At 9 a.m. on an already broiling Sunday morning, I was watching (and helping a tiny bit) as the Yeastside Brewers held a club brew behind the new Eagle Rock Home Brew shop.
Two club members, Josh and Jeff, brought and set-up out their vastly different brewing equipment and I, along with other members, got to watch and chat about homebrewing. Oh and we tried some amazing home brews too.
Josh was brewing on a system that had two modified kegs with a modified cooler in the middle for the marvelous smelling grains that form the base of the rye beer he was brewing. Jeff had three big pots and a vacuum seal for his big porter. And I was able to wander between the two and marvel at the Rube Goldberg-ian aspect of brewing from home or from a parking lot.
Since, there is a lot of time in-between the brewing action, it was time to break out the beers and discuss the techniques and ingredients used, offer suggestions and critiques and admire the handiwork of the 20+ club members.
I had the pleasure of trying a delightful Sour watermelon beer brewed by David that had a great fruit aroma, Josh’s extraordinary chamomile strong ale, a raspberry porter and a Belgian pale ale that had the most perfect bubbly head, from Zach. There was also an IPA, Black IPA and a Kentucky common being passed around before I took my leave. All were pint worthy in my opinion.
I have met homebrewers from the Maltose Falcons in the Valley and Culver City’s Pacific Gravity and now the Yeastside and all have been easy to talk to, willing to explain what they are doing and quick to share a beer. It proves to me (as if it needed proving again) that beer really brings people together.
If you have an interest in home brewing, I would suggest checking out the Eagle Rock Home Brewing calendar and attend a beginners home brewing class. You will certainly learn all the steps and work behind making your favorite beers.
Then if you want to take it up a notch, join the club. According to the Yeastside website, the group meets “every month, and meetings are typically a brew session at someone’s house or gathering at breweries or beer-centric bars or restaurants.”
For the craft Beer of the Week, I am recommending that you imbibe anything from the State of Oregon, aka Beervana. Why? Because it is Oregon Craft Beer Month. I wish we could get more beer from up north but Oregonians are apparently drinking most of it. Over 15%, by some estimates, of beer consumed in Oregon is of craft origin. So grab a Widmer, Ninkasi or Upright and toast to more people drinking better beer.
Homework this week is only for you folks west of the 405. Since the main artery is clamped off this weekend, stick close to home and support a new beer bar! BRU HAUS is on Wilshire near the 405 but you will not notice the whir of traffic once you get inside this calming oasis. They have a tight and focused food menu and a Belgian/German beer focus to match it. Don’t sit in traffic, sit at the bar.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.