Craft Beer Los Angeles

Rock & Brews is inexplicably one of L.A.'s only biergartens, located just south of LAX.

The L.A. BEER BLAST is designed to let Food GPS readers know what’s new at select L.A. bars and restaurants with great beer selections. You’ll also discover beer-related events in the area and meet industry leaders. The L.A. BEER BLAST normally arrives every Thursday evening, in time for the weekend rush. Look in the left sidebar, SUBSCRIBE to Food GPS and you’ll receive the L.A. BEER BLAST by e-mail.


This week, Brew & You columnist Sean Inman writes, “Beer geeks are easy to shop for. Pick-up a gift card from the local liquor store that has a great selection or from BevMo and you are set. That card will be used before 2011 even starts! But here are some ideas that dig a little deeper.” His second holiday post is titled, ’Tis The Season (Part Two), and you should really read it.


Beachwood chef-owner Gabe Gordon currently features draught beers like Haandbryggeriet Dobbel Dram Imperial IPA, Deschutes Green Lakes Amber Ale, The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Inland Empire Porter, Ellezelloise Quintine Blonde, and on cask, J.W. Lee’s Harvest Ale. Track changes to Beachwood BBQ’s 24-tap menu via HOP CAM.


On December 10, starting at 5 p.m., Blue Palms is hosting Temecula’s Black Market Brewing Co. They’re bringing their Rye IPA, which won a Gold Medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, plus their Dunkelweizen, Brown Ale and Hefeweizen, with more beers to follow.

Blue Palms proprietor Brian Lenzo is currently pouring beers like Allagash Curieux bourbon barrel aged tripel, Carlow O’Hara’s Irish Stout, Mikkeller/BrewDog I Hardcore U, Russian River Redemption, Marin Point Reyes Porter, The Lost Abbey Red Barn, and on cask, Firestone Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale. Track changes to Blue Palms Brewhouse’s 24-tap menu via HERE


According to Christopher Sobolewski, who oversees BoHo’s beer program, “It’s holiday time at BoHo with Gouden Carolus Noel, St Bernardus Christmas, and Deschutes Jubelale on draft. And more on the way from St. Feuillien, Affligem and Chouffe. Also on draft now: Sierra Nevada Celebration, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout and Ephemere from Unibroue.”


According to bar manager Rory Snipes, “New beers for this week include: Russian River Blind Pig, Saison Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux, Craftsman Monkey See Monkey Do DIPA, Mad River John Barleycorn Barleywine, St. Louis Framboise, Marin Hoppy Holidaze, Christmas Leroy, Moylan’s Harvest Fresh Hop IPA, and Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper . Upcoming holiday beers include Kern River Holiday (Rye IPA), Gouden Carolus Noel, Scaldis Noel, Noel de Silenrieux, Great Divide Hibernation, and St. Bernardus Christmas. We will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas, come have a beer and keep us company! We’re also planning a New Year’s Eve bash with beer and drink specials and a delicious celebratory dinner menu.”


The Culver City branch just added New Belgium Sahti Ale and Lagunitas Gnarly Wine and downtown, BottleRock busted out kegs of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout and Deschutes Jubelale.


According to yesterday’s update from chef-owner Tony Alcazar, who was still basking in the glow of Tuesday’s Bear Republic dinner, “We are lucky to have some Bourbon Barrel aged Golden Grizzle left over as this was the star of the evening. Also on tap, Mikkeller/Brew Dog I Hardcore You, Delirium Noel, Unibroue Maudite, Russian River Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig.

The Bruery Christmas Brunch has been confirmed for the 19th of December, 10am to 2pm. Owner Patrick Rue will be present (as Santa Clause) as well as A Patridge in a Pear Tree, Two Turtle Doves, Barrel Aged Two Turtle Doves and 3 French Hens. Food menu will be posted next week.”


According to beverage director Eli Wilson, “Happy Holidays! Congregation will be featuring over a dozen Christmas seasonal beers on tap by this weekend, come enjoy the festivities!” Last week, he referenced the line-up, which includes St. Bernardus Christmas, Affligem Noel, and Samichlaus.


