Revisiting Pipe Dream

Craft Beer Los Angeles

Brian Holter and Kingsley Toby of Pipe Dream Brewery

Back in June of last year, an article appeared in the L.A. Times about the next wave of breweries to open in Los Angeles.

One of the breweries mentioned was Pipe Dream Brewery. After the article was published, they were fielding calls about when the beer would be ready even though they were still in the early stages of developing their business.

A year later, the duo of Kingsley Toby and Brian Holter have made large strides toward their goal of realizing their Pipe Dream. And the biggest (and most important) part was to ensure testing their recipes and preparing to make the leap from a homebrew system to professional.

I tasted a flight of their beers while they brewed a new batch on their impressive system that looked like a scaled down version of what you would see in a fully operational brewery.

I started with Lazy Sunday, for which they have coined a new beer term, EDA, aka Easy Drinking Ale. To me it tasted like a mash-up between a Belgian blonde and an English Bitter. Next was Tahoba, a finely balanced mixture of TAngerines, HOney and BAsil. It was my favorite of the group. They also have a pale ale and Imperial IPA (Green Dragon). Both beers had excellent hop aromas and bright bitterness to match. I also sampled their Belgian tripel, which surprised me with how close to what I think a traditional tripel should taste like, as well as their hoppy stout and Russian Imperial.

As we know in the craft beer community, getting a brewery up and running is not measured in normal time. These things require paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork along with an influx of cash and loads of patience (read THIS if you don’t believe me) but these beers will be worth the wait.

Adnams Broadside is the Beer of Week and it “commemorates the fierce battle of Sole Bay fought against the Dutch Republic in 1672 off the Southwold coast, just across the green from their brewery.” It would be the perfect malty English ale to sip while watching the London summer games which kick off with tomorrow’s opening ceremonies. And due to some insane marketing arrangement between a certain mega-beer company and the London Olympics, you will be drinking better than the people inside the stadiums.

Your Homework is to look for tap handles and bottles from the new Venice Beach Beer Company. I spoke with the principals behind the venture, Tim Benedick and Kerr Smith and two months in, they are ready to fulfill the motto of Shut Up and Drink It. They currently have two beers that you can find in the Venice and El Segundo Whole Foods along with other bottle shops, Venice is a “unique, American amber ale with a blend of caramel and biscuit malts, jammed packed with five different hops” that I found brisk with an interesting minerality. June Gloom is “an untraditional, White Belgian beer combining the taste of coriander and orange peel.” It will be a one to drink year-round. Coming up next year will be the A.W.O.L (Always West of Lincoln) IPA and in the years to come a taproom and brewery in Venice.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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