The latest statistical sample is skewed. Anything that includes both L.A. Beer Week and the Firestone Walker Invitational will be either the high or low point on the graph.
But let’s dig into the numbers and see what pops out about my drinking habits since the last check in at Week 5.
Leaving out the weeks where I was “festing”, the average ounce intake was 212.5 a week or 42.5 a day, over a 5 day drinking week. That’s over where I would like it but under the 240 ounce max weekly that I set at the start. From a high of 234 to a low of 196.
Crunching the cash numbers, I paid about $.35 per ounce of beer. Or 4.20 for a 12oz beer on average. This I ascribe to buying the high price chalices of beer and special beers that come with the territory of L.A. Beer Week. These are the $8-9 dollars beers that come in 10oz pours. Even $2 tasters add up to $.50 an ounce. The best buys were at Trader Joe’s where I could pick up a 12oz single for $2.50 to $3.50.
Alcohol wise the average ABV is 5.0 to 8.0 with most weeks ending in the 6.75 area.
I will check back in in a few weeks to see how the trends hold up and to explore what styles of beers I have drinking.
So the 2016 edition of L.A. Beer Week is behind us.
Time to reflect on what worked and what else I would like to see happening…
1. I liked the idea of the Gold Line Pub Crawl with different breweries featured at different bars along the route of the train. Next year, it should expand to the new Metro line and the Red Line too. Heck, maybe even the Orange Line busway too.
2. I like the idea of Kick the Keg and Battle of the Guilds and the other competitions but it would be good to have more focused, smaller contests. Select Beer in Redondo Beach had the right idea with four IPA’s going head-to-head. Maybe have mini-contests each day of the week. Monday is Best IPA with one each from San Diego, San Francisco and LA, then the next night, rotate to a new bar for Saisons and so on.
3. The Kick-Off Fest needs to sit in one place for a while. L.A. Center seems to have enough space and the layout was A-OK this year, so I vote for keeping it there if possible. The other idea would be to alternate years. One on the Eastside and the next year Westside but at the same locations .
4. Food and Beer pairings are still out there but I would love to see (again) more focused events that are not so wallet damaging. Beer and cupcakes would be lovely. Special Beer and (insert favorite food here) pairing events in the vein of The Oinkster’s Burger Week.
5. Oregon Night at Beer Belly was a great idea and I would like to see that extended to the Brexiteer’s or German beers.
As usual, the organizers (especially the esteemed Franny) and the breweries are to be commended for all of the hard work and sweat put into this year’s craft beer celebration. The work for one festival is jaw-dropping. But they had to deal with two plus all the events in-between. All so we can have a plethora of choices.
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.
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…
…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?
As a native of Milwaukie, Oregon, when I saw that Beer Belly was using #LABW8 for a night of Oregonian beers, it was literally the first thing on my calendar for the week.
And the list was full of rare in L.A. beers. I had my eye on the Session IPA from Breakside and the Banished Barrel-Aged Freakcake from Crux Fermentation. Both of which did not live up to my expectations. Rainbows & Unicorns was really light and just not hoppy at all. Freakcake was sour with a Christmas-y spice profile that finished with a teeny-tiny bourbon barrel push at the end.
Luckily, other beers did live up to the hype. Both Cascade sours were excellent with Figaro getting the nod over Shrieking Violet because it was more complex all around. Buoy Beer’s NW Red Ale seemed more ESB’ish to me but was a good finish to the night.
On nights like these, I wish there was a mega-taster flight. Maybe 3oz pours of each beer. Or I will have to wait for next year, and maybe Beer Belly goes to Oregon, Part 2.
Reverse barrel time for #LABW8 as Steve Lipp, owner of Alexnder Murray & Co, and the esteemed David Walker, of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, will be pub crawling this Saturday, June 25th to showcase their collaboration Polly’s Casks in Santa Monica.
What are Polly’s Casks? It is a “Highland Single Malt Scotch that has been aged in Bourbon Casks previously used to age American Craft Beer.”
The three bar crawl will feature specialty cocktails with Alexander Murray Scotch whisky line along with Firestone Walker’s core and specialty beers (Parabajava Coffee, Sticky Monkeee Qua). Participating bars include: The Basement Tavern, Areal, and The Library Alehouse.
As threatened, here is my take of the Kickoff Festival to L.A. Beer Week…
Usually I go to a craft beer festival and wander like a hobbit looking for a second breakfast but for the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival, I was assigned to the Stone Brewing booth to pour. And pour I did save for a brief taste blitz midway through the the fest.
Which means this post is less about beers drunk in a Nick Hornby list manner and more about the people that walked past or stopped and ordered a beer.
First off being under a tent when LA is baking hard is a much better place to be than in the flow of the throng. With a prodigious amount of sunscreen I avoided getting burnt. Stone had two beers flowing. Made easier by the fact that both were double IPAs north of 9%. Enjoy By Independence Day and Mocha IPA.
