not yet around, I thought I should toss a little curated list of events that pass my worthy test and also fall on odd days:

June 17th – Invitational Hazy IPA Fest at The Glendale Tap

then toddle a short distance to Walt’s in Eagle Rock for a brewers Pinball Tournament.

June 19th – Beer Made Me Do It – Beer Comedy at Common Space Brewery.

June 21st – Women-Brewed Beer Night at Sunset Beer.

June 23rd – Wait Wait…. Just Beer Me at Eagle Rock. NPR game show meets brewery tall tales.

Many more events to be talked about as details get clearer and clearer. In the meantime, get them Kick-Off tickets!

Super Sour Friends

The L.A. County Brewers Guild teamed up with Eagle Rock for their Session Fest and now the Guild is working with Cellador Ales on their LA Beer Week sour spectacular on June 22nd. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

With just a few cool breweries tucked into the Cellador space…

Beachwood Blendery
Brouwerij West
Casa Agria
Cellador Ales
Highland Park Brewery
Horus Aged Ales
Homage Brewing
Long Beach Beer Lab
Mikkeller SD
Modern Times
Pure Project
Sour Cellars

The Bruery
+one Northern CA honorary guest, The Rare Barrel

& newly added, Central Coast honorary guest, Firestone Walker Barrelworks!

Wave Maiden

In perusing the list of participating breweries for this year’s LA Beer Week KickOff Festival, I noticed a new name on the list, Wave Maiden.

The tagline for this Venice born brewing operation is “Herbal Ales Rooted in Plant Medicine”. I am actually kind of surprised that this niche hasn’t been explored especially here in SoCal where it could take “root”, pun intended. I will certainly check out their booth and start looking for their beers around town.