Last Friday the craft beer headlines were screaming EXTRA!! EXTRA!! As some serious news roiled the L.A. craft beer scene and lit up the internet.
First, a group called Alchemy & Science (which is part of the Boston Beer Company aka Samuel Adams) purchased Angel City Brewery. The craft beer world generally doesn’t seem like a scene from the movie “Wall Street” and to have it happen to an L.A. based brewery is quite out of the ordinary. How will this affect the quality and distribution of Angel City beers? Only time will tell.
Just as that news was being digested more troubling events were taking place in Hollywood. The venerable Blue Palms Brewhouse got entangled in a lease problem not of their own making and may be forced to move from their current location. The craft beer community responded quickly and co-opted the Occupy theme to help support Brian Lenzo and the great people at Blue Palms. Crowds were large enough to stall an immediate close date and buy some time (two to three weeks at last check) to work out a deal to keep Blue Palms and its excellent list of rotating taps in place.
On a happier note, another venture recently opened in the industrial district south of Union Station downtown. Little Bear pairs the talents of Andre Guerrero and Ryan Sweeney. If you have been to and liked the Oinkster, Verdugo Bar, Maximilliano’s or The Surly Goat then you will want to take a peek at Little Bear’s Belgian-inspired beer list. Try some updated traditional Belgian fare like waterzooi and gougeres as well.
That is all the Los Angeles beer news that is fit to print (for now). Make sure you support Blue Palms (by visiting again), Little Bear (by making your first visit) and Angel City (by revisiting) or in whatever way you can.
For the craft Beer of the Week, I recommend Eagle Rock Brewery‘s Botany Bay ESB. ESB’s are a bit out of favor in the world of the craft beer geek but now you can grab a sterling example of this famous British style at the Eagle Rock taproom. It pours a cola brown and has loads of malt and cereal taste with just a touch of bitterness.
Your Homework this week is head to a Beachwood BBQ location after the starting on January 17 to buy a chance to have some Pliny the Younger from Russian River. This is by far the best way to allocate the thin resources of this uber-popular beer. You buy a raffle ticket and if you are lucky, you win a pour of the Younger. What is great is that the raffle money will help a charity and the winners won’t have to stand in line. It is truly a win-win for all involved. Even if you don’t get a golden ticket, you have an excuse to head to Beachwood.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.