According to General Manager Matthew Kaner, Covell is now featuring Great Divide fresh hop Pale Ale, Hitachino Nest Witbier, Cismontane Black’s Dawn Stout, Brasserie D’Achouffe “N’ice Chouffe” and St. Bernardus Xmas Ale.


Since last Thursday, Phil McGovern’s Santa Monica bar has added draught beers like La Chouffe, Mc Chouffe, Deschutes Obsidian Stout, Port Brewing Mongo double IPA, Great Divide oak-aged Yeti Stout, Affligem Noel, and on cask, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale with Chinook hops and two beers from Dean’s, an Irish Red Ale and their Black Irish Double Stout.


According to Natalie Gutenkauf, “Big Lineup at The Factory right now!, Stone Double Bastard, Stone Lucky Bastard, Port Brewing Santa’s Lil’ Helper, Bootleggers Sour Lambic #2, New Belgium Trippel, Strand Brewing’s NEW Atticus IPA, Anderson Valley Bahl Hornin Series Nettie Madge Black IPA and Sudwerk Helles. In the back ready to go we have Bootleggers Mint Chocolate Porter and Kern River Holiday Rye IPA!!!!

Remember $3 pints every Thursday in December!!! Starting January–$3 pints in Thursday if you are wearing a Factory t-shirt. All t-shirts are on sale for $8!

Also–starting in 2010 the Ultimate IPA Tournament. Each week 2 IPAs will square off to see who moves on to be the people’s choice as best IPA in the known universe!”


According to The Golden State co-owner Jason Bernstein, they’re currently pouring Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza, The Lost Abbey Red Barn, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Stone Double Bastard, Craftsman Holiday Ale. Tomorrow, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA goes live.


According to Ladyface rep Robyn Britton, “Ladyface got an early present from the man in red – 3 new tanks were delivered this week, and with them the means to keep more of our regular ales on tap and brew more special seasonals! Cask of the Week is “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Saaz”, our Blonde infused with Saaz hops. On tap right now – La Blanche Wit, La Blonde, Ladyface IPA, Picture City Porter, La Trappistine Dubbel, and Trois Filles Tripel as well as Sierra Nevada Celebration, Port Santa’s Little Helper, Black Diamond Grand Cru, Coronado Golden, Grand Teton Sweetgrass, Green Flash Hophead Red, St. Louis Gueuze, Val-Dieu Grand Cru, Petrus Oud Bruin and Poperings Hommel.”


According to General Manager Tom Kelley, a certified cicerone, “This weekend we have Drakes 1500 back in stock, as well as Alesmith’s X, Blind Pig IPA, Sierra Estate, and Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout. Last licks on Dorado and 09 Sea Monster from Ballast Point.

The Bruery Mischief and Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza should find their way to the taps this weekend as well.”

The Holiday and Strong Ale Fest kicks off on December 20. According to Kelley, “$10 buys you a Library logo-emblazoned tasting glass and your first pour from a rotating list of ten seasonal and strong ales. You can refill your glass for $2.50 – $5 with any one of the ten specialty ales they will be rotating throughout the fest.” The opening line-up includes Nogne O / Jolly Pumpkin / Stone Special Holiday Ale, Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza, N’ice Chouffe, Dogfish Head Pangaea, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Anchor Brewings Merry Christmas Happy New Year Ale, Anderson Valleys Winter Solstice, Delirium Noel and Gouden Carolus Noel. “The festival runs through January 1st, and you can come refill you glass as many times as you like with any of the above beers. Once a tap runs dry it will be replace with one of these other fabulous libations – Val Dieu Grand Cru, Bootlegger Chocolate Mint, St. Bernardus Noel, Affligem Noel, Ommegang Adoration and Sierra Nevada Brewers Reserve, Alaskan Winter, Lost Coast Winterbraun, Karl Strauss Parrot in a Palm Tree, Great Divide Hibernation, Avery Old Jubilation and Gouden Carolus Van de Keizer Blauw.


David Farnsworth’s Old Pasadena pub is hosting a Christmas Festival for the month of December. Fill a Lucky Baldwin’s/Saison Dupont festival glass and keep it for $12. Options include Delirium Noel, Ommegang Adoration. St. Bernardus Christmas, Gulden Draak Vintage, Avece Les Bon Vouex, Scotch de Silly, Bourgogne des Flanders, Christmas Leroy and La Rulles Meilleur Voeux.


