A few Brew & You columns back, I mentioned that Cosmic Brewing would be opening up near Smog City and Monkish Brewing in Torrance. I since visited their taproom deep inside the industrial park and tasted three beers and road tested their self-pour system.
First the beers:
Tulips on My Organ – Despite the horrible name that evokes, well, better unsaid, this a decent saison. Some nice esters to it. This was the biggest beer they had on tap, clocking in at 6.6% ABV. That being said, they will need to up their game and play catch-up with Smog City’s excellent saisons.
Little Bagpipe – Was not my notion of a Wee heavy. Too much caramel for my taste and was a little to close in flavor to the saison.
Hell Hound Brown – Now this was the best beer of the trio. Big chocolate notes. Good stickiness to it as well. This was the beer that they sold around town in years prior.
In regards to the self-pour system, the Cosmic staff is very good at explaining the process how to work the charge card and how to actually pour the beer. The “concierge” was standing by and ready without being intrusive. Now I don’t know what happens if you misplace the magic card or if you can call and get it turned off if you do forget it. Or if the card refuses pours after a certain amount.
The design of Cosmic has part space theme and part creature theme. The green lights and mural (which is nice) say space, but the bottle labels are more akin to Flying Dog out of Maryland. The flight tray is nice and sturdy, but looks more like a fish than a spacecraft. The tap room is a medium small size place and I wish the pouring station wasn’t hidden from the main room, but that is probably some California legality.
Overall the self-pour is a cool idea and differentiates Cosmic from the other breweries in Torrance. We’ll see how the brewery differentiates the beers as they evolve.
Speaking of Flying Dog Brewery, your Beer of the Week is their fall seasonal, The Gourd Standard, that grafts pumpkins onto an IPA. The only way to make this beer more controversial would be to make a NE style IPA. Flying Dog uses the pumpkin along with German Noble hops to get more earthiness and spiciness.
The Homework is to check out the latest brewing entrant to El Segundo, Rob Rubens Distilling & Brewing. You can go the spirit route and try their White Whiskey, California Gin or Spiced Rum. Or head to the beer and taste their initial line-up of K.I.D. lager or Hopped the F Up IPA alongside a Full Moon specialty ale. Prohibition is the theme for both and their tasting room opened on September 16. Check their web presence for hours and to make sure they are open since it is early days still.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.