You can see the Burbank Empire Center from the 5 freeway as it winds through Burbank, but next month a new Empire will open.
Empire Tavern will be opening in early November (if all goes according to plan). The new craft beer bar will take over Jimmy’s Place, a former dive bar on North San Fernando Boulevard. Dave Ochoa, a member of the Yeastside Brewers homebrew club, will oversee 24 taps.
I spoke with Dave and his wife Sam and found two beer fans who are eager for the challenge of creating a welcoming vibe with an emphasis on education and getting people to the right beer for the moment. A place with no frosted glasses. Instead, expect a wide range of beer styles from a variety of local and overseas breweries. You can expect wine and cider on the menu as well to rope in those non-beer folks.
Most bars that specialize in independent beer claim to be beer snob-free, but I have seen firsthand that Ochoa knows how to talk beer without “beer-splaining” at people. In fact, friends frequently call upon him to suggest beers for people not deep into craft beer.
In a past life, the bar was named the Coat of Arms; the logo for the Empire Tavern pays homage to that history. May the crown on the hop foretell a long-lasting reign.
The BEER OF THE WEEK will make you want to come back for thirds. Seconds is this year’s anniversary beer from Cellador Ales. Kevin Osborne and wife Sara put a lot of hard work and time put into this beer, a blend of four different recipes. A blend of five different barrels. They first use organic Blenheim apricots, then Bonny Royal apricots later in the blends. The beer has blends that aged between five to 11 months. To top it off, the finished beer was placed into special green 375ml bottles. Intrigued? Check out the anniversary party info HERE.
Your HOMEWORK is to get fit. Eagle Rock Brewery has partnered with the Keep A Breast Foundation wellness events this October. Two of the events have passed, but there are two more events on the agenda whose aim is “to promote healthy living and cancer prevention.” On Wednesday, October 18, the Women’s Beer Forum hold their annual Drink Pink event featuring a flight of pink beers made just for the event. You can even talk to the brewers who made them that color. On October 29, strap on some hiking shoes as Eagle Rock and Craftsman Brewing host a hiking scavenger hunt followed by, you guessed it, a flight of beers.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.