It can seem that all of a sudden a city/neighborhood/community gets a wave of new breweries where once there was none. It happened again in San Dimas, where two breweries are now open to bring truly local beer to the area.
Highpoint Brewing‘s origin story is on the street that gave the brewery its name. Chad Phillips and Dominic Torres began brewing for friends and family on that street years ago and have this year opened up their space on Arrow Highway. The rectangular space has a short little bar and crowlers all around waiting to be filled. They have also opened up their back area where the brewing equipment lives for groups to congregate. That space is where you will see a painting of two famous San Dimas residents: Bill and Ted.
The computer screen menu board has a goodly amount of beer for a new place and it spans style boundaries as well. I was most taken with the Uncle’s Red Ale and the British themed IPA, Nice Day. But you will find a blonde ale and a coffee porter as well as other IPAs and one-offs from their R&D brewing equipment.
Feathered Serpent Brewery is the town’s newest brewery. You can’t miss the logo that adorns this light industrial spot that lies closer to the mountains. Here too, a lovely piece of art work adorns the wall and the staff was uniformly helpful and fun.
I visited Feathered Serpent on their second full weekend of business and they were pouring four beers. Surprisingly, a fifth beer, an amber was tapped out. Usually the hoppy side of beers are the first to go. Of the beers I tasted, Tio Rel Porter was the best of a mediocre bunch. The Session IPA, Catching Up on the Chisme, has a fantastic name, but did not deliver on lightness or hoppiness. Saints IPA suffered a similar problem with muddy malts and indistinct hops.
Given time, Feathered Serpent should round into form and I would strongly suggest getting a crowler (or two) to go from Highpoint. You should also take the opportunity that these new breweries offer to explore slices of Southern California that are just off a freeway, but basically hidden until you take that exit. Take a walk along Main Street in downtown San Dimas, find the local restaurant that no one in L.A. knows about yet and enjoy that beer can bring together a town AND also lure people in to see what they are missing.
Zwickelbier. Not often seen here in Los Angeles, but Enegren Brewing has made a limited supply of their Helles which they leave unfiltered with the yeast and hops in suspension. According to the brewery, it creates “a more bready and hoppy flavor” than their normal Helles. That is why it is the Non-IPA Beer of the Week.
Instead of looking to the coming weekend for a SoCal beer event to add to your calendar, I am going to remind you about a really big event coming next month. Let’s do the numbers on the Summit Beer Festival. 170+ Brewers pouring 500+ beers on Saturday, September 14 at Marina Green Park in Long Beach. The Summit Beer Festival is the marquee event surrounding the California Craft Beer Summit where brewers and beer converge to discuss the state of the state, look at equipment and ingredients, and mix and mingle.
Your General Admission ticket ($60) or VIP version ($75), gets you access to a wide swath of the beer made in California. This is a perfect way to travel all across our state without even leaving Long Beach.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.