Doo Dah or Rose Bowl, when I think of Pasadena, I think of people parading through Old Town on Colorado Boulevard. Now you’ll find enough craft beer stops to have a beer lover parading through town, but in this case, perhaps with a beer float instead of flowers.
The first stop is the original Lucky Baldwin’s. English Premier League Football on the telly. A nice patio to relax on and the beer that has been bringing people back time and time again. It is where I first sampled Craftsman Heavenly Hefeweizen and many rare Belgian beers as well. I sometimes will head to the other two locations (and they have their charms too) but the atmosphere at the first is still the best to me.
Next up are two newbies to the Pasadena area but not the craft beer scene of SoCal. Congregation Alehouse has chapters open in Long Beach and Azusa, but the location on the former Crown City Brewery site is the closest to me so I can get to “mass” on time and has the same great beer events as the other two like having Victor Novak from TAPS on hand to talk about his great beers from south of us in Brea.
Over the long weekend, I finally popped into the third point of this beer triangle. Haven Gastropub. I had been to the Old Town Orange location but not to this new spot. And this locale will eventually have brewing operations as well. Like the other two spots, there is a plethora of choices at Haven for the beer freak. I tasted the new gluten free beer from Dogfish Head called Tweason’Ale and then followed it with Uno from Beachwood BBQ and Brewing. Eagle Rock, Golden Road and others graced their fine list too.
So now you can really do a fun pub crawl amongst the multitude of shoppers in the shadow of the San Gabriel’s. But bring friends instead of a marching band.
The Beer of the Week has popped up on beer lists that have graced the FoodGPS Beer Blast and also hails from Pasadena. It is Craftsman’s Scotch Isle ale. It straddles two beer styles the Scottish Strong and the Old Ale categories and you will find it and other fine Craftsman beers like the Angelino Weiss Berliner style and Triple White Sage in more discriminating Pasadena beer establishments like the ones mentioned above.
Your Homework is to make sure to catch the remaining days of the HopHead Heaven at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. It ends on February 26 and if you are mad crazy for a lupulin rush from your favorite bitter beer then you had better check out the special IPAs and DIPAs and XPAs that will be rotating in on the 15 taps at the Library.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.