The runaway bandwagon that is the Los Angeles craft beer scene has someone new at the helm of its signature beer week. The Los Angeles County Brewers Guild (LABG) will be organizing LA Beer Week for 2014. The LABG which formed in January of 2013 will “curate the 10-day event which will launch with a newly revitalized LA Brewers Beer Week Kick-off festival at a new location in Downtown LA on September 20th featuring an invitational-style roster of California breweries and the largest-ever showing of LA beer represented.”
LABG President Jeremy Raub says, “The founders of LABW did a great job creating a structure around which the culture of craft beer was able to grow and flourish over the past five years,” Raub continued, “The LA Brewers Guild aims to continue building on that strong foundation, adding more interactive and educational components that will engage and energize the LA beer community.”
This is a logical evolution for LABW. Because of the far-flung nature of our metropolis, it can be hard to pin down what the L.A. craft beer scene is exactly. Let alone what constitutes a truly L.A. beer or style. And if a renewed push and focus on local can achieve that end goal and get someone from Manhattan Beach to try a beer from Van Nuys or someone from Montebello to Agoura Hills for a pint then it will be worth it.
I also heartily endorse the idea of linking with the guilds of San Francisco and San Diego. We are a large market for both of those cities and it will be quite educational to sample their beers side-by-side. (See event listing below). I am also happy that the signature event is staying downtown. It is vitally important that people be able to use mass transit to get to the festival and this location (though Easterly) is the best meeting point for all Angelenos.
One additional item that I have been asking for is to remember that L.A. is a town filled with people from all over the U.S. and to forget that point or to downplay it, can be a turn off. It can be put on a back burner for a year but that is something that I believe will need to be harmoniously added to the mix. Perhaps with a collaborative brew with a sister city? Foreign beers or beers from other states are not to be uninvited but melded as a comparing or contrasting tool to our own beer culture.
But that is to be discussed and considered after this year. I, for one, am looking forward to the new energy the Brewers Guild will bring.
Further details regarding LA Beer Week’s main event and other LABG official events to follow.
Save the Dates:
September 20-28: LA Beer Week
September 20: LA Brewers Beer Week Kick-Off event
September 25: Meeting of the Guilds (LA/SF/SD) at Mohawk Bend
Your Beer of the Week is two beers! One from each country in the World Cup final on Sunday. For fans of Germany and their semi-final goal machine, Die Mannschaft , I suggest the Weissbier from Franziskaner. A classic and easily found hefeweizen with a blast of clove and banana. For those who are rooting for Lionel Messi and Co., it is harder to find their national ABInBev brew Quilmes or another light lager Brahma so you might have to be more creative and try Grazias from Mike Hess Brewing.
Your Homework is to remember to pack your Carry On, not the luggage but the beer. A new citrus beer from Golden Road Brewing which will be not only in the 16oz cans at the brewery, but at 10 airports stretching from California, Arizona and Nevada with more airports getting distribution as 2014 progresses. And while you are traveling, check out the incredible infographic of the breweries in the United States. Now a bit out of date Los Angeles wise thanks to MacLeod Ale Brewing and Highland Park Brewery (among other new entrants) who are now brewing, but still a great tool to plan a possible summer beer vacation.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.