Every week, I give you a suggested beer to try. I choose each beer based on a variety of reasons. The brewery, the weather, a forgotten style. But the last and most important hurdle a beer has to clear is availability. I could recommend New Glarus beers (like I did last week) for the remainder of the year but then everyone would be thirsty because you can’t get it here.
I have neglected (up to this point) to direct you to where to buy beer in bottles. Learn about a few places that you should visit for great beer selections in the Los Angeles area.
Lets start in my home base of Glendale at…RED CARPET LIQUOR
Red Carpet may not have the largest shelf space but they stock quality and they always seem to have hard to get stuff before I know they are hard to get like Kern River Just Outstanding IPA.
Look for Belgian gueze and sours.
400 East Glenoaks Boulevard, Glendale, 818 247 5544
Then head over to …CAP’N CORK
I had heard good things about this Los Feliz store for a long time before I finally ventured in one Saturday afternoon. Once I saw the sheer amount of beer (all in coolers), I started kicking myself for not going there sooner.
Look for Karl Strauss seasonals in 22oz bombers.
1674 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz, 323 665 1260
Drive over to VENDOME
The place to go for a wide variety of Italian and Japanese beers as well as great micros. The only downside is that over ½ of their stock isn’t in coolers.
Look for Baladin beers. Expensive but worthy.
10600 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, 818 766 9593
Then down to the OC and HI-TIME
This is a ways away but the selection is worth it. Bring a coat though because most of the browsing is done in the walk in cooler.
Look for the new beer right inside the cooler door.
250 Ogle Street, Costa Mesa, 949 650 8463
I would be remiss if I didn’t give honorable mentions to Whole Foods and BevMo. Whole Foods with passionate beer geeks like Glendale, Tustin and Pasadena have eclectic lists. Others without a strong presence can be mediocre. I picked up a Mikkeller Tomahawk IPA in Glendale. I even thought about grabbing all of them and hoarding.
BevMo is a notch below Whole Foods mostly because they could cool more of their beer but they carry enough quality brews to satisfy all but the most jaded beer snobs. I have found Widmer Deadlift there as well as other “old” familiars that are good to have on hand.
Your homework for this week is to take Mom out, for a beer. Doesn’t she deserve a beer as much as dad? And don’t give me the “mom doesn’t drink beer” excuse. There are great places around Los Angeles to take her that have large selections where everyone can find a beer to enjoy.
Or better yet, after returning from one of the great beer stores, why don’t you fix mom something yourself to pair with a great beer. A salad and a saison or a stew with a hearty Belgian ale. Sounds better than a crowded brunch with long lines and no elbow room.
Summer never seems to leave Los Angeles. It only disappears for a day or two. So we need a good supply of light but still flavor filled hot weather brew. Solace is the latest release from Firestone Walker. It is a refreshing wheat beer that pours a wonderful hazy light orange with some really nice citrus flavors to it.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.