Most taprooms in the Los Angeles area are tucked away into industrial parks far from pedestrian traffic. Ohana Brewing Company’s new taproom is also tucked away, but right off Main Street in Alhambra.
Due to limits imposed on them, Andrew Luthi’s small space is limited to tasters and growler sales for now. But that may work to their benefit because otherwise people would linger over the big and aggressive Rhino line of beers or slowly sip on the subtle saisons on the other end of the spectrum, and the room would quickly fill up. Now the vibe is more, explore the beers and then buy a growler to take home.
Speaking of their growlers, you will notice that they don’t have the Ohana logo on them. That is on purpose. The folks at Ohana want the growler to be used wherever blank ones are accepted. You can still flaunt the logo on one of their pint glasses or shirts if you want though.
On opening day, I sampled their honey saison, Saison Miel, which conveyed the honey to the taste buds without too much sweetness. Their Hollenbeck Amber is a solid amber (a style seldom seen anymore). Malt forward and super easy to drink. Their Coffee Black IPA may have been more coffee than hoppy, but if you are a fan of roasted notes then it will become a favorite. They also had a blonde and a sour on tap. And considering the rapid switches in styles that Ohana is known for, you may well find six brand new beers on tap from one visit to the next.
If you need more excuses to head out, 38 Degrees is literally next door and you can grab a bite after your Ohana adventure.
Your Beer of the Week is one of the now fashionable session IPA’s that are all over the market these days. Easy Jack from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is a world tour of hop varietals in a not so heavy package. First off is a blend of New Zealand hops, then toss in Bavarian Mandarina and Hallertau Melon from Germany and then some of the hip new hop, Mosaic, and you get all the aroma and bitterness you can handle in a 4.5% ABV package.
The craft beer Homework assignment is about growlers. By now, even a casual fan of craft beer will have a growler or two. Some may not be used for weeks or months. Now is the time to do some spring cleaning. First off, rinse out all of the growlers and check for any mold or bad smells. You don’t want to be that person who clears out a room because their growler is a science project. Second, make a plan to use it! Plan a trip to a brewery and set your growler by the door so that you don’t forget it. At the very least, make sure that the growlers from your closest breweries are within reach and not packed away and forgotten. And if all else fails, lend it out. If you have a friend who is closer to Eagle Rock Brewery, then lend him your growler. Make sure it gets used!
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.