Neither rain nor sleet nor snow will keep me from drinking beer. The 101 freeway can postpone it for a week though. This review of the beers from Ladyface Ale Companie was planned for last week but traffic changed the schedule. Last Sunday, I spotted a break in the weather and a Los Angeles “clear” freeway and made my way to Agoura Hills.
Ladyface Ale Companie is located in a complex just off the 101 freeway and Kanan Road. Ladyface is the brainchild of Cyrena Nouzille, a home brewer and “beer geekess.” The interior is dark with maidens holding mugs of beer on the walls. It is a little bit Lothlorien-esque with the brown and green color scheme. There is a big communal table and the noise level is pretty high even without screaming Vikings fans. I had to repeat my order because the barkeep couldn’t hear over the multiple conversations going on in the room. There are 4 gleaming beer tanks that I gravitated towards. David Griffiths is the head brewer and formerly of BJ’s in Oxnard. Those who follow the weekly FoodGPS beer blast know that they have a nice mixture of their beer and guest taps that should satisfy a wide swath of beer connoisseurs.
Let’s focus on the four beers that I sampled on my visit. First up was La Blonde. It had a definite cereal taste to it that bordered on the corn pop-py to me. It poured bright yellow and didn’t look too bubbly but this beer and the amber both had a fizzy thing going on that gave it a crispness that I really enjoyed.
Number two of the samplers (which are $1.50 and a great deal) was the IPA. The first and only aroma I got was red grapefruit. I was worried that this might turn out to be an unbalanced IPA but the grapefruit flavors were evident in the taste but not overpowering. The hops could probably linger a little bit longer on the tongue but this was a welcome change from the typical monster hopped West Coast IPA’s that dominate the scene.
Third was the aforementioned Blind Ambition Amber. It had a mixture of sweetness and grain. It was dark orange in color and had a nice malt backbone. This would be the beer to start people on. It is easy to drink but packed with flavor.
Then I noticed that they had a cask version of the Blonde with Czech Saaz whole leaf hops. On the website, the beer is named Love Child and it has quite a different flavor profile from the regular Blonde. It is almost the same color of yellow but much hazier. It has a spicy kick and a delicate floral hop taste and because it was not carbonated that fizzy texture I found in the blonde and amber was gone. It was my second favorite beer of the night and at $5.00 for a pint another good bargain.
In the coming days and weeks they will be bringing out a tripel and a barleywine. And you can now buy Ladyface growlers to take home to enjoy perhaps for Super Bowl Sunday.
And speaking of the momentous end to the NFL season, your homework is to replace any industrial beer at the biggest commercial watching party / football game with a beer that you have never had before. This is the perfect time to try out the new and unusual. You may not like a particular beer but someone else just might.
The Beer of the Week is Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues in Colorado. It is a bold imperial stout in a can with big coffee and caramel flavors. And at over 10% abv this is the perfect way to stay warm on these rare cold and rainy days that we get down here in LA. You can find it at most Whole Foods and other fine beer establishments.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.