Los Angeles is filled with people born in other cities. Be it Boston, Chicago, Kansas City or my hometown of Portland. So it seems appropriate to highlight beers from places that others call home, craft beer that is typically only quaffed on visits home for the holidays.
One area that doesn’t get a lot of brewery love is the Southeast region. This is where the greatest amount of brewery growth has been lately. Granted, it has been catch-up to reach levels already hit by other regions. This region has two highly regarded breweries in Cigar City of Florida and Terrapin in Georgia. And there may be more craft beer superstars in the making. Alabama has seven breweries in the planning stages to add to the six it already has while Tennessee has 11 breweries in the works.
So here are some craft beer spots to watch out for from the Southeast:
YAZOO BREWING of Tennessee – For Christmas, I got some brews from this Nashville brewery. Their Dos Perros is a great and basic Vienna style lager. Their Hefeweizen is light on cloves but still has the banana characteristics of a good hefe and finally I tried the Hop Project IPA. Every couple weeks or so, they change up the IPA recipe. They are up to 42 versions now, I think.
GOOD PEOPLE BREWING of Alabama – I have heard great things about this brewery. Their County Line series of beers are inventive to say the least. Belgiweizen is a hefe with Belgian yeast. Fatso was the first legally brewed imperial stout in Alabama. And finally, a Brussels Stout with coffee and oatmeal.
BAYOU TECHE BREWING of Louisiana – Another brewery that is on my list to sample. First on my list is LA-31 Boucanèe, a beer made with cherry wood-smoked wheat. Then I would try the Grenade a light and refreshing wheat beer.
LAZY MAGNOLIA BREWING of Mississippi – I have had their Southern Pecan beer and it is tremendous. Nutty flavors abound but the rest of the beer isn’t thin. It holds up the bigger flavors for a good balanced brew. They also have a Sweet Potato Cream Stout by the name of Jefferson that sounds tempting.
Your Homework is to at the very least “friend” RAISE YOUR PINTS – Mississippi. This organization is trying to change an outdated and restrictive ABV limit in place throughout the state. 5% ABV is the max that a brewer’s beer can contain. Which is great, if you love session beer, but if you would like a Russian Imperial Stout, some fine Belgian Triples, or even most Double IPA’s then you are out of luck.
The Beer(s) of the Week come from Portland, Oregon. From a brewery called UPRIGHT. I saw four of their beers at Vendome Toluca Lake and though they are pricey, they are worth it. You can buy # 4 – a light and dry Belgian ale, # 5 – a farmhouse style pale, # 6 – a dark rye beer and # 7 – a saison. If you are a fan of The Bruery, these beers are in the same vein. Old styles, re-interpreted.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.