Potential landlord, grates and roll-up doors. I have heard many a tale of a brewery finding and rehabilitating a space only to be slowed at what seems every turn. In the Before Times, the story would have a happy tapping a first keg ending. 2020 though has tossed in the ultimate red tape.
But persistence will pay off and of the Los Angeles breweries that have opened in this pandemic year, HiDef Brewing may finally be close to that opening moment that has seemed too long in coming.
Originally scheduled to open in February 2019, HiDef should be selling pints and cans by the time you read this. The brainchild of Trevor and Christina Ward along with long time NorCal brewer Lars Lesterud, the South Park brewery sits in a 1908 building surrounded by new condos.
Ward and Lesterud met at the famed Glendale Tap, long a beacon for beer lovers in the area that hosted a long-ago talk over beers and led to this point. The four beers that I sampled showed Lesterud’s production savvy from working in NorCal breweries while also illuminating Ward’s work in sound for the entertainment industry. A mixture of the creative and the technical converge on a brand new system that has only been brewed on a mere seven times.
I was particularly taken by the Rye IPA which, for once, really had a rye spicy punch to it, as well as their Audition. A cream ale that they are dubbing a summer ale. There are also a pale and IPA as well as hoppier offerings in the tanks.
So, yeah, maybe the big condo next door went up faster, but the little brewery on the corner will have a more personal vibe. More Mom & Pop comfortable when they can open their doors to the neighborhood.
California has its fair share of classic craft beers. Anchor Steam. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Black Tuesday from The Bruery, who released the 2020 version of the big bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout on October 27.
This year you can buy the beer in 16-ounce cans and then share it with a friend. The spirited aroma when you crack open the can declares, “This is a stout.” I got fig and raisin notes underneath the bourbon bang. Beyond that was a touch of chocolate as well.
It is a lovely example of barrel work and is a beer to slowly savor.
Inspiring action. Common Space Brewery has lit upon an imaginative way to help the community. They set a $1,250 donation goal. Once that has been reached (you can donate HERE) they will release a new Double IPA, 25=100. That equation is “based on the amazing fact that $25 can provide 100 meals to feed the hungry.” When the dollar marker is reached, Common Space Brewery and partner DoLA will match it and the beer will be released for all to enjoy.