I have had great beers in a cold warehouse setting off a freeway off-ramp and I have had bad beers in fully kitted out taprooms but having a selection of curated beers on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean is a whole new level.
Yesterday, I attended the Brews & Bites at the extremely fancy Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel (maybe Dana Point). So fancy that empty glasses and empty food plates were whisked away by an attentive wait staff.
I will circle back to the beer later but the food was certainly a co-star. I mean, there was an ice cream bar with beer caramel (and sprinkles amongst other toppings). And two of the ice cream were beer accented.
Myself and my beer buddy Rich sampled all the food from the lamb sliders, to pretzels, quesadilla, curry fish and chips and a Korean corn dog. The borracho taco which was more a quesadilla to me was my favorite with the curry being my least even though the fish was nicely done. All the dishes had a kick to them, nothing plain to be found.
There were a lot of pilsners and lagers on hand which matched the bright sunshine of the day perfectly. Sage has their new LA LA Lager which was almost my favorite of the beers drunk were it not for the Bow & Arrow table where you could have the Easy Cactus Lager or Denim Tux Blue Corn Pilsner. The lager was Vienna malty in style and the pilsner was the perfect start to tge afternoon.
Another good choice was Like, Wow hoppy lager a collaboration between People’s Republic of South Central and The Bruery. It used Vista hops and had an apricot version as well.
I could easily get used to this ritzy beer festival.