L.A. Beer Week will soon be upon us, beginning June 18 and running through June 26. That means it is time to plan how to maximize your enjoyment of the week+ of events and festivals.
This year two major events will bookend the celebration of craft beer in the City of Angels and they are my focus this week. [In two weeks the coverage will continue with my recommendations for the rest of the week.]
The Kickoff Festival on Saturday, June 18, will be in Downtown L.A. at Los Angeles Center Studios and 45+ LA breweries will be on site. Guest breweries will participate as well, and not just the usual suspects. I have bunched my suggestions on how to navigate the vast amount of beer on hand with two divisions that encompass both the tried and true with newer breweries.
Must Try (LA Division)
- Brouwerij West
- Highland Park
Must Try (Outsiders Division)
- Firestone Walker
- Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
- Noble Ale Works
One week later, Sierra Nevada brings their Beer Camp Across America tour to Long Beach. The variety packs of this year’s collaborative brews have been in stores for a couple weeks but here you will get to sample beer from a mind blowing 149 breweries. It’s hard to wrap my head around that number.
Here are my picks of booths to stop by…(based solely on not being available here in L.A.)
- Bale Breaker Brewing from Yakima, Washington
- Berryessa Brewing from Winters, California
- Perennial Artisan Ales from St. Louis, Missouri
- The Rare Barrel from Berkeley, California
- M. Special from Goleta, California
Obviously, the Beer of the Week is the 2016 edition of Unity, the official beer of L.A. Beer Week. This year the honor of hosting the collaborative brew and coming up with the recipe went to Three Weavers and brewmaster Alexandra Nowell. For the first time, Unity will be an IPA, but not just any IPA; this one boasts of two experimental hops in the mix. According to Nowell, it has a combination of orange character and pine resin. The beer was officially released last Friday at a kick-off party at the Inglewood brewery and will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft.
Saltwater Brewery in Florida has come up with a unique solution to two problems in the world of brewing. One, what to do with their spent grain other than as feed for animals and the other are those plastic six-pack rings. The brewery has created rings for their canned beers out of the grain used in brewing. The rings are 100% biodegradable and compostable and even safe for fish to eat. Maybe if more packaging was made this way, plastic islands would not be floating in the ocean.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.