Breweries in Our Own Backyard

Craft Beer Redlands


Our beer radar these days seems to be set for extreme beers or special releases. The thrill of the chase (and the first sip) of these exotic beers can lead you to brewers from around the country and spanning the globe.

But before you try to get that rare bottle of Westvleteren 12, let’s take a look into two breweries that are a bit closer to you that you might be overlooking. You just may find what I call, “comfort beers”. Solid representations of beer styles that just aren’t trendy right now but remind me of long, slow weekends with a little sun in the sky and you won’t need any fancy sonar equipment.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery is out in Redlands. And actually at the airport! This is no marketing trick. I recently re-discovered their Helles lager and their Alt bier at the improved Westwood Brewing Company and I was glad that their beers are pushing into the Los Angeles market. Before, you had to drive out to their tasting room to sample their beers on draft. I even tried to make it out there for a special cask night one Friday. But my friend and I were stymied by traffic and made it there five minutes late and only got to watch others finishing their last beers for the night. If you can get there for their Friday, Twin Engine Cask nights, you will be treated to something like this: “This weeks cask will feature Hangar 24 Alt-Bier Ale dry hopped with Vangard hops”

Here are some of the beers from H24 that I suggest you try….

Orange Wheat – American Wheat Beer brewed with whole, pureed, 100% locally grown oranges added throughout the process.

Alt – Northern German Ale with a caramel dominated flavor, bready/toasty finish, followed by a roasty flavor to dry it all out.

IPA – Hop Bomb! This unfiltered, single hop IPA is loaded with Columbus Hops throughout the brewing process to give you a pleasant hop resin flavor and amazing hop aroma.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery
1710 Sessums Drive, Redlands, 909 389 1400

The next brewery you should re-acquaint yourself with is Skyscraper Brewing out in El Monte. They don’t get a lot of press in Los Angeles but they make good beer and everyone that I have met from the brewery has been excited to talk about who they are and what they do. They are one of the breweries that I am excited to see at this weekend’s Los Angeles Beer Festival in Culver City. I am hoping to try a new creation. I heartily enjoyed their Backhoe Brown at the Verdugo Oktoberfest last year as well as these brews:

Sancha (which is returning soon!) – A Mexican style lager. It has a slight corn sweetness and delicate hop character. Wonderful for pairing with any spicy dish.

Power Tool Pilsner – A crisp, refreshing American Lager. This is what Pilsner was like before Prohibition! An abundance of malt flavor, balanced by the fine aroma of floral hops. Brilliantly clear, this beer can be enjoyed in all seasons!

Skyscraper Brewing
3229 Durfee Avenue, El Monte, 626 575 0770

The beer of the week is the first in the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Sierra 30 project. It is collaboration between Ken Grossman of the famous Chico brewery and Fritz Maytag of the equally well-known Anchor Brewing. It is a big porter filled with lots of complex flavors. Each person who tries this will probably have a different set of adjectives to describe this dark beauty. This would go great with a big steak and potatoes or any big meal.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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