On October 15, the L.A. Beer Float Showdown returned for the third time, popping up at Eagle Rock Brewery for LA Beer Week. This year, five top chefs collaborated with five top California breweries to develop imaginative beer floats. Every attendee judged floats based on “flavor” [1-5], “originality” [1-3] and “presentation” [1-3]. The winning team earned glory, and also walked away with $500.
Chef Laurent Quenioux of Vertical Wine Bistro and [email protected] + Beachwood BBQ and Brewing brewmaster Julian Shrago spearheaded a team that showcased Beachwood’s El Verano Saison, brewed with German Pils malt, rye, wheat, malted spelt, local honey and a trio of German hops: Magnum, Tettnanger and Hallertauer. For the float, Quenioux created sorbet with quince, rose water, tonka bean, cinnamon and thyme.
This was the first time Starry Kitchen executive chef Thi “Kitchen Ninja” Tran made ice cream, and it involved salted plum and habanero, with plum Pop Rocks and fresh-sliced plum complementing Ladyface Ale Companie’s Tripel.
They poured Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale, part of the Nectar Ales series, and added Yard-made Toasted Hops Caramel ice cream, a caramel and crushed potato chip rim and a nicotine-kissed “cigar” which puffed liquid nitrogen. Take a hit and pass to the left.
Chef Ilan Hall of The Gorbals and “Top Chef” + Tustin Brewery brewmaster and Smog City Brewing Co. brewer/owner Jonathan Porter featured Smog City’s saison and added roasted corn ice cream and rosemary salted almonds.
Chefs Andre Guerrero + Jan Purdy of The Oinkster and Maximiliano + Eagle Rock Brewery brewmaster Jeremy Raub and Ting Su worked on a float that turned the classic stout/vanilla combination inside out. They accentuated ERB’s vanilla bean Solidarity dark ale with chocolate bourbon ice cream, caramelized cocoa nibs and pig candy.
Guerrero said he was up until 2 a.m. making the pig candy, and it paid off, as the team he was on took the top prize, as determined by the attendees. Last night on Twitter, The Oinkster revealed that customers can now try the winning float through October 21, writing, “Due to popular demand we will be serving our champion float during OiNKTOBERFEST.”
25% of event proceeds benefit Share Our Strength. That means that approximately $1300 will go to the charitable organization working to eliminate childhood hunger. Thanks to all the support from participating chefs, breweries and attendees. See you next year for more floats!