The Mocha was quite good. Hops in the aroma, followed by coffee with a milky chocolate finish. No wonder that the small keg kicked pretty fast. It was pretty good timing to be with Stone reps after news had broken that brewmaster Mitch Steele was leaving for a new brewing endeavor. They were as wrong footed by the news as most of us were.
Most of the conversations were broken by surges of crowds. The life of a fest-Ista is not glamorous. It involves moving kegs and gear. Getting the beer to a decent temp despite the heat and fielding the same question repeatedly.
(I came to regret saying please enjoy when handing a glass of Enjoy By over the table)
I was able to try the Pilsner from Enegren, the unfiltered Pilsner from Brouwerij West, the new grisette from Monkish, another Pilsner from State Brewing and a Watermelon Chili IPA from Ladyface of all places. Notably, I had my first Sante Adairus beer too, their saison, Bernice. I missed Homage and Pocock as well as a couple Drake’s beers even though they were right across from me.
There were some funny little hats and a few strange outfits but mostly people who were there to enjoy some beer. Thankfully there were only a couple glass breaks for people to inexplicably cheer for. I will get into the set-up and quibbles later though.
The take-away is that the ticket to entry was a ticket to try all of LA craft beer in one spot. All you had to do was find some shade to enjoy the beers in.
This is where you will find Sean during the next week. (And yes, I am still not imbibing on Monday & Tuesday of each week) As you will see, I am sticking close to my Glendale roots.
Saturday, June 18th – Kick-off Festival
Sunday, June 19th – Cellarmaker Brewing @ The Hermosillo
Monday, June 20th – Off (unless something special comes up)
Tuesday, June 21st – Off (unless something special comes up)
Wednesday, June 22nd – Beer Belly Goes to Oregon
Thursday, June 23rd – DTLA United Crawl
Friday, June 24th – Brasserie Dupont & Lost Abbey @ the Glendale Tap
Saturday, June 25th – Straight Outta LA @ Craft Beer Cellar-Eagle Rock
Sunday, June 26th – Torrance Block Party @ the Glendale Tap
Today is a good day to make your own schedule since most events should be up on the L.A. Beer Week calendar by now.
Only 3 Days until L.A. Beer Week fires up for 2016. Two weeks ago, I highlighted many, many cool events and last week, I suggested three more. If you still have gaps in your schedule take a look at these…
June 19th – Popfuji at Brouwerij West
A L.A. Beer Week event about a pilsner? Yup, the beautiful coastal setting of Brouwerij West will host music, food trucks and their new pilsner.
June 20th – Rockmill Brewing
Blue Palms has Ohio roots so it comes as no surprise that one of their tap take-overs features Rockmill and their farmhouse ales.
June 22nd – Playing Favorites
Library Alehouse hosts not only Smog City Brewing but Beachwood Brewing and the 2016 Sierra Nevada Beer Camp beers on one night! Choice overload will happen.
June 23rd – WWYB Winner
Each year Angel City holds a contest for those who think they can craft a recipe, this year the winner is a Strawberry Gose.
June 24th – Rock & Brews Cellar and Aged Beer Night
Rock & Brews El Segundo will open up its vault to showcase its collection of aged beers.
…and in general, if you have a free night and want an #LABW8 fix, then head to Sunset Beer Co. They have a full range of events including Societe, Toolbox and many more.
Only 10 Days until L.A. Beer Week commences for 2016. Last week, I highlighted many, many cool events. Here are three more…
June 18th – 26th
Flight Test @Mohawk Bend
“Calling all craft beer fans! Challenge your tasting skills in the first L.A. Beer Week Flight Test hosted by Mohawk Bend. Correctly name each beer and brewery in a specially curated Los Angeles flight for a chance to win a craft beer experience at Mohawk Bend.
The Prize: Winner will receive a private craft beer and artisan pizza tasting for up to eight people.”
Wednesday, June 22nd @ Beer Belly
Join us for a special night of beers from the Pacific Northwest. Featuring beers from Cascade, Boneyard, Logsdon, Double Mountain, Crux, Fat Heads, Buoy, and Breakdside. If you’ve never had the chance to try standout beers like Shrieking Violet and Notorious TIPA now is the time.
• Cascade Shrieking Violet
• Cascade Figaro
• Boneyard Notorious TIPA
• Boneyard Hop Venom
• Logsdon Conversion
• Fat Heads PDX IBUisive IPA
• Breakside Salted Caramel Stout
• Breakside Rainbows and Unicorns
• Double Mountain Veiled Conspiracy
• Buoy NW Red Ale
• …more to come
Thursday, June 23rd @ Rock & Brews El Segundo
The 2016 Version of “So You Want to Open a Brewery in Los Angeles” with host Tomm Carroll.