The sold-out event strove to “connect” beer to the people by giving the backstory on four separate beers and making them more than just names on a beer menu.
Four Southland brewers, including one from San Diego, talked about the how and why and other fun facts behind the beer that they brought.
After a opening act of the traditional Anchor Steam, Jeremy Raub from Eagle Rock Brewery ascended the podium first to talk about how many times he revised the recipe for Solidarity from its first incarnation as a beer made in two weeks for a friend’s chili party. The answer: 13 times to get to the beer that we know and love today.
Mark Jilg from Craftsman briefly talked about his use of barrels in his Ursa Minor sour before yielding the floor to recent L.A. transplant and new brewer at Kinetic Brewing, Alex Nowell, who provided the history behind her Pink Boots Scholarship Saison. Pink Boots Society being the organization for women in the brewing industry to learn and grow in what is a male dominated business. Nowell brewed her saison at Drake’s before she headed south to raise money for a scholarship for the next generation of women brewing beer.
Last up was Lee Chase from Automatic Brewing. An icon in the San Diego brewing scene who is best known for his time at Stone Brewing but who has struck out on his own with his Tiger! Tiger! bar and Blind Lady Alehouse. He made Primo IPA with tangerines to match up with the Citra hops that was the main hop. Chase also spoke about his “$500” set-up on a flatbed trailer that was cobbled together and how that is not the way to go about things.
For a first-time event, it was well run with a nice selection of beers and personalities. I hope to see more of these events so that I can learn the history behind more of the beers we see on tap in L.A.
I wonder what the brewer would say about my Beer of the Week, which is brewed with blackberries. Brouwerij West [pronounced Brewery West]. The Dog Ate My Homework pours a bright red with a pretty pink head of foam. The blackberry is present but not in a cloying sweet way but more of an acidic wine tannin flavor profile. Plus the label art will draw you in.
Your Homework this week is to read the riveting history of the craft beer revolution in Tom Acitelli’s book, The Audacity of Hops. You will be amazed at how many times the Los Angeles area is mentioned considering that we are currently behind the beer curve in relation to our neighboring metropolises to the north and south. How we got to where we are today is important to how we view the scene today. It made me especially grateful to the pioneers who fought to bring craft beer back from the precipice of extinction.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.