Look for the rocket boosters of SpaceX and you will soon find the upcoming home for L.A. Ale Works in Hawthorne.
LAAW has been on a long road to brewery status having been contract brewed for a time (lastly at Ohana Brewing) before focusing on getting their own space up and running. With the able assistance of barrel specialist Brian Holter and assistant brewer Lloyd Johnson IV, co-founder and head brewer Kristofor “Kip” Barnes, they are taking their Pacific Gravity Homebrew Club expertise to the next level.
The L-shaped bar sports an impressive 25 taps array which shows that the brewery and taproom have baked in extra space for future expansion past the 10 beers that are currently in process. The brewing space also reveals space for extra tanks as the demand grows and even the outdoor patio (a bit of a rarity in sunny L.A.) hints at looking forward. As does the arrival of barrels from Seasmoke winery.
I sampled Space XPA, part of their Space IPA series, and found it to have the hallmark flavors of the NE IPA but in clear form. A roggenbier, Clov’n Rye, two variations of Kolsch, Lievre Saison, Buttress of Windsor Coffee Porter are also part of the line-up.
What was truly cool was their modified “Burton Union” that was being used for their take on the classic Berliner Weisse, Blüme. Six barrels are rigged together to circulate beer through the barrels. Primarily used for yeast collection in the past, now it is more about creating a flavor profile.
L.A. Ale Works does not have an opening date set in stone but look to late January or February to plan your trip down the 105 freeway to get a growler and/or a pint.
The Beer of the Week comes from hop purveyors Sierra Nevada. Carrying the Beer Camp label, this is the first of 2017 hop experiments from the Chico based brewery, a variety pack with a German IPA, Black IPA and a Peach IPA will be landing this year but the Golden IPA is first and is both spicy and woodsy with a touch of fruit all in a light colored and spritzy carbonated IPA powered by the workhorse Cascade hop.
This week’s Homework is to chart out your L.A. Craft Beer Bucket list. Which breweries do you want to visit? Which festivals have you missed in the past but want to buy tickets for this year? What breweries have you only visited once? I recommend putting 10 items down on a list and see how many you can get done. Then add ten more because Los Angeles has plenty of beer to drink. You can start by adding Indie Brewing‘s 1st Anniversary, which happens this Saturday, January 21.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.