Jeremy Raub and father Steve hope to open Eagle Rock Brewery (in Glassell Park) by mid-September. While Jeremy still has spare time, it seemed like a good idea to take him on a tour of San Gabriel Valley beer bars to get his impressions on particular beers and the bars themselves. The longtime beer judge also had some tips for evaluating beer.
Stop #1: 38 Degrees – Alhambra, CA
When you’re at a beer bar, what’s your approach when looking at the list?
Depends on the day, the weather. If it’s hot, I’ll look for something refreshing and hoppy. If it’s cool, something a little more robust. It also depends on if I’m going to eat, what I’m going to eat…Now I’m looking for something to catch my eye, something I haven’t had before in awhile, or haven’t had on tap.
Siamese Twin Ale, a Belgian dubbel from Santa Cruz, CA
It was available at Craft Beer Fest L.A. When I had it there, it was more phenolic – medicinal. This is more smooth. It’s got a nice fruitiness to it, almost like apricot. Phenols are common in Belgian beers, part of their flavor profile, but on the lighter side, like black pepper or nutmeg.
When somebody brings you a beer, what are you looking for?
The pour is important. It’s nice to have some head on it, but some beers don’t. Right away I start smelling it because aromas go away quickly. I like to look at it too, color, clarity. It’s slightly hazy, which is okay with this beer. It’s nice to go back to it as it warms a little, see the different flavors…I’m already getting more citrus and orange.
[Bear Republic] Racer 5 is catching my eye. I haven’t had it in awhile, but I’m just craving big American hoppiness right now, citrusy and refreshing…I can smell this beer for days. It’s like grapefruit, oranges and fresh pine needles. Awesome, just really refreshing. It tastes kind of like you’re inside and it’s really warm and you go outside and it’s cold and take a deep breath of fresh air.
What do you think of the selection at 38 Degrees?
Good selection between bottles and tap. Broad selection, covering all bases.
What about the atmosphere?
It was nice, very bistro-ish feeling, relaxed but classy.
I’d go back. The beer selection was good, the food was decent and parking wasn’t too bad.
Stop #2: Stuffed Sandwich – San Gabriel, CA
Coronado Four Brothers Pale Ale from Coronado Island, CA
A pretty nice ale…it’s got a little bit of orange and citrus on the nose, with a malt backbone. This has got a minerally finish to it.
What are your initial impressions of Stuffed Sandwich?
It’s funny that it still remains so popular and they serve paper cups…so much for looking at the beer.
What’s your approach when coming here?
Just roll with the punches. Do what Sam says…the beer selection is good though, so I always try to find something I haven’t had when I’m here…I like their brewery specials that they do, when they focus on a brewery every month. You might have a beer that you like, but you might not be able to try others from the brewery. It’s nice to line them up and pick your favorites that way.
What about the atmosphere?
It’s definitely funky…the atmosphere is probably not going to bring you back here. The beer would. The atmosphere is really casual. I don’t even know how to describe this…It is easy to hang out here. It’s so comfortable that you forget where you’re at, but maybe that’s because of the beer.
Would you return?
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July 24, 2009 at 4:31 PM
[…] The Bender with Eagle Rock Brewery owner Jeremy Raub Jeremy Raub and father Steve hope to open Eagle Rock Brewery (in Glassell Park) by mid-September. While Jeremy still has spare time, it seemed like a good idea to take him on a tour of San Gabriel Valley beer bars to get his impressions on particular beers and the bars themselves. http://www.foodgps.com/eagle-rock-brewery-preview/ […]
July 9, 2009 at 2:40 PM
September? Ugh. It is 10 minutes from my apartment. Love the Bender idea.
July 9, 2009 at 1:45 PM
Nice post. Bear Republic’s Tribute Brown is awesome! Had it from the bottle last year and it’s probably one of my favorite browns. Good & chocolatey.
Got to try a short pour of Jeremy’s Wit last night. Reeeally tasty. Can’t wait for the brewery to open!