Lucky Baldwin’s eastern outpost is now featuring a Christmas Festival for the month of December. Related beers currently include Eel River Climax Noel, Delirium Noel, Petrus Winter, Full Sail Wreck the Halls, Craftsman Holiday Ale, St. Feuillien Cuvee de Noel, Scaldis Noel, Affligem Noel, Sam Adams Winter Lager, Deschutes Jubelale and Anchor Christmas 2009. Buy a T-shirt and glass for $22 and get a free beer, then get either $1 or $2 off refills for the duration of the fest as long you’re carrying the glass.


Brandon Halvorson, who runs the beer program at Dave Furano and Michael Zislis’ El Segundo biergarten, is currently arming 32 taps with beers like Oskar Blues Gordon, an Imperial red ale; Ommegang Hennepin saison, Leffe Blonde, Moylan’s Kilt Lifter, a Scotch ale; and Lost Coast’s 20th Anniversary Ale, an Imperial brown. On deck, they’ve got beers like The Bruery’s 7 Grain Saison, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Lagunitas IPA and Bear Republic Big Bear Stout.

According to Halvorson, “We have an Arrogant Bastard pint night next week on Wednesday and during the event we’ll be tapping the Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean! The event starts at 5 p.m. and runs until close.”


According to yesterday’s update from Jace Milstead, a certified cicerone who’s consulting on the beer list, Sidebar is celebrating its eight-year anniversary with $3 beers for the rest of December, all nine taps, including Kern River Holiday Ale, a rye IPA; TAPS Schwarzbier, Mama’s Little Pils, Eagle Rock Brewery Unity. Beers on deck include Grand Teton Bitch Creek ESB, Hoppy Brewing Hoppy Claus and Kern River Class V Stout. As Milstead said, “We’ve got the best beer in Glendale.”


According to manager Peter Shuey, “We’ve got some great wintery/holiday beer on tap right now. Deschutes Jubelale, Victory Twilight, Port Santa’s Little Helper, St Bernardus Christmas Ale, Ommegang holiday & more. Still up and running are Brouwerij West Blong, Craftsman Monkey See Monkey Do, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, Firestone Velvet Merlin, Strand Atticus IPA, Shipyard Imperial Porter & TAPS Swarzbier. On deck in the next week…Widmer Brrrbon, Sierra 30 yr reserve, Ballast Point Sculpin & Black Marlin Porter, a black IPA from Anderson Valley (part of their balhornin’ series), McRogue Scotch Ale & Anchor Christmas.

Don’t forget Monday Dec 13th we’ll have Widmer Brewing in house showing off their Brother’s Reserve Series “Brrrbon,” a great bourbon barrel aged ale perfect for these chilly nights by the beach! Fun starts at 6:30PM”


According to Andrew Kelley, The Surly Goat is currently pouring draught beers like Monkey See Monkey Do – Craftsman (Imperial IPA), Avec Les Bons Voeux – Dupont (Spiced Saison) and Doggie Claws – Hair of the Dog (Barleywine), with a trio of “highlights” on deck: The Dissident – Deschutes (Sour Brown Ale), John John Hazelnut – Rogue (Rum Barrel Aged Brown Ale) and Charlie, Fred & Ken’s Ale – Sierra Nevada (Imperial Helles Bock).


According to yesterday’s update from general manager Paige Reilly, “Yummy beer all around! Sierra Nevada Brewer’s Reserve, Brouwerij West Blonde-5, Firestone Double Jack and Ballast Point Even Keel. We are also having a Tuesday’s @ Tony’s event on Tuesday, December 14th with Strand Brewing from Torrance! Come taste their newly brewed IPA!!! YAY!”


This week, Brand X contributor Steven Armstrong shared his sixth installment of The Craft Beer Chronicles, titled The Beer Chicks Get “Naked” at The Daily Pint. He reveals that Hallie Beaune and Christina Perozzi plan to publish their next book – The Naked Brewer – “next yule.” He also shares their suggested pairings for Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” and Hall & Oates’ “Out of Touch.”


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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