It can be a bit like gloating to talk about an event that has come and gone (especially when the beer was great). So to blunt the pain of having to read a recap of a missed L.A. craft beer event, I will also talk about one event that is forthcoming. First…
Session beers, in general, are lower alcohol creations that allow you to drink a few beers while you watch a couple innings of baseball, paint dry, or one scene in “The Hobbit,” without getting blitzed. Specifically there are disagreements as to what that level is. Below 5% or below 4.5%? All nitpicking aside, the Eagle Rock Session Fest, now in its third go around, is one of my favorite days on the L.A. beer calendar. There is no end of creativity and flat out complex and flavorful beers to sample.
This year, my standouts were the Bump and Rind, a grapefruit tinged Kolsch that had a big citrus taste to it and a super clean finish. Almost to the point of soda. I also really liked two really odd offerings. One was a Breakfast beer that had ingredients like blueberry, nutmeg, cinnamon and oatmeal. With a little tweaking it would be awesome with a pancake breakfast. The minty mild choice had a wonderful mint leaf taste. The Coolhaus Ol’ Dirty Mint ice cream would be a fabulous pairing. Gratzer was the other standout, a smoked lager that poured a cool straw yellow but had a nice hit of smoke in both the aroma and the taste. A rauchbier light, as it were.
On Saturday the 18th of May, you will get your first chance to scope out the new home of Smog City. You will be able to try some of the first beers ever brewed at their new location alongside some rare gems like Quercus Circus and Bourbon O.E. More importantly you will be able to congratulate Laurie and Porter on their achievement and for adding immeasurably to the Los Angeles beer scene.
As our craft beer culture grows, I am sure I will have to lean on the past and future crutch many more times.
Your Beer of the Week would not be out of place at a Farmer’s Market. It comes from Almanac Beer Company. Farmers Reserve # 2 is a wild ale “brewed with heirloom pumpkins from La Tercera Farms in Bodega Bay, crisp Fuyu persimmons from Hamada Farms in the San Joaquin Valley and fresh ginger from the Santa Clara Valley, then aged for over a year in white wine barrels to create a deliciously complex wild ale.” It has a brisk sour bite to it up front but then the mixture of ginger and persimmon take over for a lovely dry finish that would go great with a dessert like cobbler or just grab some fruit for an even simpler treat.
Your Homework assignment this week is to start learning auction etiquette because this Sunday, May 12, The Bruery is hosting “a silent auction of their rarest beers benefiting Share our Strength Taste of the Nation Los Angeles. The auction will be held at The Bruery’s Tasting Room located in Placentia, CA.” Featured beers include: Partridge In A Pear Tree (their first Christmas beer), Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch #1 – Levud’s, Rye Barrel Aged Papier, Bourbon Barrel Aged Papier, and Brandy Barrel Aged Papier. Or go big and bid on a 3 pack collection of 2011 Black Tuesday, 2012 Grey Monday, and 2012 Chocolate Rain! People can also bid on Merchandise baskets.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.