L.A. has a wealth of choices for beer festivals. Heck, the 2nd weekend in August had five festivals! Known as a land of sequels and re-boots, Hollywood can be faulted for a general lack of creativity but on September 19 you can head to Raleigh Studios in the heart of Tinseltown and be treated to an original idea, the L.A. Cider Festival.
Half Pint’s Mark McTavish has partnered with Hand Crafted Tasting Co. to create the first hard cider fest here in Los Angeles. Since cider is still the younger sibling to the fine wine and craft beer revolutions some education is in order and it will include “the opportunity to taste beverages and learn about cider’s history, the process of cider-making, and the art of pairing at the dedicated Cider Gallery and Craft Beer Gallery pavilions. Additionally, there will be ten themed and curated Tasting Stages, distinguished by the beverage’s unique flavor profile all accompanied by delicious local fare.”
Ticketholders will have over 100 selections of craft ciders (both local and imported) along with beers, meads and even kombucha. Now I would prefer to stick to cider.
In e-mail correspondence with McTavish, I asked him:
What is your go-to or table cider that you drink the most of?
McTavish said, “I’m a devout Spanish cider drinker. This is where the cider story began, Asturias is Mecca in the cider world. There is nothing like a bone dry natural cider to pair with food, truly a match made in heaven. In the American contingent I prefer natural wild fermented ciders like Troy Cider, Alpenfire, Sea Cider and my very own LA based 101 Cider House.”
Here are some of my daily bevys of choice:
• Troy Cider 2014 Gold Series
• Alpenfire Pirates Plank
• Sea Cider Wild English
• 101 Cider House India Pale Cider
Especially since there are quite a few that have hops added to them to trade on the cachet and popularity of IPAs. There will be an afternoon and an evening session both preceded by VIP time. Don’t be late because the window of opportunity is only 2 ½ hours per session and you will want to taste and see what this artisanal cider movement is all about.
The Beer of the Week is all Dutch to me via Boulder and Avery Brewing. Perzik Saison is a peach flavored Belgian ale. Perzik being peach in Dutch. You get your classic saison with its dry, crisp and spicy characteristics and then add in the stone fruit for a summer seasonal in 12-ounce cans.
Your Homework is to arm yourself with growler knowledge. Last week, I talked about the Rise of the Crowler Machines but since growlers are much more ubiquitous, you will need to know which breweries fill which types of growlers and the folks over at the Maltose Falcons HomeBrew club have got you covered. Check out their handy-dandy list so you will know which growler to bring.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.