Tomorrow, you can add fried chicken and a donut to your beer as Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken hosts their Summer Beer Series, this time with Inglewood’s Three Weavers. The food and beer flights include “fried chicken tossed in Day Job Pale Ale sweet & sour glaze, Sliders topped with Expatriate Indian Pale Ale aioli, and a Chocolate Cold Brew Doughnut with Midnight Flight Imperial Stout and Southbounder Coffee Stout.”
I have visited the DTLA Astro on a couple occasions but might try to sneak in to this.
This is your early reminder about BAM Fest 2016.
This year the event will be on September 24th with 40+ breweries loaded into the nooks and crannies of the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica (An easy Metro walk now)
Tickets are $40 for the planners out there and $50 at the door and you get to see art while you drink!
I will tell you that there are few festivals in Los Angeles that are must visit. Session Fest at Eagle Rock. L.A. Beer Week. Blue Palms and their anniversary bash. The Downtown L.A. Beer Crawl. PLUS B.A.M. Fest in Santa Monica.
Pre-Sale tickets are now over but you should check this fest out for a few breweries:
Bell’s – Get some damn Oberon! It’s not all about Two-Hearted.
Boomtown – NEW. Check their beers out. Give ’em feedback.
Revolution from Chicago – DRINK ALL of their beers! Unless you travel to 2nd City a lot you won’t see their beers here.
Dr. Jekyll’s – Strange but a fest is a place to try strange.
Santa Monica Brew Works – They don’t stray from the beach so you have to go for them. You will not be disappointed.
The Latest B(eer) A(rts) M(usic) Fest is done but another good show was put on.
As usual, there was just too much beer on hand at BAM Fest to try it all. I ended up skipping large swaths of booths simply because I knew that I needed to pace myself. I also was on assignment from Beer Paper LA to write about a few of the newer/less known breweries which were pouring so my focus was on trying their offerings and talking to them.
One of which, Santa Monica Brew Works gets a gold star. Being the “local” or closest brewery to the festival, they had quite a presence and the most beers on tap. Six all told while most others had two. I was cautiously optimistic as I approached their table and I was really impressed. Their regulars, an XPA and a Wit were both well done. Clean and crisp and excellent gateway beers. But they also had another gear to take it up higher. The Chili beer was spicy without destroying the palate, the wet hop beer was a serious peach/apricot blast with a solid hit of bitterness. But the winner was PCH – Pale Chocolate Heaven. A golden orange color that was a serious milk chocolate beer. Surprising and very tasty. It will be the first one that I will try again. My beer crystal ball tells me that PCH will be the breakout hit for SMBW.
Port Town took my second place with their Hefeweizen and Pilsner. Both solid examples of the styles. Styles that are hard to nail correctly. This brewery gets new digs in 2015 and will be one to watch. Venice Duck had bottles of their Agave Blonde and their Hemp Ale and both were also solid. They rank a bit below Port Town because because they were a little less well defined in the flavor arena. But the beers do seem to be improving from when I sampled them last and I hope they get their Venice location going.
The other newbie was House Beer. They only do an American style lager and it was fine. I would take Port Town’s Pilsner over it though. Too much sweetness here for me. Got a little cloying. And I wish they could have their contract brew done in state as opposed to Wisconsin.
Other beers that struck a chord for me were the Post Season Ale from King Harbor and the Grasshopper from Kinetic Brewing. A golden rye strong ale that to my taste buds was a delicious rye IPA.
There are a couple things that I wish BAM would do for next year. The beer area needs to be expanded. By 4pm, the crowd was difficult to navigate, especially with a glass of liquid. Maybe add a seating area or two that could draw people away to create a better flow. Secondly, increased signage would be great. Or a little map in your glass to show you what was where and at what time. For the musical acts this would be easy. A board near the stage with a list of who was playing and when.
That being said, this is a great festival that always gives you both beer choices and art to marvel at.
A beer festival is a beer festival, right? Well, yes and no. You do see some “regular” but you also may find causes that are nearer and dearer to the heart. And if Art is your thing (not a poet, I know) , or you want kids to get art education (you should), then B.A.M. Fest is not a normal festival.
And this year from a beer perspective you will find some new gems to try…such as the opening this month in Inglewood Three Weavers to the soon to open in Carson, Phantom Carriage to the mysterious unknown that is Santa Monica Brew Works. Plus a good amount of foreign beers and beloved locals too.
And if you so desire you can get educated as well with “20-minute mini-educational sessions called ‘Crash Courses’ by craft beer, wine and art experts. These fun and engaging classes cover a wide range of topics such as how to pick out food flavors from different beers or how art could be paired with some of the best wine and beer.”
Your daily “alternate” L.A. Beer Week event source is right here. Halfway through what may seem to be a craft beer marathon. But the fun continues.
Your selection for hump day is to head to Library Alehouse as they present their 4th annual Dogfish Head Study. 12 taps of unique beers from this unique brewery on tap for you to take notes on. It might take 120 minutes or more to finish this test.
Tomorrow on my bully pulpit of Brew & You on Food GPS, I will give a quick rundown of the opened, soon to open and future brewery openings in the Los Angeles area. One of which is Boomtown from the Stout chain of Burgers and Beer.
But I wanted to give an early warning about a beer festival that flew under the radar a few months back but I heard great things about. but is coming back again. BeerFest for BeerGeeks will be at the Studio City location and here is the lowdown for the November 3rd edition:
“There will be 18 hand selected breweries that will be pouring 2 beers per brewery. All the beers will either be barrel aged, sours, or unique one-offs. These beers will never be seen again or very hard to get, so don’t miss out! Every attendee receives unlimited 2 ounce pours, a souvenir glass, and appetizer type food.”
In one week the combined forces of Firestone Walker / Deschutes / Lagunitas brings a new type of event to Los Angeles….
The triumvirate of organizers say, “This is the first of what we hope will be a series of scavenger hunts all over Los Angeles.”
Here is the 411 for you:
Beginning at the first bar, clues will be given directing teams to various bars or locations in downtown Santa Monica (all w/in walking distance)
– Once your team has made it to the correct location you will have to correctly identify the beer being poured, at which time you’ll each be given one to enjoy
– Drink up, get your next clue, so on and so forth….
– At each location teams will also have the opportunity to collect raffle tickets by doing additional ‘challenges’, the raffle will be held at the hosting bar, The Commons, after the hunt
Jumping off point is at The Commons on Broadway, half a block East of Ocean in downtown Santa Monica
– Cost is $100 for a team of 4 or $35 for individuals (space is limited to 10 teams total so sign up now please)
– Sign up can be done in person or over phone at The Commons (address/phone number)
– Prizes will be awarded to 1st 2nd and 3rd place teams
– And because everyone’s a winner in our eyes, every participant will be given a commemorative t-shirt and other swag
It is good to see craft beer integrated into events like scavenger hunts that are normally the domain of the bad beers.
Los Angeles is a tough town to navigate if you want to build a brewery from scratch. And to try to do it on the Westside would seem close to crazy considering the cost of a large amount of space would cost.
But according to the L.A. Eater, “someone” is trying to start one up in Santa Monica. That would be big news and a large step forward for a brewery to open there.
When/If more news develops, you will here it here.
Tomorrow on FoodGPS, I re-visit Stout. It is a burgers & craft beer spot that started in Hollywood and has an outpost in Studio City with two more locations in Pasadena and Santa Monica coming soon.
So, if you haven’t been to Stout in awhile, read my post and check out Stout’s pairing beer with food tips and consider making a visit to the Studio City outdoor patio and watch the traffic flow on Ventura Boulevard while you enjoy your lunch or dinner.