The Gruit-y world of strange beers from SoLArc Brewing looks to have found a home. The brewery will be at the Southern end of Eagle Rock Boulevard in a building that other tenants will be joining including a bar and a restaurant. Good news for a brewery that was staying under the radar. No ETA on when to expect an opening date.
No June Gloom so far this month, so let’s dip our toes into some super light beers that also have left-of-center ingredients tossed in.
Abita/ Watermelon Lemon Shandy3.50% ABV
Inspired by the taste and aromas of summertime, this crisp, golden lager is brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and blended with refreshing watermelon and zesty lemon juices for a sweet, freshly squeezed flavor. All of our Harvest Series brews are made with the finest Louisiana-grown ingredients, keeping us Louisiana True.
Fritz Briem/ 13the Century Gruit4.60% ABV
Before the German Reinheitsgebot, in 1516, beer was not explicitly brewed with water, malt, hops & yeast through In fact the Reinheitsgebot was as much a ban against certain substances & adjuncts as it was a government instruction to brewing beer. Until then it was common practice to use a variety of different spices & plants instead of hops to flavor and prolong the shelf life of the beer. Some of the adjuncts that were used even had anesthetic & toxic effects. Gruit beer has roots in many cultures and each culture had its own “special ingredients”: Egyptians (Mandrake based), Native Americans (Corn based), Arabian Tribes, Gaulles, Germanic Tribes and the Vikings. Gruit beer became especially popular during the middle ages in Germany in the regions of Westphalia & Lower Saxony close to the borders of Belgium & Holland. During this time the ingredients for beer were very expensive, in particular hops. This interpretation of a traditional Grut Bier is spiced with Lorbeer (Bay Leaves), Ingwer (Ginger), Kummel (Caraway), Anis (Anise), Rosemarin (Rosemarie) & Enzian (Gentian). It is brewed with water, wheat & barley malt, “pollinated wild hops” and fermented using top fermenting yeast.
SoLArc / Straw Beer5.60% ABV
Straw Beer is a refereshing tart wheat fruit brewed with Yerba Mate, Hibiscus Flowers, Local Strawberries, and Foraged Prickly Pear Cactus. It pours hazy with a hint of pink as the wheat and oats in this unfiltered brew add a juicy mouthfeel The Prickly pear was picked young to add a bitterness that balances nicely with the tart flavors of Hibiscus and Strawberry. The level of Yerba Mate are not enough to keep you up all night, but just enough to invigorate the soul.
All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)
SoLArc Brewing has teamed up with the Downtown LA Whole Foods Bar (which is pretty cool, almost makes me want to pay for an overpriced condo above the store). The event will be on Thursday, March 2nd.
The SoLArc team will be performing a few short sets of experimental music throughout the night (10 minutes every hour, on the hour) and they will be pouring (4) of the breweries beer including tbe newest release… “Hoppy Citrus”.
Once you have beer in hand you can listen to such traditional instruments like:
-Empty Beer Keg Gongs
-Beer bottles and jugs
-Homemade PVC Pipe flutes
-Noisy microphones with guitar pedals
I knew (and tolerated) IPA Day. I like Stout Day a lot. Orval Day is a keeper too. But I did not know that the first day of my birthday month was Gruit Day.
Not that there are many out there on tap in this hop filled world but if you are in L.A. and near Sunset Beer Co., our local purveyors of Gruit , SoLArc Brewing will headline a night of bog myrtle and other alchemic ingredients.
Check it out and then check out the Gruit Day website.
Solarc Beer Co. is now not just a gypsy brewer, now they have a hyphenated name due to a new fermenter installed at Mumford Brewing in DTLA. Plus at least one Solarc beer will be available on tap at the Mumford tasting room at all times.
So now Solarc is a Gypsy+Pop-Up. This will be the first of (hopefully) many small steps towards their own space in the future.
Excitingly, per their press release, “Every time a new beer is ready, a bottle release party will be held at Mumford so fans can come get the freshest Solarc from the brewers hands at a low price until bottles run out. Often times these release parties with be paired with a short musical performance or Solarc-appropriate art happening.”
Look for their new beer Wine Trash first.
Solarc Pop-Up inside of Mumford Brewing’s tap room is open Wednesday-Friday from 4pm-9pm, Saturday 12am-9pm, and Sunday 12am-7pm.
We start our canned beer reviews with the first ever can release from gypsy brewer SoLArc Brewing.
What’s up with Shower Beer….
This is a seriously creamy beer. My first thought was Naughty Sauce from Noble Ale Works but in a bright decorative can festooned with French Press and teapots. But Shower Beer seems a touch less beer and a bit more on the sweetened coffee side. The aroma is really coffee forward and the fancy Nilgiri tea isn’t really popping to the forefront. Something to balance out the sugar would have helped this drink easier. As it is, Shower Beer gets a little too hard to drink even just a 12oz can.
I have been telling those who would listen that targeted beer and food pairings might be a better service to customers than a full blown multi-course beer dinner. So consider this the reminder to get out there and see how an IPA (with additions) pairs with food from Josef Centeno of Baco Mercat fame plus Ledlow and Orsa & Winston. The IPA comes with sumac from the fertile brewing minds at SoLArc Brewing.
Any brewer, and I am not talking just about L.A., that calls a beer Mask of Agamenmon, earns some points in my book. That is just Theatre History nerd fact.
I missed trying their Gruit at Sunset Beer because, silly me, I thought a hop-less beer would last a weekend on tap. I was wrong. Happily.
That means I am still on the hunt for my first beer from SoLArc.
I had the Dunes Gruit at the Oinkster and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t over-the-top with spice and had a certain hefe character to it. Quite enjoyable.