For LA Beer Week, collaboration runs at full-throttle. Breweries pair up with each other, with bars, restaurants, and chefs. Still, the collaboration Plan Check Kitchen + Bar developed with 1886 bartender Brady Weise and Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits stood out. Ballast Point is part of a new breed of companies that produces both beer and spirits. Weise is probably the L.A. bartender best known for producing beer-accented cocktails, which he calls “malt cocktails.” Thankfully, Plan Check Senior General Manager Christopher Brian, who worked with Weise at 1886, brought them together for six cocktails during LA Beer Week.
Of course I had to try all six malt cocktails, for the sake of “research.” My favorite drink turned out to be For Alex Day, a drink named for the renowned Proprietors LLC co-founder. Weise started with Ballast Point’s Old Grove, an aromatic San Diego inspired gin that’s juniper forward, but with accents of coriander and rose. He rounds out the flavors with bitter Aperol, lime juice, simple syrup and a special batch of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA that the San Diego powerhouse brewed with grapefruit. He shakes the cocktail, and by incorporating an IPA, “higher grain structure packs the texture.” Weise strains and serves the frothy, refreshing results in a coupe. Weise not only honored Day, but he also honored the brewery/distillery.