In the last two months, I have spoken with and tasted the beers from many breweries that are in the “fermenting” stage here in Los Angeles. It has made my job both harder and more fun.
The latest to come to my attention is Barley Forge Brewing headed by long time (22 years with some breaks) homebrewer Greg Nylen. The name is meant to connote a level of craft and to communicate one of the main ingredients in our favorite beverage.
Barley Forge will have a core line-up of beers but will also bring out seasonals as well while also paying homage to the vibrant Los Angeles culture. There will be a wit made with Horchata, an Amber with agave and DIPA with the moniker of The Delicious. Named after a movie but quite possibly after what people will say after drinking it. There will be a seasonal with a Southern-style twist as well as a ginger saison and an IPA that is under development for the hopheads in the crowd.
Nylen was set in motion by two trips. One to the beer mecca that is Portland, Oregon, and one to London. Both cities showed him aspects of beer that were not seen when he started into the world of home brewing. Fast forward to 2012 and the scenes in Portland and London are evolving to new levels and Barley Forge is winning all sorts of ribbons at homebrewing competitions and is looking for investors for a planned Culver City located brewhouse. Nylen hopes to follow in the brewing path of current hot spots like the Bruery, Hangar 24 and Eagle Rock not only in the quality of the beer but in the business models as well.
Years from now, I hope to be writing about the thriving brewery scene in Culver City and seeing beer crawls that make stops at Pipe Dream, LA Aleworks and Barley Forge. This is a big city and we need more well forged ales.
The Beer of the Week is from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. “Double DBA, a limited-edition imperial special bitter ale that was partially fermented and fully aged for 12 months in a combination of new American oak barrels and retired bourbon barrels.” And here is more information on this potent brew, “Double DBA is essentially DBA brewed at double strength and matured for an extended period. The same DBA malts and hops were used, but at twice the amount.”
Your Homework this week is to make beer-sicles or at least beer slurpees. It is a great way to beat the heat and also get creative. I took (1) twelve ounce bottle of Widmer Brothers Brewing IPA (Shaddock) that was brewed with grapefruit peels and added two ounces of simple syrup. Then I froze an inch worth into popsicle molds (takes longer to harden due to the alcohol) and then added some grapefruit chunks and a dash of grapefruit juice too and then froze overnight. I have also taken a can of Golden Road’s Hefeweizen and again added the simple syrup and added in nectarine chunks. But you can get creative and do a chocolate porter or get a witbier and add orange wedges to it. Open the freezer and give it a whirl.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.