Shelton Brothers is a noted distributor of foreign beer in the U. S. They have branched out by producing a San Pedro beer festival on November 8-9 that has an intriguing bevy of breweries, many of which are not seen in L.A. Though the company primarily has a wealth of European beers, they also carry some extraordinary U.S. beers. Here are my suggestions for what to try if you have purchased your tickets:
Renaissance from New Zealand, Magic Rock from the UK, BrewFist from Italy and Thiriez from France will give you a good grounding in what is going on around the world with the added bonus of being beers that we normally do not see here in the Southland.
Pretty Things has beer in finer bottle shops in L.A., but should not be walked past because of that. Their beers are uniformly interesting and worth a look. Hill Farmstead gets a lot of great press and is very rare so don’t pass by that booth either, but the brewery to check out is Arizona Wilderness. which has blown up in short time. If demand is high enough, maybe they will get distribution here.
This is where the festival really shines. You could just have beers from this list and be extremely happy. Though I wouldn’t suggest that. Rare Barrel, Cellarmaker from the Bay Area, Sante Adarius which NEVER is seen here and is highly touted, plus Bagby Beer of Oceanside. That is killer. Plus locals like Beachwood (we know the magic that Julian Shrago works) plus the host of the event, Brouwerij West, who will call Crafted at the Port of LA home.
Since it will be awhile until this festival hits in November, you will have time to prepare. A great place to start would be with my Beer of the Week from Cantillon. A VERY well respected Belgian brewery and blender. And their Gueuze is a must for any fan of beer. The website description of this beer is simple and direct, “The Gueuze is the result of a well-considered blending of Lambics of different ages and with different tastes.” It might be hard to find but it will be worth it.
Your beer-centric Homework is to plan a visit to Orange County to check out the soon (if not already) opened Barley Forge. You can find their brewery/taproom in Costa Mesa’s SOBECA district and you will be able to choose from beers with sobriquets like Grandpa Tractor (a Dortmunder Export style lager), Orange Curtain (an IPA, naturally) or their Don Perfecto (a witbier with horchata spices) to name just a few.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.