SMBW Squared

There are “gets” when it comes to food at breweries and Santa Monica Brew Works snared a great restaurant free agent in Emmy Squared Pizza.

My famously picky better half ranks this pizza just below her favorite, We’re Pouring and I have to agree. The ‘Roni pie is brimming with pepperoni and has that nice slightly caramelized soft crust.

The place was packed on a recent Saturday but I think the beers need to rise to the level of the pizza. Maybe even brew a beer specifically to pair with it. The XPA and Inclined IPA are good but could be brightened considerably in my view.

Magic in an Hour

Santa Monica Brew Works has added an eight notch to their belt and have a special IPA ready for fans of the West-Side brewery.

“MA8IC HOUR West Coast-Style IPA (7.0% ABV). Brewed with Cashmere and Strata hops. Bursting with flavors of citrus, peach, and tangerine – punctuated with a pleasantly dank finish.”

Review – Two from Santa Monica Brew Works

Gonna have a little whiplash as we go from shandy to stout from Santa Monica Brew Works.

And surprisingly, I found the shandy to be the better beer by far. I have never eaten at a Hot Dog on a Stick so no fond recollections of days at the mall cloud my memory. It was a nice sugary lemonade balanced out by the 310 Blonde Ale. I would have up the beer percentage a skosh but it was refreshing.

The stout was OK but it had no life to it. It was neither rich and viscous nor light and bubbly. No chocolate or coffee notes jumped out at me either. Had a bit of a metallic note to it as well. An addition of something else to add a secondary flavor might have helped here.

Art and Love

Be on the look out for love as Santa Monica Brew Works has recently releases Spread Love a new Juicy IPA.

The beer combines local artists (Corie Mattie, Ruben Rojas) with charity Meals On Wheels West.

A portion of the proceeds from each 4 pack sold will help support those efforts, assisting with services that nourish and enrich the lives of the Westside’s homebound residents.


Now this is a two-fer. One, you support a local brewery in these struggling times and Two, you are helping UCLA’s Covid 19 crew since part of the proceeds go to a fund for these hopefully “sung” heroes. Kudos to Santa Monica Brew Works. The hazy IPA uses the Pink Boots hop blend so you are showing support to that fantastic organization as well.

2nd Visit – Santa Monica Brew Works

Santa Monica Brew Works is expanding.  Considering the big footprint they have already in a pricey beach community real estate market, that must bode well.

Alas, I was a little chuffed by their flight rules, which could be better.  Choose two of four Barrel-aged and you get upped to the higher ($18) price from the standard ($12). Plus the excluded their new release beer hazy DIPA.  I would think that on a late afternoon on a Saturday, a few days after release, they could safely pour a few 5oz tasters. Especially in light of the fact that they are charging $10 for a 16oz pour. They should really just do individual pour prices.

The space, though loud, is usually filled with people enjoying football on the TV or discussions while having their beers. I paid my extra price to try a couple special barrel-aged beers and here are my bullet point reviews.

Leitrim Dry Irish Stout – classically done.  Good minerality and coffee taste.

Burnt Out Bartender – has initial malt hop hit.  A little watery though.  Also a little hop harsh at the back. Alcohol burn too. Bold flavors fade quickly though. Citrus peeks out at the end.

Catalina Cruise Imperial PCH – pretty much just bourbon.  PCH flavor is buried.  As it warms the big flavors tone down here too.

Gravity Coaster Barrel-aged Barleywine – pretty high on the spirits side. Wood notes. 

Overall, the prices and the beer you get for that money are still not matching up. I think I will stick with PCH when on tap.

First Visit – Santa Monica Brew Works

Looks like my beer buddy Rich has a brewery within walking distance, and for the rest of us, we can use the new Expo Line and be dropped off nearby.

The brewery is Santa Monica Brew Works and I made my first visit last week.

Here are some of the photos:

The menu board. Core to the left, Seasonal on the right.
The menu board. Core to the left, Seasonal on the right.

Not on, or two but three cold boxes!
Not on, or two but three cold boxes!

The packaging line.
The packaging line.
Inclined IPA cans ready to be filled.
Inclined IPA cans ready to be filled.

SMBW is tasting

Out of the blue, it seems, that Santa Monica Brew Works has opened!
For us Eastsiders, this could be a chance to take the Expo Line to Bergamot Station, then have a short 15 minute walk to the brewery.