Westlake & Down

Beer travel in LA is different than other cities. Freeways are not easy, so once I get to a location, I plan to hit multiple spots. When I visited Westlake Village, I was expecting two breweries and ended up with a bonus one.

First stop is the southermost outpost of Figueroa Mountain Brewing.
There a casual outdoor mall setting meets prospector camp vibe was in effect. Despite a plethora of employees, the service was a bit on the slow and not paying attention side. Maybe, sittin’ at the bar is the way to go. The parmesan tots were excellent though and the beer list, see here….
…was stellar and long. Both the Chamuco brown ale aged in tequila and mezcal barrels and The Gipper, dry hopped lager were excellent. Tequila barrels are under used or poorly used but not in this case and though I am not a fan of Reagan, a vote for the Gipper is also a vote against Cruz/Trump.

The main reason for the visit was for the grand opening of Westlake Brewing Co.. The brewery shares a warehouse space with 101 Cider and had cider on tap at their really long bar and for sale in a cooler.

I was surprised to taste that their IPA is nice and bright and the best of the bunch. Surprised because it is such an over done style that to make something that breaks out can be very hard. The rest of the line-up was a bit below par for me. The Mistress blonde ale tasted like it had sat in a cider barrel for too long. The Red Sky raspberry version of their Cloud Cover wit tastes like the filling of a raspberry donut. That was preferable to The Master which tasted like cooking vanilla and had no discernible coffee note to it.
While searching for the Westlake brewery, I saw a food truck and made the assumption that it must be where the brewery was, I was partially right. It was a brewery but it was the unknown to me Five Threads Brewing. Since me and beer buddy Richard were already there, we popped in to see the place and try a couple.
And I was glad that I did. The Game Day Cream Ale was well done as was the Jessica Imperial Red with had a nice cereal malt flavor lurking behind the hops. The Winter Pantry Black IPA was very smoke malt forward but still nicely balanced. I wished that I had started here instead of Westlake. As a bonus if you order 4 tasters the 5th is free. That is a damn good deal.
And the bonus is that the always great Ladyface is on the way back to LA.