As some may know, my alter ego (or doppelganger) is Beer Search Party. And that side of the craft beer ledger is partnering with the esteemed and now two-year-old Beer Belly for an event on the afternoon of June 9 from noon to 4pm.
The focus of this party will be the lighter side of beers. Current beer snobs may look down on the humble helles, classic kolsch or yellow fizzy water (aka the pilsner) but summer months here in Los Angeles practically demand a lighter touch. As much as I love Parabola from Firestone Walker, on a hot June day, I much prefer their Saphhir hopped Pivo pils. Same goes for The Bruery and their Black Tuesday. It is simply too decadent for an everyday drink. But their Humulus lager, on the other hand, is a different story.
Those are two hoppy examples. If you would prefer a historical one, how about 1903 the prohibition lager that has been the bread-and-butter beer of long time L.A. beer scene, Craftsman Brewing? You could make an argument that without that beer the current Los Angeles scene would be a shadow of what it is today.
And I want to help change that by pulling the focus away from the big and the hoppy. From the strange ingredients from obscure parts of the globe. From the high alcohol Russian Imperial Stouts and put that Hollywood spotlight on the often ignored beers that are both light and crafted with care.
The moral of this post/story is that just because a beer is low in alcohol or because it is a beer style that is out of favor does not mean that there are not good beers in that style. So take some time to try the lighter side of beers. There will be plenty on hand at Summer Camp with Beer Belly & Beer Search Party.
Your Beer of the Week is named for those two little dots that you see above letters. Umlaut is a seasonal Kolsch from Eagle Rock Brewery‘s industrious brew crew. When I had this beer last year, I reviewed it thusly: “Pours a light straw yellow. Just a tad fizzy but not much. Nice light cereal taste here. A really well done and simple Kolsch.”
Your Homework assignment this week is to head to San Diego and drive past the seemingly thousands of breweries that brew south of us and head to a museum. The San Diego History Center in Balboa Park has a craft beer history lesson on the rise of great beer in the city. Bottled and Kegged “explores the ebb and flow of beer production in the San Diego region over the years and answers the question: “Why is San Diego becoming such a nationally renowned region for craft beer production and innovation?” Maybe in a few years, we can have a similar exhibit in Los Angeles that details the history behind Eagle Rock and Smog City (among others).
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.