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Craft Beer Los Angeles

Public School doesn’t rotate taps as quickly as some other L.A. beer bars, but still supports “liquid education.”

One aspect of beer bars that I do not believe that I have touched upon is the choice to rotate taps frequently or to hold onto the same beers week to week. I’m a craft beer geek that is always searching for a new beer and tend to favor places that change beers in-between visits. (Not just for me of course, but for all customers)

I was reminded of this predilection during my second visit to Public School 612. The little nook next to/and part of the Daily Grill in downtown Los Angeles. I noticed that the tap list was remarkably similar if not identical to what was available the first time I was there.

My first thought was “Fine, I can certainly find a good if not great beer on the list” with a tinge of ennui in my voice. Which was true. I hadn’t had Stone’s original Arrogant Bastard in a while and it was nice to reacquaint myself with its over the top charms. What was great and that I had completely forgotten about was that since I knew and remembered Arrogant Bastard, I could easily find a food item that paired well with it. In this case, a really good burger with onions and a hearty Huntsman cheese that the beer stood up to and added a note of malt flavor and undercut the heaviness of the cheese.

On the previous trip, I had a spicy (to me) plate of fried chicken with an IPA that I had not had in quite some time. The hops added an extra kick to the chicken and made the fries on the side a little less salty.

Places like Public School 612, that have a solid, but slower changing list that includes local favorite Eagle Rock and their Solidarity as well as gems like Bear Republic Racer 5, Ballast Point’s Calico Amber and Saison Dupont are great places to practice the art of pairing craft beer with gastro pub fare. Not to mention the fact, that if you are a fan of a beer, you want places around that reliably carry it from week to week. And it doesn’t hurt that PS612 is a great spot to return to for that favorite brew.

For the Craft Beer of the Week, I recommend Punk IPA from BrewDog . Another beer that I had once a long, long time ago in a galaxy….you get the point. The canned version that I recently tried blew me away with a massive but gentle hit of citrus and a light body that makes it great for pairing with all sorts of food that some IPA’s would overpower. Punk is generally available in bottles in Los Angeles beer shops.

Your homework this week is to pair beer and cheese. And actually that is my homework too. Every month, beer bloggers converge on a single topic of importance or fun in the world of beer. It is called “The Session” after the British turn of phrase that means time spent in the pub drinking with your friends. Usually with a low ABV beer so the session can go on longer. The beery subject matter that we will write about for May is pairing beer and cheese. The suggested cheeses are blue, cheddar and soft. And we are to find beers that match up with these archetypal cheeses and explain why we chose them and if it worked as we expected. So, I am asking you to do the same and see what results that you get.

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Sean Inman

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

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