Last weekend two breweries within a short drive from each other celebrated anniversaries.
The youngest, Phantom Carriage celebrated their 1st and needed to take over their back parking lot to fully celebrate. They had a multitude of beers from not only their blendery, but from friends as well. They also made the day a double bottle release with Muis and a strawberry-fied version of their Broadacres Berliner Weisse.
I sampled a spectrum of styles from the mind of brewer Simon Ford including a Russian Imperial Stout, Baskerville, with Brett that added another dimension to a typical stout. The Tripel Curse was quite strong, one of the strongest of the style that I have had in quite a while. It was very luxurious to sip it and watch the strange and fascinating movies being projected. The Pineapple (Zombie) Wit was also a nice surprise. I fear the overly sweet notes that the fruit brings, but it was restrained in this version and created tropical oasis in a glass. Less successful was a foray into the land of IPA. Fleet Street was a bit of a muddle. The hops were indistinguishable and instead of a bright bitterness landed with a thud for me.
For a 1st Anniversary, Martin Svab and team created a lovely environment to drink in. Lines were short to non-existent, everyone seemed happy and the choices available were enough to make one stay and try all that you could.
I had to pull myself away from Phantom Carriage to enjoy the fruits of the 4th Anniversary of Monkish Brewing. Henry and Adriana Nguyen had no fancy party. Just a full and boisterous crowd that was clamoring for the rarities and favorites that graced their tap list. My favorite, Selah, was there but I went for two new-to-me beers. Olivia a 100% Brett blonde ale, And Never Ever Ever which smelled and tasted like a cherry pie.
I cannot praise the Monkish beers enough and again I found myself wishing that I could just grab a seat and taster glasses of everything on the menu. Olivia is a simple beer, but just so well made with different notes that had to be investigated while Never Ever Ever was bright and spicy with a touch of tartness to wrap it up. With some high-profile collaborations on the way, Monkish’s star will rise even more.
Both breweries have boundless creativity that makes me look forward to years 2 and 5.
The Beer of the Week is the 6th Version of the Darts Away IPA brewed in honor of Tony’s Darts Away, and it is really new this year. Not just in the hops and recipe. The People’s Choice Winner from the recent L.A. IPA Festival, Eagle Rock Brewery has taken the hops in hand and has brewed up a hop concoction to celebrate the all-California tap list bar in Burbank. It will be on tap (as kegs last) this weekend.
Your Homework this week is to mark the calendar for April 3. That day is when LA Beer Hop teams up with Vagabond Cheese Company for a LA Cheese & Beer tour of three L.A. breweries. The tour bus will visit Mumford Brewing and Iron Triangle downtown and Eagle Rock Brewery just north. Cheeses curated by Alex Ourieff from Vagabond Cheese await the group at each destination. A bonus Raclette Service which is described as “like fondue but way better.” Tickets Available HERE:
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.