As the craft beer scene in Los Angeles slowly grows and as 2012 turns into 2013, I thought it appropriate to re-highlight a brewery that has been around since good taps haven’t been easy to find and is still on many a fine beer menu and hasn’t grown a bit stagnant.
I speak of Craftsman Brewing Company based in Pasadena. Mark Jilg and his crew still make the summer staple, 1903 lager, and Heavenly Hefe, too but they have been busy this year with many new and exotic styles.
Oyster Stout? Check. Acorns in a Saison? Done that. Sourdough in beer form? Yes. And it is good too. Not some stunt beer.
Craftsman does not seem bound by current fads. Sure they have collaborated on a beer with Eagle Rock Brewery for L.A. Beer Week (and hopefully will do so again). And they have dabbled in sours and put out a session IPA but it seems to come from a place of experimentation rather than chasing a trend.
Currently their Pale Bloke is in tap lines across the Southland. It is not my beer of the week because I just couldn’t choose which Craftsman beer to feature more!
Boulevard Brewing from St. Louis brews this week’s Beer of the Week choice. Double-Wide IPA is part of the Smokestack series of beers from this Midwest brewing icon. The brewers describe it thusly, “While this modern-day prairie schooner may not resemble a graceful sailing sloop, our liberal hopping regimen does make her virtually “twister-proof,” with toffee and caramel notes balancing out the lingering bitterness. Enjoy this beer fresh to best appreciate the complex blending of hop aromas, ranging from minty to citrusy, with subtle hints of pine.” You can pick this up in 4-packs and compare it to our West Coast IPAs.
Your Homework this week is a year long project. Visit each of the L.A. area breweries at least once and have a pint in their taproom. Head from Ladyface to Monkish to Beachwood and Eagle Rock and many more in between. Do one a month or every other week but get out and pull up a stool at the bar and support local craft beer.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.