Driving past the massive Princess Cruise ship in the harbor and gliding along the harbor under the palm trees at the Port of Los Angeles, you feel at the edge of the world.
Then, on the right are the twin big warehouses. One holds CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles and an event space. The other warehouse has a huge sign proclaiming that Brouwerij West [pronounced brewery] is coming in Spring of 2015. Both buildings reside next to a large park.
Considering the pace of brewery construction, it should come as no surprise that I was there to see the plans for the space and not the opening. Once inside the building you can see the potential and why it is quite a draw. Constructed at the tail end of World War II for the Navy and then never used. A cavernous area that will hold a café, bar, bottling line and the brewery.
The big selling point is the environmental steps being taken. The building will be 100% solar powered. 120,000+ square feet of the roof will be covered with panels generating around 1 megawatt of electricity, which is more than one brewery will need. More like 200 homes!
Aegir Design of Wisconsin based the Mash Filter Brewhouse on a Belgian style of brewhouse, which will add further green cred. Think French press but with the ingredients for beer. It will use “about 30% less [water] than traditional brewhouses.”
This means a case could be made that Brouwerij West could be one of the most environmentally friendly breweries in the U.S. when it is up and running. The new (hoped for) open date is July.
San Pedro will soon be the home of a cutting edge brewery on the edge of the ocean.
Your Beer of the Week is another San Pedro product, Port Town Brewing Hefeweizen. Hefes don’t get much love in our hop crazed beer world, but anytime a well-made one is on offer, you should give it a shot. It is a classic style and one that you can enjoy regularly.
The weekly Homework assignment is to find your own “Best Of” (insert style here). Make as many notes as you can or just jot down the words that best describe why it is your favorite. This will give you a good benchmark from which to compare new beers and to see how the new breweries in Los Angeles contrast to, say, your favorite Saison or Porter. Who knows? Maybe your favorite Dubbel is made here in town.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.