It would be easy to dedicate my monthly Brew & You column to the viral elephant in the room and how it is affecting the Los Angeles brewing industry. But I do believe that craft beer fans are well aware of the situation and instead, would rather read some happier news before wading back into the news cycle.
Let’s go to Long Beach and try some cider! Ficklewood Ciderworks opened this year near Broadway & Alamitos, a few blocks from the touristy core (and right next to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles).
As you walk up the little incline into the space, the bar is off to the right. To the back left, they interspersed barrels with seating and up front, seating areas open up so you can feel the breeze and sun.
I suggest starting with their base cider that uses apples from the Sacramento area. Then move on to more creative versions such as Bramblebark, which is a cool mix of vanilla flavor and cider that really charms the tastebuds. Their beet, date sugar and pistachio combo is even crazier.
They also have two hoppy ciders. Yonderhop and Tropical Elixir are very different from each other, but both were better examples of hops integrating with and adding to cider that I sampled. They hope to eventually grow their own hops in the future.
You can also get growlers and crowlers of their cider which is another rarity for a cidery.
Once the taproom is allowed to re-open, I highly recommend filling a taster tray with their offerings.
Crosbo Pils from Highland Park Brewery is my Non-IPA Beer of the Month. The Chinatown brewery teamed up with Crosby Hop Farm to add another pilsner to their growing roster that began, back in the day, with Timbo Pils. With the buying situation being so fluid, check their website and social media for purchase options. If you are lucky, maybe you live within their delivery zone.
Normally, I would highlight a special beer event here at the end of the post, but everything is a bit postponed at the moment. So instead, gather your beer loving friends around the warm glow of the computer screen and video chat about the beers you are isolating with. I did this the other night and my little group had beers from Cellador Ales, Strand Brewing and Highland Park’s Anniversary IPA to talk about.
On a final note, please stay safe while also trying to help out the local beer community. Buy gift cards, utilize curbside service, buy a T-shirt. Whatever you can do. Thanks!